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The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle
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The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  307 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
All Prunella wants is to be a proper bog-witch. Unfortunately, her curses tend to do more good than harm. When her mixed-up magic allows a sneaky thief to escape her grandmother's garden, Prunella is cast out until she can prove herself.

It's hard enough being exiled to the unmagical Uplands, but traveling with the smug young thief Barnaby is even worse. He's determined to
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
A really great book for young readers. I think that if I read this book when I was a kid (or read to me) I might've gotten into reading earlier. A story like Prunella's I probably would’ve read over and over again. I might’ve reenacted Prunella’s world, cast spells on my sisters, and pretend I had a pet alligator. Or maybe I would just like the book and read it often. But in any case I think this would be a fantastic read for young readers.

However, don’t assume this book is a traditional fantas
Cloie Rainilla
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure
A cute story that would have been more loved if I was younger. Although I really liked how the characters talked and the inclusion of bog-witches.

3.5 Stars
It was cute enough, thought there was nothing terribly engaging. Nothing serious though either.

The atmosphere was very "The Princess and the Frog" Disney movie. Down in the bayous and bogs of a magical Louisiana is what it felt like to me.

The characters, Prunella and Barnaby, were nothing special. They weren't quite cookie-cutter but on the verge.

The plot was rather blah till around page 200 and then we got some background as to the chalice and the grimoire. That made me very happy. That was the
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
A witty fantasy romp with delightful and lively characters, Prunella Bogthistle felt like it was over too soon not because the plot could have gone on longer (though I suppose any plot could) but because I was reluctant to turn to the last page and say goodbye to them. While there’s no true need for a sequel I live in quiet hope one might appear someday so I can see more of Prunella and Barnaby and what they do next.

This one is a good book to read to children or with children, or just to read fo
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a great romp. The story is a tale of coming of age, adventures, and magic, and both main characters are fascinating. There are a number of unexpected twists in the plot that will keep the reader guessing, and the story moves a pretty good pace. Fans of fantasy will enjoy the book. It gets three out of four stars.
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Poor Prunella is not a proper bog witch at all! She doesn't have any warts and her curses don't work. When Barnaby shows up in their garden, her whole world turns upside-down and they set off on an impossible quest. Prunella discovers some things about herself, and others, that she never thought possible. Love this unique tale. Recommended for students in 4th & 5th, maybe 3rd.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
You know, at first I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but the book really grew on me the further I got into the story. I'm not a huge fan of witches and magic spells, so I didn't particularly care for that part, but I love the plot and the characters. Plus the book has a happy ending.
This was a cute story that reminded me of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. There is an endearing teamwork between Prunella and Barnaby and the theme of discovering yourself. I also thought the concept of power mad rulers who put on a kind face was appropriate.
Karen Pulice
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
a really good tale of a girl learning to listen to and follow her own dreams and goals rather than having others determine your life
Sep 02, 2011 marked it as to-read
My nephew just read and loved this - I am coaxing my sister to let him join Goodreads but she wants him to focus on 3rd grade (spoilsport).
Chanel Earl
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
There were some rough patches in the middle, but this turned out to be a fun read. It was incredibly creative and had unexpected twists and turns, a few of which were perfect.
Miss Amanda
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-gr-4-6
gr 4-6 263pgs

Prunella wishes she could prove that she is a true bog witch just like all her other relations. But however hard she tries, her curses don't turn out right. When she curses a nearby village by raining dragon spoor on it, she accidentally causes them to have the best harvest in years. And when a boy wanders into her grandmother's garden, she can't bear to curse him, so she saves him instead. Sent away by her grandmother, she teams up with the human boy Barnaby on a quest to find her
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bog witch and a thief go in search of a Chalice that might have something to do with the loss of magic in the land. Good plot and interesting characters. I thought the ending could have been a little more interesting and maybe gone back to some of the places they passed thru to show what happened to the people there...unless it was left that way for a sequel?
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
The adventures of a girl who has been raised her whole life to be a wicked witch but just isn't good at it. Lots of magic and mystery. I liked it.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook-portland
A fun quick read of a big witch who wants to be bad, but has a heart of gold.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a beauiful cover and fits the story perfectly. The artist behind it is Bradon Dorman. I love seeing a kid of color on a middle grade novel. I believe Prunella, mentions her brown skin once. This lone mention makes me appreciate the cover even more, the publishers Henry Holt could have easily pretended they didn't see

"Just the same clear brown skin and snub nose I'd always had. Blast it!."

Instead, they embraced and reinforced it with the cover. So much kudos to Henry Holt.

Prunella Bogthi
Melissa Dwyer
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
G+ Originally reviewed by Melissa Dwyer
This book was great. It was silly, it had action and adventure, and it had friendship. It had just the right mixture to make for a read that the students will love.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Prunella Bogthistle may have the name and chicken-foot-festooned braids of a bog-witch, but she can't cast curses or grow warts. To prove her witchy worth, she goes on a quest to find her infamous ancestor's long-lost grimoire, joining forces with Barnaby, a foppish U
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like fairy tales, magic, adventure, middle school students
An absolutely charming book that blends friendship, magic and adventure. Prunella Bothistle is a witch you will be cheering for (just don't cheer too late because a proper bog witch does not like praise!)

My only minor quibbles with this book concern the lack of information about Prunella's family. Why was she living with her grandmother? What happened to her parents? I was really curious and I hoped it would be revealed later on, but it's not. I also wanted to know more about Prunella's grandmot
May 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I know the author of this charming book. But I'm also working hard to be objective. Just so you know.

Prunella Bogthistle is an inept bog-witch who can't even charm a wart onto her face. She does, however, catch a young thief in her grandmother's garden. Mischances and problems ensue, and the two of them end up having a host of scary adventures and meeting up with some unlikely heroes and villains. It's a whooshing ride of a book, with plot twists in plenty.

I love Prunella. When the
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for

Prunella wants to be a proper bog-witch, but her curses end up helping instead of harming.

Her inability to curse allows a thief, Barnaby, to escape from her grandmother's garden and gets Prunella banished until she can do a proper curse.

Barnaby is on a quest to gain fame and fortune by finding the Mirable Chalice and returning it to the queen. Now, Prunella must team up with the very thief who got her kicked out of her bog if she hopes to prove hers
Shanshad Whelan
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
Delightful. A romp of a story where no one is quite what they seem and our protagonists discover that who they think they are may not be the truth of who they really are growing up to be. Plenty of magical mayhem, conflicts of goals and coming of age themes are explored as we follow Prunella on her journey.

I was surprised at how well this story played out without becoming cliche, or being entirely predictable. Not only well told but with enough surprises of character and outcomes that it kept ev
On the surface, this is your typical boy-meets-girl, adventure-quest-type of book. But the subjects here go a little deeper than that. Boy and girl are from different parts of the world and happy to be in their own settled niches. But as with any decent adventure story, something happens to jolt both of them out of their lives and send them a-questing.

Mr. Fagan shows that his hero and heroine aren’t quite so contented in their lives as they’d have each other believe. Their predicaments are belie
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a really cute MG/younger YA novel about Prunella Bogthistle, a bog-witch who just can't seem to get her curses to work correctly, and Barnaby Bagby, a thief trying to make good. I found the story a tiny bit uneven in places, and you definitely get whacked on the head with the moral(s) of the story at the end (it's important to get both sides of a story, because the story you know may not be the true story; it's important to be true to yourself and not do things just because others expec ...more
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Prunella is a plucky sort of witch and Barnaby a Gilderoy Lockheart in training. Still they make a fine pair as they try to save their homeland from “the waste” some force that is stealing all enchantments from the land. It was a good message about magic coming from within and not judging people based on their looks or what people like them have done before. Prunella’s desire for her grandmother’s love is pointed out a lot, which gets a bit tiresome. I did like how the person they were so afraid ...more
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I happened upon this book on the new books display at the library while picking out some books for my son. The cover caught my eye. I had never read anything by Deva Fagan before (this is her second book), but it sounded like a book I would like. I was right. I really enjoyed it. It's definately a book geared towards younger kids (it was in the juvenile section). It's a book about magic, adventure, friendship, self discovery, and acceptance. I highly recommend this book! I'll be reading her firs ...more
Nov 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile
Prunella really wants to be a bog witch, just like her many relations. But her spells leave something to be desired. They lack a certain fierceness, for example. What's more, her grandmother kicked her out of the bog.

Her partner in adventures is the smooth-talking, admiration seeking, dapper young thief named Barnaby. Together they have a job to do: recover the Mirable Chalice and (possibly) redeem their reputations...such as they are.

Quick read, fun. I liked how the Prunella's perspective matu
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Cute story, likeable characters, a bunch of interesting ideas. Too much showing and not telling in terms of the world-building, supposedly because the author didn't want to bog things down with exposition, but.... Give me a whole bestiary's-worth amount of explanation on all the creatures in the book! I also would've really liked a map of the place, like some fantasy novels do.

I also liked that the world was like some sort of fantasy-Louisiana/Southern US, since so many fantasies autom
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Prunella was truly excellent. This had all the great elements I loved from Fagan's first book - excellent characters, fun plot twists, moral dilemmas and lessons to be learned. But I enjoyed this one even more than Fortune's Folly. There's something about our pair of unlikely heroes staggering their way through adventure after adventure that really warmed my heart and made me want more. I'm greatly looking forward to her 3rd book!
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-a-sequel
Prunella Bogthistle, HOW OLD ARE YOU?!?

EDIT 10/8/11:
I added a star to my review, because looking at the cover that I have as one of my circulating desktop pictures, I remembered how much I really liked a lot of the elements in this book. And reading other reviews made me realize that I loved the fantasy setting and all the silly, fun creatures. And that I loved the silly, fun characters.

So I'm adding a star. And I'm bumping it up to my wish-i-owned shelf until I own it.
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had cornbread with dinner last night, because of this book. It made me hungry, not only for fried bread, molasses pie, and hot-leaf tea, but for star-shaped buttons, light-dells, and mossy riverbanks.

It was great fun watching Prunella's prickles bump into Barnaby's foppery, as the two set off on their quest through the Uplands. And it was even more satisfying to follow Prunella as she slowly and stubbornly came into her own.
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I’m Deva Fagan, a writer of fantasy and science fiction for teens and tweens.

A few things I love: astronomy, tea, Dr Who, owls, fiddles, walks in the woods, bright blue flowers.

NOTE: My comments on books I've read are not meant to be critical reviews, but are just my own reactions. I don't generally use stars, but I do occasionally mark a book with five stars if it's one that feels like it will be
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“Our words were a shaky ladder; all I could do was climb, uncertain if I was about to surmount a glorious peak or fall and smash myself on the rocks below.” 1 likes
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