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A Most Magical Girl

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  685 ratings  ·  135 reviews
From the author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy comes the story of a friendship between two girls set in Victorian England, with magical machines, wizards, witches, a mysterious underworld, and a race against time.

Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother suddenly disappears, shes put in the care of two eccentric
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  685 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
I sort of wound up with this book by chance. The Superstore had it on the back of its reduced shelf, so I bought a copy while waiting in the checkout aisle. A Most Magical Girl isn't an average sort of fantasy novel. In many ways it reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle, but with its own unique setting and exciting characters. It follows the story of Annabel, a young girl who winds up with her two crazy aunts after her mother mysteriously vanishes. These aunts aren't just weird, though - they're ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Things Annabel Grey wants:
-A pair of emerald green ice skates
-A pink sprigged muslin day dress
-Her mother to come back and take care of her

Things Annabel Grey does not want:
-A broomstick
-Magical powers
-A quest to save all of London from an evil wizard

Needless to say, Annabel is not going to get much of what she wants, and she is going to get a great deal of what she doesn't want. Despite her proper upbringing, Annabel has magic in her veins, and her mother has sent her to live with her two
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
A rather simplistic story that nevertheless has real touches of charm, but gets bogged down by its inconsistent, too-often unlikable characters.

Annabel, the primary protagonist, is such a spineless, helpless piece of fluff in the early chapters that it's hard to root for her at all, even when you feel sorry for her because everyone keeps expecting things off her without giving her the least sort of training or directions. Then, with only one or two concrete moments of actual development, she
Kate Forsyth
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Im a big fan of Karen Foxlee and always buy her books as soon as they come on my radar. A Most Magical Girl is a delightful, whimsical tale of a very ordinary girl named Annabel Grey who is sent to stay with two eccentric old aunts when her mother disappears. To her dismay, Annabel realises her aunts are witches and that she is the heir to their magic. Meanwhile, a wicked man named Angel is sucking out the power of sad things such as flowers stolen from a new grave or the bonnets of long-dead ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: junoir-fiction
This book was lovely and sweet. A cute story that I would love to read out loud to my kids. A story filled with adventure and magic with dragons. I love that at the beginning of every chapter Foxlee includes an excerpt from "Miss Finch's Little Blue Book (1855). "
I would read another of her novels.
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
Oh, so frustrating! It began with some promise, but never developed into anything remotely engaging.

1. The main plot thrust is a journey through a magical realm, the least interesting magical realm yet set down in fiction--the lack of description is palpable, as if the author expected each location to be announced via full-colour double-page spread (which never materialized) and didn't want to compete with the image. There's a lake, for instance, and apparently it's astonishing, but all we as
Kimberly (Book Swoon)
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee is a charming tale filled with magic, adventure, friendship and girl power. With gorgeous prose, smart humor and a touch of danger, this is a story for those who still want to believe in the magic.

Set in Victorian England, young Annabel Grey is the perfect example of a proper young lady on the outside, on the inside, she hides her strange magical abilities, namely those that give her the ability to see visions in puddles, even though she
Brona's Books
Karen Foxlee has a way about her.

Her words weave magic. She draws you in, she makes you believe, she makes you feel brave.

A Most Magical Girl follows an ordinary, everyday Victorian girl, who, rather like Harry Potter, suddenly finds herself in a magical world. Her role is to fulfil the prophecy as the 'youngest and most able member of the Great and Benevolent Magical Society' to assume the role of 'Valiant Defender of Good Magic'.

The sinister Mr Angel has other ideas, of course!
Full review here
Dimity Powell
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-lit
Utterly charming, frightful in places, magical in others, this is an adventure both girls and boys will warm to but that girls especially will find spell binding. Pop over to Boomerang Books Blog for my full review and guest post by Karen Foxlee soon.
A magical girl, with the help from a friend and a troll, must save London from dark magic.

This was a prime example of a narrator that you adore not being able to salvage a mediocre story. It was just a mess.

I loved the author's magical novel, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, as well as the amazing narrator, Jayne Entwistle. Read/listen to Ophelia, skip this.

Seriously though, if it hadn't been for Jayne Entwistle, I would have give up on this book WAY SOONER. I could listen to her read the
Wendy MacKnight
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
I am a huge fan of Karen Foxlee's work, so when I heard she was releasing a new book, I was thrilled. There is something magical and unique about Foxlee's storytelling; from page one she sucks you into her world and forces you to leave it reluctantly 296 pages later. In between, you are taken places that are familiar and yet not. In A Most Magical Girl, Foxlee takes a familiar theme - young girl discovering she is magical - and turns it into something unusual and imaginative. Better still, ...more
Mary Catelli
An interesting tale, definitely middle-grade, of magic and shadows.

Annabel Grey was raised to be a most proper Victorian young lady, but -- she keeps on seeing visions in puddles. Finally, her mother sends her off to her great-aunts to learn to be a witch. She hates it, ruins the laundry by accident, and is left alone in the shop -- when a strange man comes with a threat. he is building the Dark-Magic Extracting Machine, and he has the Black Wand, and he wants all the good wizards and witches to
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Prim and proper Annabel Grey knows nothing of magic, witches, flying broomsticks, or her two unusual aunts...but when her mother suddenly decides to take a mysterious trip, Annabel is sent to those two aunts and thrust into a dark, dangerous, and dazzling world of magic. A most sinister man and his dreadful machines have dark, deadly plans for Victorian England and it is up to young Annabel, a most magical girl, to retrieve the powerful Moreover Wand and save the day. Annabel is accompanied on ...more
Annabelles mother has sent her to her great-aunts to be educated. Yet, when Annabelle arrives in London, she finds that her education is not what she thought it would be. Instead of an education that is fit for a lady, Annabelle learns that she is a witch and must learn to use her magical powers. When a dark wizard plans to take over London, Annabelle must go on a dangerous mission to find a magical wand. She not only encounters terrifying monsters along the way, but also makes friends. Can ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Copy provided by the publisher.

