Books by Anna Dale

Released: July 19, 2011

"Blimey, no Harry Potter competition here, just a light encounter with British humor no amount of American vocabulary can disguise. (Magical adventure. 8-11)"
What happens when magic goes berserk? Read full book review >
SPELLBOUND  by Anna Dale
Released: July 1, 2008

In the Enright family, Athene and Zach are as opposite in every way as the letters of their names. Zach is sunny, finding ways to be happy, while dour Athene hasn't quit resenting his birth. When the family takes a vacation to rural England, Athene happens upon a curious creature who calls himself a "Gloam," a gnome-like creature who inhabits the night. Athene is thrilled with her adventure until Zach trails along one evening. In a fit of pique, she decides to send him into the tree inhabited by the Low Gloam, an evil, nasty bunch that holds new arrivals in magical, eternal thrall. An unbelievable personality change transforms the unlikable Athene, who decides to rescue her lost brother from an underground world described as both fascinating and miserable. Athene assembles a cadre of helpers to break the spell, as the plot hurtles forward in a manner equally logical and improbable by turns. Breaking the spell requires both work and cleverness in the classical fantasy tradition without much else to make it stand out. (Fantasy. 9-12) Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

Eleven-year-old Dawn Buckle, with her nondescript appearance and mushroom-colored knee socks, is constantly ignored and overlooked—even by her own parents. This natural knack for invisibility, while personally frustrating, pays off when Dawn is recruited by an English spy-busting organization known as P.S.S.T. (Pursuit of Scheming Spies and Traitors), a division of S.H.H. (Strictly Hush-Hush). Dawn's assigned mission is to go undercover as Kitty Wilson, infiltrating an Essex village in pursuit of the missing Angela Bradshaw, a spy at P.S.S.T. for 40 years who may have been captured by the villainous traitor Murdo Meek. While genuine danger looms, silliness trumps all in this giddy novel, complete with torturing turtles, secret staircases, magpie messengers and a school of red herrings. Readers will not care so much about the dizzying dénouement as revel in the details of the hunt and the tools of the trade (like a shell-shaped telephone and disappearing purple ink). Amid the madcap spy antics is the story of a once-invisible girl who happily loses her knack for going unnoticed. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 11, 2004

Joe Binks is not born a witch, but the "insignificant schoolboy" manages to end up in a coven anyway. It's his father's fault, really, for sending him off at the last minute to his mother's house for Christmas. On the unpleasantly eventful train trip from London to Canterbury, Joe finds himself embroiled in a treacherous plot involving a glamorous, crimson-lipped woman with a basket of glowing-eyed creatures and with a mysterious viper doodled on his suitcase. Add a terrifying ride through the countryside on a large orange bewitched tricycle, a headlong plunge into the aforementioned coven, a blossoming friendship with a young witch-in-training named Twiggy, and the troubling mystery of the missing, potentially-perilous-if-located page 513 in the revered witch manual Mabel's Book, and the ingredients for an action adventure are complete. Plenty of potions (Lingo Liquorice for talking to animals!) and plot twists keep the story buoyant, and abundant acts of selfless bravery contribute a sweet, uplifting quality that distinguishes this lightning-quick broomstick ride, British-style. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >