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Middle Grade Fiction 166
Magical, heartwarming story about finding your own brand of bravery
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Rosie Singer knows something is wrong with her mom. She doesn’t comfort her or look at her the way her friend Germ’s mom does to Germ. She writes stories to help her get through it, stories where her mom is under an evil spell just waiting to be broken. Just when Rosie is ready to give up on her stories forever, she finds out that her mom is actually under an evil spell…and it’s up to Rosie to break it. It turns out, Rosie is descended from a long line of witch hunters, and Rosie’s mom has been cursed by the Memory Thief. Together with Germ and a couple of helpful ghosts, Rosie will set out to defeat the Memory Thief once and for all.

THIRTEEN WITCHES: THE MEMORY THIEF is a warm fantasy story about the love and power of imagination and words, the trial of growing up, and learning to be brave in your own way. Rosie is an unconventional protagonist, vastly preferring stories to swords and wanting nothing else in the world but her mom to love her and Germ to not leave her. At her heart, Rosie is brave, loyal, and willing to fight for her mom. She never expects to become as entangled in the world of witches, ghosts, and cloud shepherds, and it’s clear we’re only getting a glimpse of the depth of this world in this first book.

There is much to love in Jodi Lynn Anderson’s new series starter, from Rosie to the world building to the creepy witches to the powerful themes. This is a story that is easy to get lost in and a story to remind readers that hope and imagination are not weak weapons against evil. Rosie’s journey is particularly ideal for young readers who might be a little scared of growing up and growing apart, who aren’t certain about the land of crushes, makeup, and complex friendships.

Bursting with heart and wonder, THE MEMORY THIEF is a powerful, memorable tale and an exciting start to what is sure to be an emotional journey.
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