Annabel sees visions in puddles, which is not something London's uppercrust young ladies do in 1867. Her mother sends her to live with her great aunts Henrietta and Estrell, who run a serious magic shop and are secretaries for the Great & Benevolent Magical Soceity. When the creepy Mr. Angel appears at the shop, he leaves a note with Annabel that states his success in extracting enough dark magic to raise a shadowling army, with which he hopes to take over the
I read this one with my daughter because we both enjoyed Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. I probably liked it less well as the story is very much a retread, but we still had fun reading it together. My daughter did insist that I read the dialogue in the British accent, and I'm sure it was atrocious, but I did my best. Like Ophelia, I think it was a little on the scary side, and my daughter was horrified that villain kept indiscriminately killing people.

The real heart of the story is the
Anne Beardsley
Character, plot, and even setting all take a backseat to a hugely poetic flow of words, and an emotional palette that runs like watercolors through every scene. Real artistry? Check. Characters I cared about or a story I wanted to read? Not as much.

A special, precious snowflake revives a dying magical community by dint of being special and precious. We know she is, because we're told that a lot. It's not because we see her doing anything the average girl (or even below average, but not actually
2.5 stars.

Just completely unmemorable. It's been less than 2 months and I can recall basically nothing about this, which is a real shame. It sounded so promising (magic and friendship and Victorian England!!), but fell woefully short in its reality.

Things I do recall:

Our main character, Annabel, was very bland and came across only slightly better than a cardboard box.

The wizards were the best characters, but not in this enough.

The villain was motivationally challenged and incredibly
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Set in Victorian England, young Annabel Grey is sent by her mother to live with aunts she did not know existed. The aunts are witches and they tell Annabel that she is a most magical girl and because an evil man named Mr. Angel is building a magical machine to spread darkness and evil, it is up to Annabel to find a hidden magic wand to stop him. Another magical girl named Kitty is sent with Annabel on their quest underneath London through tunnels and trolls and past a dragon in order to save the ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The cover is beautiful and the writing is beautiful, too. The villian parts were darker than I thought they'd be!

I will share more as spoilers below.
(view spoiler)

Happy Reading!
Laura Noakes
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
LOVE! Magic & broomsticks & friendship and a great villain. Great follow up from Ophelia & the Marvelous Boy. Proper review to come when I can get my words out right!
Ms. Garr
Aug 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Grade 5 and up; nice good vs. evil tale set in Victorian London about a proper girl suddenly thrust into a magical world. The emphasis on kindness is touching, but the action inches and drags along.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill Smith
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Annabel Grey has been bought up in a privileged home, with an elegant mother and Miss Finchs Little Blue Book (1855) to guide her. Such advice as - A young lady does not yawn or sigh but listens attentively to any lesson a wise anecdote an elder may offer. This may not be helpful when meeting Miss Henrietta Vine, her Great Aunt, for the first time. Especially when her Aunt tells her that she is a witch and must learn magic.

When Mr Angel arrives at the magic shop he gives Annabel a message to
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this horror/fantasy, Annabel has a magical gift that her mother insists she hide--until it's too late. Her mother sends Annabel to her great aunts, who are witches, for training. Annabel, having been raised as a society miss with no practical skills, is hopeless at everything--but is also the only hope for the world as a dark wizard has the Black Wand and is preparing to take over the world with Darkness. Annabel must venture into Under London to retrieve the last powerful wand for good, the ...more
A Most Magical Fantasy...
I began reading this novel to my 8-year-old niece while visiting interstate. I soon noticed that two of my nephews (age 13 and 21) were also spellbound by the story unfolding. And I, too, wanted to find out what happened, so purchased the kindle version when I got back home. Karen Foxlee's writing is exquisitely poetic and intimate. I felt as though I was right inside the viewpoints of these two most magical girls. One of the things I loved about this story was the
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Foxlee, Karen A Most Magical Girl, 297 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016 $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 f); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.

When Annabel Greys mother disappears from Victorian London, Annabel is sent to live with two aunts that are in Annabels eyes, well, a bit weird. Living in their magic shop brings new challenges upon her life. Especially when she finds out she has to learn to control the Moreover wand in order to fight the growing evil that threatens to destroy all good magic in
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great read - action packed adventure set in a London in the 1880s. The rather prim and proper heroine Annabel Grey is packed off to her never before heard of aunts - to very old witches to learn her true nature and develop her witchcraft capabilities - a big shock of dear Annabel. However, disaster looks in the form of the evil Mr Angel and his Dark-magic Extacting Machine, and Annabel is sent down into the London's dark underworld with Kitty, to retrieve the Morever Wand and face down the ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book, even though I know it wasn't perfect. I probably should've given it 3 stars but I'm desperately hoping there will be a sequel to make up for the not-so-great parts.

Not-so-great parts include a villain with very little background or defined motivations (he wants to take over London because he's evil and that's what evil people want to do), the mother character going off on "business" (and then potentially coming back with something important, I guess?), what happened to
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Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who lives and writes in Queensland. Her young adult novels The Anatomy of Wings (UQP/Knopf/Atlantic) and The Midnight Dress (Knopf/UQP/Hot Key Books) have been published internationally to much acclaim. The Anatomy of Wings won the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book 2008 (South Asia/Pacific), the Dobbie Award 2008, and a Parents Choice Gold Award in the ...more

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