BOOK 1 - SECRET MAGIC
My name is Evie Everyday and I’m a witch.
But all I’ve ever wanted is to be a Lamron. That’s the word normal spelled backward. Anyways, now I have the chance to go to a regular school and be a regular girl I’ll do whatever it takes to fit in.
Fitting in is easy. All I have to do is:
- Keep my magic a secret
- Swap my favorite colorful clothes for boring black ones
- Suck up to scary Mrs. Rogers, the school principal
- Keep my pet cat, bat and corncob from causing any trouble
- And stay away from Izzy. She’s all colorful and funny and awesome…. and not helpful for fitting in.
But when everything starts to go wrong, there’s only one way to save my new school… use magic. And only one person who can help me… Izzy!
Secret Magic (Evie Everyday Witch Book 1) by Elena Paige is a seriously good book for younger children.
Not only is it a good story, but it is also written in very easy to understand language and is helped along by the addition of illustrations, useful in truly bringing the story to life.
This is a very well-written story that moves at a good pace. Evie and Izzy and other well-developed characters come to life in your mind as you read. All kids love stories about witches and magic and this is a story that will encourage even the most stubborn of readers (or non-readers) to get involved.
Colorful characters, a great little plot, all pulled together in one neat package. Thoroughly enjoyed it, great for kids everywhere.
Elena Paige’s adventure fantasy, Evie Everyday Witch, Book 1, is a deliciously clever story about a girl who just wants to be normal. I loved how her best friend actually turns out to be someone who wants to be anything else but.
Paige’s plot is engaging and imaginative, and her characters are finely honed and authentic. Mrs. Rogers is absolutely terrifying, and Pops seems the perfect friend to have hanging out in one’s knapsack.
I had a grand time reading this first book in Paige’s Evie Everyday Witch series, and am looking forward to future installments. Secret Magic: Evie Everyday Witch, Book 1 is most highly recommended.
Evie is the perfect young protagonist. She’s quirky and charming with a bubbly personality that won’t let anything get her down. When faced with a problem, she looks for a solution yet, at the same time, she’s just like any young girl wanting to fit in with her peers, making her a very relatable figure.
Her friend, Izzy, is equally likable. She embodies what it means to be a good friend, which is an important attribute to convey to young children at a time when they’re learning to develop friendships that can sometimes be fickle and turn hurtful.
The narrative in Secret Magic is age-appropriate and easy to follow. Paige does a good job combining elements of magic within the storyline without letting it overpower the central theme of her story.
The character of Mrs. Rogers is a little over the top but appropriate in context with the nature of the story. A likable young protagonist and a bit of hocus-pocus make for a winning combination in Secret Magic, the first Evie Everyday Witch book in what promises to be a great series.
Have you ever met a witch before?
No? You have now. Hi. I’m Evie. Evie Everyday. My mom calls me her everyday witch. My dad calls me his little rebel witch because I never practice magic like I’m supposed to. I read instead. Both my parents are witches too.
All I’ve ever wanted is to be a regular girl and go to a regular school. In the books I read, normal kids are friendly and kind, and learn fun stuff like maths, English and geography. Instead I go to a school for witches, called Pergoria. We learn boring stuff, like how to make potions, how to fly on broomsticks, how to disappear and reappear in different places. You know? Everyday witch stuff. Nothing special. Or useful. And the kids there are plain old mean.
We just moved into a new town called Wyndemere. No witches here. It’s full of normal people. How exciting is that? We used to live in Fancy Hollow with other witches, but dad had enough of our neighbor Mr Garbunkle. He would practice calamity magic all night long and keep dad awake. In case you’re wondering, calamity magic is where you make furniture come to life. If you ever get the chance - trust me, don’t try it! Furniture gets really rowdy and noisy when it has a personality. Anyways, Mr Garbunkle spread rumors that dad attacked his couch and broke his dining chairs. Which totally isn’t true. So dad decided we needed a fresh start.
The first thing I did when we moved here was find the local school, Wyndemere Elementary.
