Clementine Mitch: A Witch can Switch, by Jan Oldham

Clementine Mitch is a witch with a wish. More than anything, she wants to hang up her witches hat and become a ballerina. She gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become one when the night of the Witches’ Wish comes around – something that happens once every 500 years. Clementine gets her wish, and arrives at High Kicks Girls’ Ballet Academy in time to audition to go to ballet school. But her rival Nasty Nellie has hitched a ride on her wish, and Clementine arrives without her wand. Without magic, can Clementine’s wish of becoming a real ballerina actually come true?

Jan Oldham has created a fun character in Clementine, who’s quirky personality and ability to fall into trouble at every plié make for some interesting (and funny) plot twists. Clementine might not have her wand, but she is smart, and despite having the odds stacked against her, actually has dancing talent without the help of magic.

It could have been easy to create flat side characters, but Oldham has a talent for creating complexity in the smallest of characters. Clementine’s two rivals in the book seem like stereotypical “mean girls” at first, but reveal themselves to have much more to them than meets the eye.

A Witch can Switch dives straight into the story, without stopping to explain much about Clementine’s witchy past. This prevents readers from being able to connect with Clementine right away – it felt a little like I’d started reading a second book in a series, as opposed to the first because the references to her time as a witch were often mentioned, but not fully explored. The advantage of this though, is that the book is fast paced, and with the 8-12 age group it is aimed at, the quick moving storyline works well.

Jan Oldham’s Clementine Mitch: A Witch can Switch is a fun adventure full of compelling characters, and a likeable protagonist. Perfect for girls aged 8+.

The Magical Adventures of Clementine Mitch: A Witch can Switch, by Jan Oldham.

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JJ is a writer by night, & a Product Manager by day. She loves young adult and children’s fiction and is the co-founder of NZ Booklovers. She has a Masters in Creative Writing, and is an ex-English tutor. She lives in Auckland with her husband, daughter, and two chihuahuas.

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