Magic in Manhattan books by Sarah Mlynowski
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Current Song: Narnia score music
In her Magic in Manhattan series, Sarah Mlynowski blends fantasy and comedy together to make one magical, funny smoothie. (Mmmm, strawberry-banana!) If you like Bewitched and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, then you'll definitely like these books.
Rachel thinks her life is pretty average - until she learns that her mother and her little sister Miri are witches and she is not. She's stuck being an ordinary high school girl while they're bonding over spells and potions. How unfair! Maybe, though, she can get some of Miri's talents to rub off on her - or on her crush, to make his head finally turn her way.
Bras & Broomsticks was Sarah Mlynowski's first book about Rachel and company. Rachel is a modern-day New York teen, and she's got the sassiness to prove it. The sprinkling of sibling rivalry betwixt and between the sisters is more about Sarah's envy of Miri's powers than either girl disliking the other. In fact, they get along quite well, and they're pretty close to their mom, with or without magic.
After Broomsticks came Frogs & French Kisses. Though Rachel has finally been permitted to hang out while Miri trains - as long as she wears a (very unfashionable helmet) when they go flying - she tends to be more of a hinderance than a help. It seems that wherever Rachel goes, trouble follows. Nevertheless, she sticks out her chin, grins, and tries again. And again. She might not be a witch, but she has a power all her own: determination.
On the very last page of Frogs, Rachel finally gets magical abilities, making readers both excited and anxious for another book. Mlynowski then delivered Spells & Sleeping Bags, a story set at summer camp, complete with pranks and twists of relativity. Rachel knows she should learn more about her new magic and use it sparingly, but it's all so tempting. When something witchy this way comes in the form of another camper, all bets are off. She also discovers that there may be some snakes hidden in the branches of her family tree.
In the fourth book, Parties & Potions, Rachel and Miri find out that witches have a "debutante-slash-bat-mitzvah-slash-quinc
Read the books in order:
Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions
Check out my 2009 interview with author Sarah Mlynowski!
Check out my 2010 interview with Sarah Mlynowski!
I also included this series on my Funny Fantasy Novels for Kids and Teens booklist.