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Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  829 ratings  ·  184 reviews
Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.

Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Cameron Chaney
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood (Awesome name, by the way. Super jealous.) is a middle grade fantasy standalone about a magical school in a magical city that is walled off from the rest of the world. In this city, some females are trained to be sorceresses to protect the city and strengthen the wall against the dangers outside. But as Chantel, a student at the school, soon learns, the real dangers may in fact rest inside the walls of the city she once believed t ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I'm torn about this one. I liked the voice a lot initially: it's very literal and direct and funny. And then it crosses the line to overly self-aware and stops working for me.
"It seems to me," said Miss Flivvers, who had been in a sour mood, "that once you're up on a pedestal, you can't take a step in any direction without falling."

"It is better than the alternative," said Miss Ellicott. "Mark my words."
This has such promise! It hasn't yet crossed the line to overly self-aware! I want to see mo
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Miss Ellicott's for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood is one of my most anticipated 2017 releases. Blackwood's previous trilogy beginning with Jinx is one of my favorites so I wanted to read this new book as soon as I could. I was immediately pulled into the story here and delighted to find a book about sticking it to the patriarchy with magic and a dragon while fighting for what is right.

Chantel is an orphan who attends Miss Ellicot
What an excellent middle grade work! The worldbuilding is top notch -- even reminiscent of Terry Pratchett, one of my favorite authors -- and has an easy buy in. The adventure is *also* top notch, and the message underneath (forcing girls to be "shamefast and biddable" not only pigeonholes and stifles them, but hurts society as a whole) is artfully interwoven, not preachy, and oh-so-timely. Plus: there's time travel, a really great dragon, and a lot of magic. ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, fantasy, arc
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Sage Blackwood is definitely an author at the top of her game as she gives us yet another intriguing children's fantasy, this time a stand alone. And although middle grade is likely the target audience, the themes and nuances make this a very interesting read for adults as well. With Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded, we have a modern day Alice in Wonderland poking gleeful fun at Trump America as skillfu
Kathy Martin
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Chantel is a thirteen-year-old orphan in the walled city of Lightning Pass. She was chosen to be a pupil at a school for Magical Maidens. Miss Ellicott is the sorceress who runs the school. Along with spells, the maidens are taught to be shamefast and biddable and to always conduct themselves with deportment. Chantel is good at the spells. In fact, she is the best at summoning and summoned a snake to be her familiar at age six. However, she is not very good at deportment, being shamefast or bidd ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
*ARC provided for review by HarperCollins Publishers, thank you very much!*

Considering that the title, summary, and beautiful cover art had me very excited to receive and review this ARC, I can say that I am unfortunately and devastatingly disappointed in this book.

It had potential; the premise of the story was something that intrigued me and made me think that it would be an enjoyable read (and hopefully a future recommendation of mine). However, I was proven wrong by not only the writing style
Fi's Journey

I anticipated this read for a while. Unfortunately it wasn't as good as her Jinx Trilogy.
The author jumps from scene to scene without explaining how anything happened and it just doesn't add up.

I remember there were two scenes where the main character Chantel is stuck (or was it locked up?) inside the tunnel and then out of nowhere she's outside of it! Tada! No explanation how she got out.

There was another scene where Franklin stayed behind woth the little girls at the castle but then out of
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was really looking forward to this, but it fell flat. There was zero world building, which made the story incredibly hard to follow. It picked up a little bit in the middle, but then the pacing and timing was weird and I never really knew what was going on. Another review called this "forgettable" and I'd have to agree. I'm disappointed. ...more
To celebrate one of my grandsons' eleventh birthday, this book was bought for his school library. Girl power, boy power, the power that comes from doing the right thing even when those things are difficult, and great adventure are all part of this novel.

The first aspect of this novel that will grab a young reader's attention is how people are controlled. Misguided rules and a lack of critical thinking are in place to control people: "Regrettably, the future may not be like the glorious present.
Belles Middle Grade Library
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finished this last night. At 1st I didn’t think I was going to be able to get into it. I think the 1st 2 chapters were just confusing me some, b/c after that I was invested! Lol I loved it after that point. Such a great story! Chantel is a fiesty, strong, & brave main character-deportment or not lol Anything set in a school, I’m here for. This book showed how ladies were supposed to be taught certain manners, edicate, & basically how to be a “proper lady”...all things men didn’t have to learn. ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
The title and beautiful cover made me very excited to read this book, and I can say that I am unfortunately disappointed in it. The premise of the story is good, but I think the author dragged things out, and there wasn't enough action to move the plot along. It took me forever to finish the book. The second half of the book was slow moving and could have picked up the pace just a little bit. The characters weren't interesting, and the snake/dragon didn't fit into the story that much. Overall, i ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was missing something. I can't put my finger on it, but it didn't seem to have that extra oomph that I need for books.

I wasn't a huge fan of the way girls were treated in the book. I also got aggrivated that the adults were so stupid.

It wasn't a bad book just an alright book. I did love the dragon tho.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF @23%
2017; Katherine Teagen Books/HarperCollins

I think this novel was trying to be a Harry Potter book, but the writing style is too simplistic and comes across boring. I will not be reading the remaining of the novel.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
Dominique Valente
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
"Miss Ellicott's school stood like a candle trembling in a dark storm, perched on a steep, twisting street in the peak-built city of Lightning Pass." And so we are introduced to a school for magical maidens, which follows a young girl named Chantel (who a bit like Tiffany Aching from the Wee Free Men series, isn't wholly sure about the name Chantel for a witch).