Every night when Mom and Dad would tuck me into bed, I would ask, “Can I go to Wyndemere? Please?” And every night they would say no. They made me fly all the way to Pergoria every day. But this past Halloween, when I asked if I could dress up in an orange school building costume, my parents finally got the hint.
The next day, Mom said I could go to Wyndemere in the new school year. Yes, she did! Dad grumbled about it. But Mom’s the boss in our family.
Me, Evie Everyday, finally gets to be an everyday kid!
* * *
Today is my first day in sixth grade, and my knees are shaking like I’m about to be attacked by a giant bulldog.
Did I mention dogs don’t like witches? It’s true. One time, Mrs. Parker, the town snoop, walked her dog all the way to the top of the hill where we live. No one comes up this way. Normal people are too scared. But not Mrs. Parker. I bet she’d sell one of her own children for fresh gossip.
Our house looks like an old haunted shack from the outside, and people keep away. Anyways, her dumb dog ran through our house, scared my cat Mr. Nipkins half to death, and knocked over my mom’s new potion set. She wasn’t happy. Nope. Not one bit.
Luckily, Mrs. Parker could only see what we wanted her to: an old empty shack that came to life, moving and shaking and talking. It frightened the bejeebers out of her. I still laugh thinking about how fast she bolted down the hill with her ditzy dog. I sent some whizzing firecrackers after them for good measure. At that speed I reckon they could have both launched to the moon. Anyhow, Mrs. Parker hasn’t come back since. Neither has her dog.
As I walk up the giant steps of Wyndemere, I elbow my backpack. Sylvie is making scritch-scratch noises from inside. She’s my pet bat. Oh, don’t worry, I haven’t got a real live bat in my bag. Bats aren’t allowed in school, silly. At least, I don’t think they are.
I turned Sylvie into a pair of glasses. She’s awesome to look out of. When I put her on, I can see things about people. Like what their favorite food is, and whether they own a cat or not. You know, useful information.
“Stop right there,” comes a voice from behind me.
I turn around slowly, scared to see who that big bossy voice belongs to. Just my luck. It’s a teacher.
“Are you new?” she asks. She’s tall and skinny and dressed in a tight, black gym suit. She looks like a balloon that’s about to pop. Her hair is tied into a bun so tight her eyes look like tiny ninja slits.
“Yes, I am. A new normal kid. At this normal school. Brand new. That’s me.” I hate the way I stutter when I’m nervous and say stupid stuff.
She looks me over, suspicion squinting from both her eyes. She scrunches her nose at me. “Name?” she commands.
“Evie. Evie Everyday. Nice to meet you.” I reach my hand out for hers. Mom told me it’s polite to shake hands with Lamrons. That’s what I call normal people. It’s the word normal spelled backward, get it? I made it up myself.
Drool drips from the teacher’s mouth onto my honey-colored braids. She’s twice my height and hunched over me now, the way I imagine Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty when she turns into a dragon. Talk about terrifying.
She eyes my clothes. “It’s important to fit in at this school. We don’t like troublemakers.” She snorts at me like I imagine a pig would. I don’t know for sure as I’ve never met a pig.
I have a feeling this is her way of being extra polite because I’m new. She lunges away in her tight exercise gear. I’m guessing she’s the gym teacher. I had been looking forward to gym. But now, not so much.
I let go of all self-control and my knees start shaking again. Other students are starting to arrive. Why are they all wearing black? I should have done my research.
They look pretty boring in black, but that doesn’t change the fact that I look like a clown at a funeral. I reach for my bag and wonder if there’s time to change my outfit without anyone noticing. I’m trying really hard not to use magic, and someone might see me. I decide against it, and drop my bag on the ground, anger getting the better of me.
“Ouch!” says a voice from my bag.
Don’t worry, that’s not Sylvie. Bats don’t talk! Now that would be weird. That’s Mr. Nipkins. I call him Nip for short. And in case you’re wondering, I didn’t bring my cat to school either. Well, not exactly. I turned him into a diary first.
“Sorry, Nip!” I call back. I didn’t mean to hurt him.
