How to Survive Your Magical Family has been meeting reviewers, and I’m excited to share extracts from one of these with you. It’s Review Magic as far as I’m concerned!
Magpies Magazine: Talking About Books For Children
Volume 38, Number 1, March 2023
Reviewed by Marie Alafaci
Right from the opening line, How to Survive Your Magical Family is a delight. This novel for younger readers delivers magic, mystery and mayhem… plus credible characters, lots of humour and action aplenty.
Toby is the youngest of the Dartin family and has the least magic. His sister, Helen, has much more practical magical abilities, such as healing animals, ‘imagining a parking spot into existence’ and turning off the iron after she’s left home. All Toby can do is charm any cat that comes to him.
Told between Toby’s point of view and that of his best friend Mia, How to Survive Your Magical Family leaps between normal family dynamics and kidnapping, bribery and vengeance.
Rhoden has created a completely believable alternative world where magical people and ‘flats’ – those who can’t see magic – interact happily, mostly without the ‘flats’ knowing. But she has also created credible child characters, Toby and Mia, who show courage and
intelligence, and have real agency throughout, even in the most hopeless situations. It’s also refreshing that she shows them as young people clearly out of their depth at times, kids who need to rely on the adults in their lives (most of whom are loving and capable) to help them.
How to Survive Your Magical Family is great fun, and there are enough loose ends to mean that a sequel could be on the cards, to which I say, ‘Deal me in!’ A fabulous read. Highly recommended.