Children’s Book Review: Betwixters

Betwixters: Once Upon a Time, by Laura C. Cantu, is a fantasy for middle-grade readers with plenty of adventure and humor. It also has an anti-bullying message, which in itself makes it a worthy read for middle schoolers, who may recognize themselves in one of the characters or situations. What fantasy readers will love about this story is that it has so many elements that are appealing: a mysterious, forbidden Dark Wood, a Precarious Portal, and kingdoms with myriads of magical creatures.

One magical creature, a faerie named Neevya, finds herself plunged through a portal into the human world, where she meets protagonist Noah and his friends Ethan and Skye. After being chased into the forbidden Dark Wood by Grucker, the school bully, this trio of friends rescue Neevya from a trap that has been placed in the Wood by a mysterious old man. The friends decide to take Neevya home with them, and of course this leads to some unexpected and funny moments – as well as more adventure. The chapters are cleverly titled, fast-paced and entertaining, with more light than dark in them. By the story’s end, the friends have had a whirlwind of adventures, but their journey isn’t finished – and the author sets up the beginning of a sequel that is sure to come.

For any middle-schooler, as well as lovers of fantasy, Betwixters has all the classic fantasy elements to entertain and keep young readers reading. It also contains diverse characters and an important message about standing up for yourself against bullies, with help from your friends. For these reasons, and the fact that kids will be drawn to a magical adventure, it is a book that should earn a place on many middle school library shelves.

*I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

https://www.netgalley.com/book/109894/review/424591

Review also posted on Goodreads

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2097520588

Thank you for visiting Space to Dream! Have a magical day. -Stacie

Stacie Eirich is a writer as well as an avid reader & book reviewer. She holds a Masters Degree in English Studies from Illinois State University. She has published four books of poetry and a children’s novel: Tiger Kingdom & The Book of Destiny. She lives north of New Orleans, and is currently writing her second children’s novel.

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