Chantel is fun, feisty, whip-smart and really witty. However, there were times when it seemed a bit like she was too fabulous and the ot
Diana Ault
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The ending feels a bit tidy, but it’s understandable considering it’s a youth book and, well, it’s the ending. But it had that open sort of feeling, that you know things are going to continue happening. Themes of gender in society and cultural perspectives of “outsiders”. Fantastical and whimsical but rooted in great and important discussion questions. This is the fourth Sage Blackwood book I’ve read (after the Jinx trilogy) and I think it’s safe to say that I really like her style. Good pacing ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, childrens
Oh boy did I enjoy this! Magic and a sassy heroine destined to be a powerful leader and have more magic in her than she'd imagined. I thought this was a great adventure and I think what I liked most (aside from the DRAGON) was when Chantel was feisty and not a "biddable" and meek girl. I thought there were many funny comments and characters and overall this was a terrific story. ...more
Sarah W
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Chantel, the spirited main character in this fantasy story. When the headmistress from her school goes missing and a series of other disappearances occur around the city, Chantel is determined to get answers. She is not going to stay out of the way as she is told.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book checked all my boxes. Magic, POC as the main character, dragons, and learning that the people in charge aren't necessarily suited to the power or looking out for your best interests. I want to just gift this book to all the young girls in my life. ...more
Ashley Ruhl
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had so much potential, but unfortunately it did not live up to it. It had the promise of adventure with a strong female lead, but the writing lacked depth and was just too simplistic for my taste.
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this was a nice read. The main character was quite likable. I enjoyed the adventure they were on. The only thing I didn't like was the snake in the ear and head. I thought that was a little creepy. ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: work-books
Good, but not amazing. I liked Franklin. And Queen Haywith.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun MG fantasy novel. Lightning was the best thing about this story, but I like dragons and stories involving dragons. I also liked the MC, Chantel; she was smart and spunky. I also liked Anna and Franklin. The three of them balanced each other out. I liked and was surprised by the ending. I saw part of it coming from the beginning of the story, but the rest of it was a pleasant surprise.
Sonja P.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-favorites
This is so so delightful and all about girls learning to stand up to the patriarchy and find their inner dragons and I am here for it
Munro's Kids
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I was going to like this one as much as I did, but after the first 50 pages I totally bought into it. This book is a lot of fun, with some very clever turns of phrase and one-liners in it. What really impressed me is how it also tackles timely and important issues that most intermediate novels shy away from.

Chantel is one of many young girls at a school for sorceresses. Instead of learning cool spells, the girls are taught to be "shamefast and biddable" and to curtsy and apologize
Joseph Pecoraro
May 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I won this in a giveaway so I'd like to provide an honest review.

This story is aimed at a young audience so I'll gave it a pass for the dialog and frequent repetition.

The first chapter had me excited by a fun manner of story telling, but it didn't keep up as the story progressed.

The plot seemed to move haphazardly from event to event. Here, there, back here, suddenly there, now over here again. This was something I was not used to and didn't particularly enjoy.

I was dismayed that there was not
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fantasy
I really enjoyed the Jinx trilogy by Sage Blackwood; in fact the first title is on my favorites bookshelf. For some reason, Miss Ellicott did not appeal to me as much or captivate my interest the way Jinx did. Maybe I was just not running on full thrusters this past week, but I had a hard time following the plot as it felt it was sort of all over the place. I couldn't really connect with any of the characters either.

However, there are themes of having courage to stand up for what's right and sac
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got this book from a giveaway.

Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood is a beautiful novel full of dragons, spells, and little girls who speak their mind.

In the novel, dragon-riding heroine Chantel never ceases to amaze me. Although she speaks her mind, Chantel is a great role model. She overcomes obstacles without ever giving up no matter what, or who is in her way.

The story is set in Lightning Pass, a city surrounded by walls. While reading the novel, the reader get
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book just misses for me and now I've read it twice. The first time I felt the word choices, the use of language, was too idiosyncratic. Some readers might love it, many would not. A good librarian would need to make the recommendation.

The second time I read it I felt the story was just a bit off. It could have been wonderful and some aspects were great. But it was hampered by the constant repetition of reminding girls to be quiet and well-behaved or that the elders were not trustworthy... T
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I loved the first book in the Jinx story but did not care for the second so never finished the series. I like Blackwood's humor though so was anxious to start this new title.

I'm only on chapter 3 and I just don't want to continue. Some of her deadpan humor is there, which is a bonus, but I am already weary of the "All the girls in the kingdom are told to be good and compliant but we know that they are really the smart ones not the dumb old men so there!" story line. Maybe if I was 10, it wouldn'
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Miss Ellicotts School for Magically Minded Review 1 1 May 10, 2018 11:13PM  
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17 likes · 2 comments
“It was really difficult to believe you had a right to argue when you were confronted by wise-looking men telling you that you did not.” 4 likes
“Prognosticatory magic is slippery stuff,” Miss Ellicott went on. “It is difficult to see the Will-Be, and even the Ago can be wavery and uncertain.” Chantel was surprised by this, as she had always assumed that once something happened, it was done and was known. Miss Ellicott now told them this was not the case. It all came down to missing information, lost perspectives, and points of view. Points of view are funny things. Miss” 2 likes
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