Clayton, Dhonielle

The Marvellers

(2) 4-6 Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is poised to attend the Arcanum Training Institute for Marvelous and Uncanny Endeavors, a school specifically designed to educate magical youth in developing the arts of touch, vision, spirit, sound, and taste. As the first conjuror student, Ella has the whole magical world looking at her, with some rooting for her success and others hoping for her demise. Although she is shunned by most of her classmates, Ella finds friendship in two fellow outcasts: Brigit, her roommate, who hates magic and detests the school; and Jason, her school guide, who always has a magical companion with him. When a terrifying felon escapes the nearby prison, allegedly with the aid of a conjuror, tensions swell and protests mount in the Marvellian world, and Ella faces increased rumors and prejudice against her. She and her friends must work together to clear the conjuror name before she is expelled and conjurors are forbidden to set foot in the Arcanum Institute ever again. Clayton (The Belles, rev. 5/18; The Everlasting Rose, rev. 3/19) is adept at building inclusive fantasy worlds filled with magic, lore, and beauty. With Ella's memorable voice and unique characterization, this is a marvelous middle-grade adventure, indeed.


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