“Who’s Nip?” The voice is bright and cheery and coming from behind me.
“Hi,” I say, looking this girl up and down. She’s not wearing black. I’m confused.
“Hi. I’m Isabel. But you can call me Izzy for short. You’re new.”
“Yep. New and normal.”
She looks at me with a big smile. “Nice clothes. Super original. Where did you get the orange-and-pink striped stockings from? I’d love a pair. The local shops only sell black clothes around here so I have to make my own.” Izzy curls her top lip and scrunches her nose at the kids, all dressed in black, walking past her.
“I can bring you a pair. I have lots. But I think you should try harder to be normal. It’s important to fit in.”
Did I mention I have never fitted in? At my old school, Pergoria, I was always considered weird.
Izzy’s silky yellow dress flutters in the wind and she shakes her long red hair out. “Normal? Who wants to be boring old normal? That’s the problem with this town. Everyone is super normal. I’d rather be new and original. I’d rather be myself.”
I wonder what she means? Why isn’t she happy with nice, normal people? Why doesn’t she want to fit in? I’m confused by her. Fitting in is all I’ve ever wanted.
“Normal is awesome!” I yell awkwardly. I’m definitely going to wear black tomorrow. And since I made a pact not to use my wand, even at home, I’m already planning on using the black curtains in my dad’s office. He won’t notice. He’s always so busy drafting new laws for witches.
Izzy laughs. I’m not sure why.
“So who is Nip?” she asks.
“Nip? No one special. It’s just the nickname I gave my diary.”
“Super. Can I see it?”
“Sure.” I pull Nip from my bag and lean my head down to him so no one else hears me. “Don’t say a word. Be normal, got it? You promised.” I give him a giant you’ll-be-in-big-trouble-if-you-break-your-promise kind of look and smile at Izzy.
She laughs again. What’s with that?
“Super cool looking diary! I’ve never seen anything so cute. Not ever!” She strokes the purple fur cover as if it’s a cat. Well, it is, but she doesn’t know that. I pull it away from her in case Nip starts purring.
“Sorry! I don’t know why I did that. Anyway, we’d better get to class. I’m in sixth grade. You?”
“Me too,” I say.
I’m not sure it’s a good idea to be spotted with someone so weird on my first day. I look around for someone to tag along after. Someone dressed in black.
I pick up my backpack, and Izzy looks at me funny. Then she looks at my bag. Her smile becomes twice its size. I shove Nip back into my bag and wonder what she’s smiling at.
Oh no! Freshly popped corn is popping itself out of my bag and all over the school steps. Students are catching handfuls and cheering me on. My face feels hotter than the hot corn. Pops must have snuck into my bag. How could he?
Pops is my pet corncob. Well, he’s kind of my pet. He was just an ordinary corncob once. I used a potion on him and brought him to life. He doesn’t talk. But he does have these cute little green spindly legs and tiny brown kernels for eyes. And he’s very emotional. He’s been popping corn like crazy for over a week every time I mention I’m going to school without him.
I shove my hand into my bag and grasp that crazy corncob. I squeeze him tight. He likes that. It calms him down.
“You’re definitely not normal, are you?” says Izzy, stuffing her face with popcorn. “I like it.”
“I am. I am normal!” I yell as if my life depends on it.
Luckily, Pops settles down, the popcorn stops spilling from my bag, and the kids all move away. Phew! I got this.
“Miss Everyday. My office. Now!”
It’s that gym teacher from earlier. She’s as red as a bobbing apple at Halloween.
“I’m going to follow that teacher like a normal kid.” I’m glad at least to get away from Izzy. She asks too many questions.
She laughs again. “You’re too cool. You get to go to Principal Rogers’ office on your first day. That’s definitely not normal. I’ll save you a seat in class.”
No, I want to yell, but instead I’m wondering what she means. Is the gym teacher the principal? I guess I’ll find out.
BOOK 2 - SPOOKY MAGIC
Being the only witch at my school is the best thing ever! So when the new girl turns out to be a witch too, someone awful and horrid from my old life, you know there's going to be trouble.
My name is Evie Everyday, and I go to Wyndemere Elementary, a strictly no-witch zone. It's hard enough keeping my witchiness a secret without Veronica showing up to ruin my wonderful new life. Worst of all, she’s better than me at everything too.
That is, until the spooky Halloween Competition. I finally have the chance to prove, once and for all, that I’m better than Veronica.
Winning should be easy. All I have to do is:
- Stop myself from turning green with envy.
- Come up with the spookiest magic ever.
- Not listen to my friends.
- And beat Veronica.
But when everything starts to go wrong, the only way to win the competition is to make it spookier than ever. And only one person can help me... the one and only Jack-o-lantern.
Today is my lucky day. I can feel in my bones that I’m about to win this game.
I suck in a big breath of air and puff it out again the way I do when I’m about to cast a spell. I zip and zoodle down, down, down, preparing to make a grab for the fat green frog. My left hand grips my broomstick, and my right hand is stretched longer than a cat’s tail. Winner, winner, winner. Me, me, me!
Crash! Bash! Slide . . . Splash!
I fall off my broomstick, hit the cherry tree, slide through the pumpkin patch, and splatter into the fishpond. Yuck! Tiny fish lips are sucking at my skin. Double yuck!
“Snubbidy small, froggidy fall.” I force the frog to fall from the sky and into my hands. It slips from my soggy fingers and sinks into the pond, glad to escape.
“Hey, that’s cheating,” Izzy calls out.
Izzy is my best friend in the whole wide world. Wider than the world even. She’s right—I kinda did cheat.
“Sorry.” I climb out of the pond and dry myself with a swoosh of my hand. I pull off a fish sucking at my braid and throw it back into the water. “Hey, you’re good on that couch. It’s been behaving today.”
Izzy lands smoothly right beside me, a cat, a bat, and a corncob piled up next to her on the red-and-green sofa she’s relaxing on. The cat is Mr. Nipkins, Nip for short. The bat is Sylvie. And the corncob is Pops. Yep, a walking cob of corn. Nip is the only one who can talk.
“It’s harder than I thought to catch a flying frog,” Izzy says. “But flying around is the best. I thought you said Calamity Magic is dangerous? This couch has behaved perfectly.” Izzy strokes the couch as if it’s a pet piranha that could bite her any minute.
“Perfectly behaved? It’s the most vile, vehemently vexed couch I’ve ever met,” says Nip, using his favorite V words. “It tried to violently vacate me at least three hundred times.” Nip’s obsessed with V words. “Can I play with butterflies now? I’m tired of this game.”
His bottom lip trembles. I think he means it. He really doesn’t like this game? Who doesn’t like a game of Flying Frog? Catching a frog that’s flying at one hundred miles an hour is the greatest thrill of my life.
“Sure, you can go. Me and Izzy can eat all the pistachio and passion fruit pavlova ourselves,” I say.
“Yum!” says Izzy.
Sylvie flies around my head, letting me know pavlova would make her day.
Nip’s face turns a lighter shade of purple. Did I forget to tell you he’s purple? Well, he is. And he lives to eat fruit. First, he scrunches his face tight as a tortoise skin. Then he stretches it wide like a witch about to sneeze. Finally, he lets gravity take over, and he looks like a depressed donkey. I knew a depressed donkey once. It climbed 9,999 steps with me on its back, during a family trip to Italy. It wasn’t a happy donkey.
“On second thought, I can play with butterflies later,” Nip says. “I’ll stay.”
“Good, Nip. Good, Couch.” I pat the couch for its especially good behavior. You never can tell what will happen when you use Calamity Magic to bring furniture to life. It can get a little dizzy with excitement. But Couch was the only thing I could think of for Izzy to fly on. And it’s safer than the kitchen table.
Only witches are allowed to ride broomsticks. It’s a serious law, and there’s no breaking it, even for a rebel witch like me.
Izzy’s not a witch, but she knows all about us witches. She’s a witch expert. In fact, I think she knows more about witches than I do. She even wears a witch’s talisman. And I didn’t tell her about them, honest. She researched and made it herself. Pretty impressive, right?
I pick up Pops super slowly so he doesn’t start popping corn like crazy. He does that when he gets emotional. He’s a very sensitive cob of corn. But he snores back at me, fast asleep.
“Have you heard about the new girl starting in our class tomorrow?” says Izzy.
I pause mid-step and start fidgeting with my skirt. “A new girl? But I’m the new girl.” It’s been exactly sixty-two days since I started at Wyndemere Elementary. It’s a normal school for normal kids.
Yeah, I know I’m not like normal kids. I’m a witch. But going to an normal school is the single best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“Not anymore.” Izzy seems happy about it. She bounces through the door, throws off her fabulous floral shoes, and trudges past Winston, the piano. He’s playing “tun tun tun TUN!” Very dramatic. Very Winston. He always plays music. And it always matches my mood.
I slice pieces of pavlova for Nip, Sylvie, and Izzy and cut myself an extra big slice. I swish the sweet fluffy meringue around my mouth, wondering how I didn’t hear about this until now. “Are you sure?”
“Yep, Monique told me. She heard it from Mrs. Parker, who heard it from Mr. Lundry, who heard it from Ms. Constantinople, who heard it from your dad.”
I gulp hard, almost choking on passion-fruit seeds. “My dad? He didn’t mention anything to me.” Dad’s been busy drafting up a new witch law he’s being especially secretive about. “So what about a new girl? I was new once. It’s no big deal, right?”
“I’m not so sure,” says Izzy, slicing herself another piece of pavlova. “Monique told me she’s the daughter of a famous magician.”
Nip pounces on what’s left of the pavlova, sucking the passion fruit from the top. “What she’s trying to say is the new girl’s a witch.” He winks at me, and downs the pistachios next, leaving the white, sticky, gooey pavlova dish empty.
It’s exactly how my insides feel: white, sticky, gooey. And empty. Another witch is coming to Wyndemere Elementary?
“No way! Tell me you’re lying,” I yell. Pops jumps from his sleep, his eyes bigger than flying saucers about to launch into outer space. Popcorn erupts from his cob, and from my heart, all over the floor.
“Are you sure, Nip? I didn’t know that,” says Izzy, picking up Pops and rubbing his belly.
“Yep. I heard Evie’s dad telling her mom all about it last week,” says Nip.
“And you didn’t tell me before now?” I clench my jaw and wonder why Mom or Dad didn’t mention anything to me.
Nip shrugs and licks the pavlova from his fur.
“This will be fun,” says Izzy. “I can’t wait to meet her. One witch friend is awesome. Two will be amazing. Right, Evie?”
I nod, pretending to agree, but inside I’m seriously freaking out. I like Wyndemere for the very reason that there are no witches other than me. Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to meet any other witch. They’re nasty. Self-centered. And competitive. Did I mention they’re competitive? Yep, more competitive than a pack of bats at an apple-dunking dare. Witches take competitions very seriously. And they hate to lose.
“Are you okay, Evie?”
“You look green, really green.”
“I . . . guess . . . I’m . . . a . . . little . . .”
“Jealous!” yells Nip, louder than my Auntie Floss playing bingo. “Witches turn green when they’re—”
I swish my hand and turn Nip into a diary. Blabbermouth. But it doesn’t stop him from talking. In fact, he sings instead. “Evie is jealous. Evie is jealous.”
I swish my hand again and send him flying by me, all the way up the stairs, into my bedroom. I slam the door shut with my magic. I can still hear him. That cat!
Izzy’s eyes widen as her eyebrows almost lift off her face. I can sense the green spreading from my face all the way down my arms. I jump up and down, trying to think happy thoughts. But it’s no use.
I’m green from head to toe. I bet my insides are green too. I feel green spurting from my brain, from my pores, and from my nostrils. I’m green!
Green with envy.
I’m no better than that no-good, wretched Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. And Izzy is staring at me, just like Dorothy. She looks disappointed and dismayed. Who can blame her?
Nip is right.
I’m totally jealous.