Michelle Harrison: A Storm of Sisters (Simon &Schuster 2022)
Michelle Harrison was born in Essex and spent her childhood there. She loved to invent stories from a very young age, and she began writing her first book (The Thirteen Treasures: the first Volume of the trilogy) during her first year at the university, but she took it more seriously only after graduation. After many rejections, it was finally published in 2009 and won the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
The author also worked at a bar, art gallery and children’s book publisher before becoming a full-time writer. In addition to The Thirteen Treasures and Pinch of Magic series, another middle grade novel (The Other Alice) and a series for younger readers (Midnight Magic) in addition to a young adult book (Unrest) are also available.
The word Widdershins means to go counterclockwise or in the wrong direction. Nothing could better characterize the three sisters in the book, since misfortune haunts them. However, the girls can always get away from it and overcome the difficulties that stand in front of them. The author herself has two sisters, so the dynamics between the siblings seem very real. The first volume was published in English in 2019 and a year later it was available in Hungarian. One important characteristic of the series is that the episodes can be read separately, it is not necessary to go in order. I liked the first two volumes so much in Hungarian that I couldn’t wait to the others and I read the third and fourth in English.
In the first volume, we get to know the girls, their magical heritage, and the curse that afflicts them. The second story is a dangerous adventure full of pirates. In the third, witches lurk around and hunt the townspeople. And in the fourth part, the girls need to unravel a ghost story. In this series, in addition to curses and magical objects, the importance of the family plays the main role. I highly recommend it to everyone!
To learn more about the series, visit the writer’s website: https://www.michelleharrisonbooks.com/.
I made a mini interview with the author, please check it out below:
Boglárka Döncző: Why do you like writing middle grade novels?
Michelle Harrison: I enjoy writing middle grade novels as much as writing books for any other age group. There are certain restrictions when writing for children, but with middle grade there is more scope when it comes to the subject. Children of this age can handle more complex ideas and are usually still at an age where they haven’t become cynical and stopped believing in magic!
Boglárka Döncző: Will there be more books in the Pinch of Magic series?
Michelle Harrison: I very much hope there will be more stories in the Pinch of Magic series. I’m currently discussing a couple of ideas about what to write next with my publisher, but I don’t want this to be the end for the Widdershins sisters.