Middle Grade Review: Hannah and the Hobgoblins (Deborah Hunt)
About this Book:
When Aunt Agatha sends Hannah a book about the Connemara Witches strange things begin to happen. Hannah has no idea that she comes from a family of witches but on her 12th birthday, she is shocked to learn that she is a Grand Witch and must go to the Enchanted Castle with Aunt Agatha to learn how to use her powers for good and not evil. Hannah is vulnerable and gets tricked by the Hobgoblins who take over the castle and kidnap Aunt Agatha. Hannah tries to use her powers, but they are still developing. Will Hannah be able to save Aunt Agatha and the Enchanted Castle?
*Review Contributed by Beth Rodgers, Staff Reviewer*
While it is predictable that Hannah and her family must descend from and possibly be witches as the story begins, it isn't until later on in the story when readers learn the truth. As Hannah reaches her twelfth birthday, Aunt Agatha reveals to her that she is, in fact, a super witch, and she must go to the Enchanted Castle to help focus her powers on good. All the while, the Hobgoblins prey on Hannah's naivete and trick her so they can take over the castle and kidnap Aunt Agatha.
Hannah's understanding of who she is and how she is going to save the day all works its way into the plot. The book takes place around Halloween, and Hannah lives in Salem, Massachusetts. These aspects add to readers' engagement with the witch storyline.
The magical nature of the story is also a lot of fun, as pages of books fly open, and secret rooms and hallways can be found throughout their house. It does make one wonder how they never found all of these rooms before. When Hannah must figure out how to save Aunt Agatha and the castle from the Hobgoblins, there is plenty of suspense, and Hannah must find strength within herself to discover who she really is and why it all matters. The story also flows super easily, with illustrations between each chapter that help capture many of the scenes well.
Young readers, and even older ones, will find this story engaging and enchanting. Definitely would be a great read around Halloween time.