From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–Bruce Coville returns to Mr. Elives' Magic Shop in this story of Juliet Dove, a shy middle school girl who suddenly finds herself the center of attention (Harcourt, 2003). While running away from some teasing girls, Juliet stumbles on the moveable magic shop, but instead of Mr. Elives, a mysterious woman is minding the shop. The woman, who turns out to be Eris, goddess of discord, offers Juliet a necklace and the trouble begins. Lovesick boys start fighting over her and camping out on her front lawn, mysterious women show up in the garden, and two talking rats appear to help her solve the mystery of the amulet. Juliet can't talk to anyone about the amulet and can't take it off. This full cast recording of the most recent title in the Magic Shop series features Coville as the narrator and 24 actors taking 29 roles. The voices are distinctive and well acted, from the children to the gods, bringing all the characters to life. Although humor abounds, the story also deals with important topics such as self-image and how we treat others. This tale of magic, myth, and personal development will hold the attention of upper elementary and middle school students.–Suzanne Libra, Huron Middle School, Northglenn, CO
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Gr. 4-8. What could be worse for a shy middle-school girl than to be under a love spell? When Juliet runs off after hurling vicious insults at a girl who's teasing her, she finds herself in Mr. Elives' mysterious magic shop, where a strange woman presses her to take an amulet to wear around her neck. Over the next few days, Juliet starts attracting boys by the dozens. By the time she realizes the amulet is somehow responsible, she can't take it off. Two talking rats appear to help her out of her jam, and as the impossibilities pile up, she discovers that she's caught up in a story-- not just any story, but the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. The love god himself is trapped in the amulet, and Juliet needs to find the way to release him before the chaos gets out of hand. Coville's easy style works well in a tale that has it's share of both humor and heartache. Fans of the Magic Shop series will enjoy this latest installment. Louise Brueggeman
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