Skye McKenna

Shortlisted for The Week Junior Book Awards

Fans of magical stories will adore this debut novel with its marvellous mixture of boarding school setting, a talking cat, missing children and a faerie world that menaces beyond the enchanted village of Hedgeley.

Cassie Morgan isn’t sure where her mother is or why she has been left at her boarding school for the past seven years. When she is told her mother is likely dead and that she is to be sent to a children’s home, she decides to set out to find her. Arriving in the village of Hedgeley, Cassie begins her training in the skills of witchcraft. She is supervised by her Aunt Hedgewitch, who keeps guard on the Hedge, the vast forest that marks the frontier between England and the land of Fairie.

It is impossible not to love Cassie or to believe in this story. It crackles with tension and sparkles with  humour. Readers will recognise the different characters Cassie encounters and enjoy the fantasy elements of flying brooms and potions. This is the first in a series, which we highly recommend to readers in upper KS2. 

Resources for Hedgewitch

Published by Welbeck Children’s Books

What young people think:

“I loved this book because it is very well written. It’s amazing” – 5 Stars

“I adore Hedgewitch because it took me to a new place and also it was purely magic and it made me want to read it over and over again. You might like this book because it is full of adventures and magic” – 5 Stars

“I enjoyed how this book was magical and I enjoy magical series. The best thing about the story was Chapter 22 The Stolen Child. You might like this book if you like Harry Potter because it is a magical series” – 5 Stars

“I liked this book because it has witches. magic and forests in it. The characters were cool and my favourite bit was when you find out who the warlock is” – 5 Stars

“I loved this book because it had an amazing story base and a great mission. I found that the best bit of the story was Glashtyn following Cassie and trying to trick her. You might like this book because it is constantly exciting.” – 5 Stars +

Pupils, St Barnabas’ CofE Primary School, Oxford

“The book is about a girl who escaped a strict boarding school to search for her mother.  Her mother had left her seven years ago and had promised to go back but didn’t.  The book is mainly about Cassie’s adventures in a world full of mystery, legends and magic in search of her mother.

What did I like best about the book? The book is set in the 1950s.  I love to read books set in the 1900s as life has changed a lot since then, even though it is not long ago.  I love the genre of the book which is fiction and adventure.  My favourite part of the book is when Cassie flies on a broomstick.

What did I like least about the book? I didn’t like the part of the book when Cassie is getting beaten by bullies in the lavatory.  This part of the book is quite violent.  Younger children may be scared by this part.

Would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes, definitely a friend of my age.

How would I score this book out of 10? 8”

Year 8 pupil, The Earl Mortimer College & Sixth Form Centre, Hereford

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton