Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pure Dead Magic

Pure Dead Magic

Debi Gliori
For ages 9 to 12
Random House, 2002   ISBN: 978-0552547574yo

These days life at StregaSchloss is pretty miserable these days. Signor Strega-Borgia walked out on the family some weeks ago and of course his wife, Signora Strega-Borgia and her three children Titus, Pandora, and Damp, miss him dreadfully. Signora Strega-Borgia is determined to finish her education at the Advanced Witchcraft Institute, so she is trying to find a suitable nanny to take care of the household and the children. However, this is not an easy matter for the children are quite a handful and most nannies cannot abide living in a house that has a pet yeti, a pet dragon, a pet griffin, and a large crocodile living in the moat. There also happens to be a great, great, great, great grandmother asleep in a deep freeze in the dungeons.

Luckily Mrs. Flora McLachlan arrives on the scene and in spite of themselves Pandora and Titus cannot help liking her. Damp quickly comes to adore the nanny who secretly - and luckily for the Strega-Borgias - has some skill in the magic making department.

Meanwhile, Signor Luciano Strega-Borgia is being held captive by his evil Mafioso half brother who is determined to get Luciano to sign away Titus' inheritance in favor of himself.

With rats and babies being accidentally sent out onto the Internet via email, spells that go wrong, assassins who are trying to kill off the Strega-Borgia family, and much more, life is far from boring at the StregaSchloss.

This deliciously ridiculous and delightfully funny book will have readers of all ages glued - chuckling all the while - to their chairs until the highly satisfactory ending is reached. Clever word play, plenty of “gross” action, magical creatures, high tech accidents, and one disaster after another make this novel highly entertaining.

A word from the TTLG editor:

This book is out of print in the U.S. but it can still be purchased here from Amazon and other retailers that sell out of print titles. The book is still in print in the U.K. I included it in the TTLG review library because this is one of the funniest books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.