Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan
Publisher: M!X (Aladdin)
Release date: October 12, 2010
When Kelly Quinn and her two BFFs discover a dusty old cookbook while cleaning out her attic, the girls decide to try a few of the mysterious recipes inside. But the ancient book bears an eerie warning, and it doesn't take long for the girls to realize that their dishes are linked to strange occurances. The Keep 'Em Quiet Cobbler actually silences Kelly's pesky little brother and the Hexberry Tarta brings an annoying curse to mean girl Charlotte Barney. And there is the Love Bug Juice, which seems to have quite the effect on those cute Rusamano boys...Could these receipes really be magical? Who wrote them and where did they come from. And most importantly, what kind of trouble are the girls stirring up for themselves? Things are about to get just a little too hot in Kelly Quinn's kitchen.
Just Add Magic was a delightful debut by Cindy Callaghan. Kelly Quinn was a sweet and likable main character and reading about her adventures was a lot of fun.
When Kelly discovers an old recipe book in her attic she's beyond excited. It's Kelly's dream to grow up and be a famous chef. I loved reading about all the different recipes Kelly made and most of them sounded delicious. It definitely made me in the mood to bake! But when Kelly and her friends start cooking things out of the secret recipe book they find mysterious events start occurring. For one, Kelly's mischievous brother stops talking after he eats some of the Keep 'Em Quiet Cobbler and the Hexberry Tart brings pain to Kelly's enemy, Charlotte...
Just Add Magic was an adorable middle grade novel with a twist of mystery and excitement. Kelly was dealing with a lot of things normal seventh graders do, like mean girls and boys. But on top of this Kelly has to deal with the freaky outcomes of her new recipes.
I loved Kelly's two best friends, Hannah and Darbie. They were both really sweet and understood Kelly better than anyone. All of the characters in this novel were unique and added a little something to the story. Kelly also had a really nice family who supported her cooking endeavors throughout the story. I also love how there are some recipes included in the back of the book. I can't wait to try them out!
The mystery angle of this book was great and always kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next and how everything would turn out for Kelly and her friends.
Overall, I definitely recommend Just Add Magic, it will attract a variety of middle school readers who will love experiencing Kelly's adventures and I think older readers will enjoy it as well. I can't wait to see what's next for Cindy!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars