|Mischief season : a Twins story (Witches of Benevento)|
Author: Marciano, John Bemelmans
[Book 1] In an ancient town famous for its witches, the Janara are causing trouble with their nightly mischief, and it is up to the Twins and their friends to find a way to stop them.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 183372
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/16)
School Library Journal (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 2–4—In this, the first of a planned four-book collaboration between Marciano and Blackall, readers are introduced to Benevento, an ancient Italian town known for its witches. These aren't your run-of-the-mill witches; rather, they are spirits, fairies, ghosts, and demons, and lesser-known varieties including Manalonga, Clopper, and Janara. It is the Janara witches who come to Benevento, and they are impossible to spot because they can be anyone (even a neighbor or a relative). They transform at night by rubbing magical oil on themselves, which gives them powers including flight and weather transformation. Most of all, though, the Janara are mischief-makers, causing mayhem wherever they go. Five cousins, Primo, Emilio, Rosa, Maria Beppina, and Sergio, are hot on the trail of the Janara after Rosa is framed for masses of wicked mischief including the barn roof being torn off and all of the hay being tossed out of the barn. Twins Rosa and Emilio enlist the help of their cousins, and visit ornery fortune-teller and healer Zia Pia in hopes of finding a solution to their Janara puzzle. Blackall's distinctive illustrations are a charming blend of expressive drawings complemented with shades of blue. Marciano ends the story with a mysterious plot twist begging to be solved. VERDICT Magical spells and amusing characters with distinctive personalities, coupled with an engaging story with a twist, will captivate readers and leave them clamoring for future stories centered on the other cousins.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2016 In Benevento, Italy, there are witches, but not the kind you might be used to. In this episodic starter to the Witches of Benevento series, Marciano tells tales of oddball spirits and mischief-makers based on Italian folklore. Something is wreaking havoc every night at Emilio and Rosa’s farm. Their father is furious that food is disappearing, tools are left out in the rain, and someone left hay all over the barn. It would be easy to blame the twins, especially lazy Rosa, but it’s the mischief season, which means the Janara are causing way more trouble than usual. Will the fortune-teller Zia Pia help them keep their farm safe? In this first of four novels about Benevento, Marciano builds a charming environment of magic and trickery using a pleasantly old-fashioned tone to tell gently scary stories of witches and spirits. Blackall’s beautiful two-color illustrations, in shades of gray and blue, adorn almost every page and contribute significantly to the antique look of the whole package. This refreshingly unusual tale will appeal to kids in love with fairy tales. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.