The Witch of Turlingham Academy, by Ellie Boswell
Another boarding school story! Another book about witches! Is this one any different , or better , than those that have gone before?
It certainly has some modern touches, an absent Father, text messaging, a Gran in a psychiatric unit , Facebook and computer games, all which will appeal to the young reader. Sophie is a day pupil at Turlingham Academy boarding school where her mother is the headmistress. There are plenty of adventures throughout the book , scary moments in the woods , a bossy prefect who delights in catching Sophie out and hauling her up before the head teacher. Experiments in the science labs and furtive trips to the dorms at night along with the usual midnight feasts make for a credible story but then there are some passages of pure fantasy – a pet black squirrel which Sophie carries around in her schoolbag for example.
The tale is centred on new pupil Katy who (it later transpires ) is a witch hunter! But do witches actually exist? Of course you will need to read the book to decide this one for yourself. The tension mounts throughout the 200 plus pages and whilst the story is certainly rounded off at the end , it is definitely not finished thus giving the potential for future volumes. Can this author succeed in her quest to become a sought after storyteller? This first book leaves me somewhat unsure in that respect , further adventures will hopefully prove this lady to be a worthy successor to similar authors.