Children's Book of the Month: Spellchasers: The Beginner's Guide to Curses
Book: Spellchasers: The Beginner’s Guide to Curses by Lari Don | Age category: 8-11 years
Molly Drummond’s read all about magical creatures, curses and witches, but she’s always thought it was just make-believe, until she goes to stay with her aunt for the October holidays. Within a few days, she’s been turned into a hare and enrolled in a curse-lifting workshop full of magical creatures - it’s all quite a lot to take in!
Molly gets stuck into the classes, but it turns out that lifting her curse isn’t going to be quite as straightforward as normal school lessons. Molly and her classmates will need to work together on a series of challenges and riddles if they want to lift their curses in time.
Lari Don combines creatures from traditional myths with a modern-day adventure story in this exciting quest for young readers. It’s the first in her new Spellchasers trilogy – so there will be more adventures to come for Molly in future books too!
We have 5 copies of Spellchasers: The Beginner’s Guide to Curses to be won! To be in with a chance of winning one, just answer this question:
What animal is Molly cursed to turn into?
Send you answer to Sarah Mallon at firstname.lastname@example.org . The competition closes on Wednesday 30 November at 5pm.
Q&A with Lari Don
Where did you get the idea for Spellchasers: The Beginner’s Guide to Curses?
The initial idea came when I was doing final edits on one of my previous novels, Storm Singing. A mermaid character had a throwaway line about the right and wrong way to lift a curse, and I thought – ooh, are there rules about lifting curses? I wondered if that might make a story, so I scribbled it down and forgot about it. A year later I found the note again, and thought - ooh, what if you could learn those rules on a curse-lifting workshop? And I scribbled that down too. Then a year after that (ideas take a while...) I was playing with images for a winter story, and I started to write about a hare running across snow. And I knew, as I typed the scene, that the running hare was a girl, trapped in a hare’s body. So that was the moment I know who I was going to send on a curse-lifting workshop. That was the moment I met Molly, and that was the moment I started writing the Spellchasers trilogy.
What was your favourite story when you were younger?
My favourite book was (and still is) Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones. It’s a fabulous, exciting, sometimes dark adventure about the different peoples and magic hidden in and under one English moor, and it allowed me to imagine that there might be magic and fabled beasts hidden just out of sight in the fields and hills around my house in Speyside. I loved the story when I was young, and that feeling of magic just out of sight is what inspires most of what I write now!
What tips would you give to aspiring young writers?
Read lots, write for fun, get outside and have adventures, and be very curious about the world.
Don’t forget to enter our competition to win a copy of Spellchasers: The Beginner’s Guide to Curses!