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The Magic of Melwick Orchard

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  42 reviews
After more moves than they can count, Isa's family finally puts down roots. People in town are afraid of the abandoned orchard behind their home, but Isa and her sister Junie are happy to have acres of land to explore.

But when Junie gets sick, Isa's mom falls into a depression, and medical bills force Isa's dad to work more. No one notices that Isa's clothes are falling ap
Published September 1st 2018 by Carolrhoda Lab
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Rebecca Caprara Thanks for asking :) There are no current plans for a Melwick sequel. HOWEVER I do have an idea brewing for a possible prequel...Stay tuned!

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 ·  91 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Ms. Arca
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great ARC. I can’t believe this is the author’s first MG novel. She has found her spot and I’m so excited that she joined this world— this was beautiful. Clear, with a nice balance of being dynamic and small-town slowness that eased you into feeling like you were really present in this intimate moment of Isa’s life. The messaging was fantastically done without being heavy handed, or on the contrary, too aloof. This is one of those stories where there are conflicts that feel so real and ev ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read an early draft of this book with my kids and we really enjoyed it! So original and heartfelt. The author balances real life struggles (illness, family dynamics & more) with elements of magic in a story full of whimsy and hope. Readers will adore spunky Isa and her beloved tree. To use one of the character’s signature words---this book was PERFECTERRIFIC. Just don't be surprised if your kids start planting funny things in the backyard after reading this!!! ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. The voice, the realness, the magic, the heartbreak, the fear. I loved this story from beginning to end (and that ending!). *hearteyes*
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite middle-grade book of 2018!
Ms. Arca
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great ARC and I can’t believe this isn’t the authors first MG novel. She has found her spot and I’m so excited that she joined this world, This was beautiful. Clear, a nice balance of dynamic and small town slowness that eased you into feeling like you were really there’s in this intimate moment of Isa’s life. The messaging was fantastically done without being heavy handed or on the contrary, too aloof. This is one of those stories where there are conflicts that feel so real and everyone ...more
Danica Hughes
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
#kidlitexchange #partner
Thanks to @kidlitexchange for a copy of The Magic Of Melwick Orchard to review!
After many moves, sisters Isabel and Junie’s family finally settle into a home with an abandoned orchard behind it. Then Junior gets sick and everything changes, their mom falls into depression and their dad is never home, working constantly to try to lay the medical bills. Her parents don’t seem to notice when she hasn’t eaten or when her shoes are too torn up to wear anymore.
Isa often spend
Erin Cashman
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored this charming book! It deals with childhood illness honestly, deftly, and compassionately, without being an "issue book". The writing was beautiful and lyrical, as magical as the tree with its fantastical blossoms. The protagonist, the spunky Isla, is a wonderful character, and what a voice! My heart ached for her and her family, and yet as sad as the story was at times, it was filled with magic, surprises, and plenty of hope. I highly recommend it - it was a pure delight to read from t ...more
Loved this book! THE MAGIC OF MELWICK ORCHARD has it all: humor, playfulness, sadness, fun, completely delightful friend and sister relationships...and magic, of course! Such a great read.
Karen McKenna
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Magic of Melwick Orchard is a beautiful story about family, hope, and being there for the people in your life. After moving for her dad's work too many times, Isabel has decided that the only friend she needs is her 6 year old sister, Junie, but Junie is in the hospital again battling cancer. Isabel's dad is working around the clock to pay medical bills, and her mother is either at the hospital with her sister or sleeping. Invisible Isabel is left to fend for herself. She misses the smell of ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a lovely, whimsical, delightful, book!
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book!!! The Magic of Melwick Orchard is beautifully written and filled with magic! It was fun and enjoyable. Such a great read ✨ I highly recommend it. One of the best books I've read (2018) 🌟
*This review is from an e-ARC from NetGalley.

Sweet, heart-tugging story. It's not often that you read about the effect of cancer on a family from the healthy sister's perspective (only other I can think of is Picoult's My Sister's Keeper), and this one does a beautiful job relaying the complexity of being the invisible child. Plus magic, coming of age, friendship. Just a charming story with characters who are surprisingly well fleshed out.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given an advanced copy of this book by the author, but these opinions are my own and freely given.

The Magic of Melwick Orchard by Rebecca Caprara is posolutely perfecterrific, in Junie-speak! The characters are warm and real, and Caprara tells the story from 12-year-old Isabel’s point of view without talking down to readers. The vocabulary is rich and broad, but not unrealistic, and Junie’s word creations are a silver thread through the whole book. There are so many beautiful quotes, and
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a eARC of this book from the author. My review is my own independent opinion.
This book is a beautifully written, perfect combination of magic and reality. It is story of sister love and being brave enough to accept a new friend.
Twelve year old Isa’s family is falling to pieces while her six year old sister battles cancer. Isa discovers a magic tree and how to open herself up to making a new friend and doing what she can to help her family.
Filled with characters you can cheer for, yo
Erin Varley
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One I will most definitely add to my classroom library. The magic and heart in this book make it a must-buy!
I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What a magical story! I was instantly drawn to the title and cover illustration and was captivated the moment I started reading. This book will be a favorite for those that love reading about magic, family, and friendship. Caprara has a distinct voice in her writing, or at least in this book. I really loved the words that the Junie, Isa, and Kira used and I am definitely adding them to my vocabulary. You can tell this book was we
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, nonfiction
I just finished THE MAGIC OF MELWICK ORCHARD by Rebecca Caprara, and it was such a fun, enjoyable read! Isa is the kind of protagonist I just wanted to scoop up and hug, and Caprara handled the issue of childhood cancer beautifully, without it becoming either "inspiration porn" or a tragedy to foster Isa's growth. And, of course, I loved the magic! If you're a fan of #mglit, keep an eye out for this one this fall!
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO GOOD! It's a playful and creative concept (mysterious orchard, magical tree with fantastical blooms, small town lore, etc), but it also reallly tugs on your heartstrings. I felt for Isa, her family, and her friend Kira so much. It deals with childhood illness, depression and other very real topics with a sensitive but honest touch. Very age appropriate for middle grade readers. I'm re-reading an ARC with my niece now and noticing so many other layers to the story. There is defin ...more
Jarrett Lerner
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‪A brilliantly put together, empathy-building book with the perfect balance of lyrical beauty, down-to-earth reality, humor, heart, magic, and hope.‬
Samantha Clark
A wonderful, heartfelt tale of family, wishing, friendship and finding yourself. Rebecca Caprara writes beautifully, and I look forward to more from her.
Stef Wade
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful, hopeful, magical, yet all too real story of what life throws at us and how our attitudes affect change. I’ll be recommending this for many young and adult readers!
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received an ARC from the #KidLitExchange is exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Magic of Melwick Orchard is an unusual book featuring magical realism and a family in need. Isa's family has moved many times for her father's work. They finally attempt to lay down roots when her younger sister, Junie, is diagnosed with cancer. As her parents spend more time worrying about June, Isa feels herself growing invisible. This invisibility is illustrated at the beginning of the bo
Ms. Yingling
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Isa's family has moved around a lot because her father's job transfers him, so she's glad that there latest move seems to be lasting a bit longer. She enjoys living near an old orchard, and even manages to make a friend in neighbor Kira. Luckily, Kira is very understanding, because Isa is having a difficult time. Her young sister Junie has a cancerous tumor and has been hospitalized for a long time. Her father is working long hours to pay the bills, and her mother just c
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Rebecca Caprara, Carolrhoda Books, and Netgalley for the advance Kindle copy of this 9/1 release. All opinions are my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for the sweet middle grades story about family, friendship, and finding courage to face the hard stuff. Isa’a six-year-old sister is in the hospital digging cancer. While Isa knows that she needs to just make things easy on her parents, she feels invisible at home. Her family has also moved around a lot, so Isa isn’t trying to make friends at school;
Kristin Crouch
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A forever home, after many moves, and it's on an apple orchard! Well, the trees haven't born fruit in a long time, but still, any permanent home for Isabel is good enough. Soon after the move, Isabel's younger sister is diagnosed with cancer. Her father is always working, and her mother doesn't get out of bed unless she's headed to the hospital.
With Isabel left to her own devices, she stumbles upon a magic tree - one that she hopes can solve some of the dire problems her family is facing.
The M
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so happy that I finally was able to read this book! My students had been raving about it all year which kept it floating through the classroom. I had to steal it away for the summer break!

The story follows the main character, Isa. Her family moves frequently due to her father's job, and she has decided that the heartache of leaving friends is no longer worth it. From now on her only friend will be her sister, Junie, because she will never leave her. Then Junie becomes terribly sick and the
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Since her family moves so often, Isabel decided she didn't need any friends but her sweet, silly sister Junie. Then Junie got cancer and her world fell apart. With her parents too exhausted to look after her and no friends to hang out with, Isabel gravitates toward the barren apple orchard in her backyard. There she finds a curious seedling that somehow responds to her emotions and needs, taking in what she gives it and magically producing exactly what she requires. Isabel fights to save her fam ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was given an Arc if this book for an honest review. The book is magical realism at its finest. Isa is dealing with a sister that is ill and parents that are distracted. She feels invisible to her family and the world. One day she sees a squirrel that leads her to a chance seedling in her dead apple orchard. Suddenly a new magical tree is growing and it may just change Isa’s life. This story is full of hope. As an elementary school librarian I plan to purchase this book I have several students ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an amazing book! Isa's tale is lovely, at times heartbreaking, with a perfect blend of the hardships of real life and the magic of hope and possibility (and the magic of, um, *magic*!!!). I love all the mistakes Isa makes, the friendship she struggles to accept, and the family she loves with all her heart. I already can't wait to get out to an orchard and breathe in that crisp, appley air after reading this!
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Twelve year old Isa is feeling invisible and neglected as her parents focus all of their energy on her 6 year old sister Junie, who is in the hospital receiving treatment for cancer. When she finds that a magical tree grows in the orchard behind her house, she keeps it a secret until an unexpected friend arrives. The story is touching and tells the story of a sibling of a child with cancer. I think this book does a good job of portraying that as well as including some fun magical realism.
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Rebecca Caprara is a children's book author and illustrator.
Her debut middle grade novel, THE MAGIC OF MELWICK ORCHARD, will be published in September 2018 by Carolrhoda Books, an imprint of the Lerner Publishing Group.

Rebecca graduated from Cornell University and practiced architecture for several years, before shifting her focus from bricks to books.

An avid globetrotter, she has traveled to

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