Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Fairy Tale Reform School returns with Charmed!

charmedFairy Tale Reform School: Charmed, by Jen Calonita (March 2016, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), $15.99, ISBN: 9781492604044

Recommended for ages 8-12

Gilly and her Fairy Tale Reform School friends are back in a new adventure! When we last left Gilly, she had faced down the evil threat facing the school and is kind of a hero now. This has been great for her father, whose glass slipper business is doing better than ever, allowing her family to live a little more easily. Still, things at FTRS have a way of going haywire: headed by Princess Briar Rose – Sleeping Beauty – herself, the mean girl group, the Royal Ladies in Waiting, are trying to recruit Gilly and turn her into a pink-wearing, royal-loving, wannabe; and Rose is heading up the effort. The notorious pirate Blackbeard is the newest professor at the school, and his teaching methods are a bit unorthodox. Oh, and there’s a mole in the school that may be assisting Alva, the evil fairy who was behind all that fuss last time. It falls to Gilly and friends to find the mole, if she can keep her friends talking to her, keep her family safe, and stay alive long enough to find out who it is!

Charmed is more of the storytelling that made Flunked such a fun read. Gilly’s trying to cope with her newfound fame, continue being true to who she is, and help keep everyone she cares for safe. There are new challenges thrown at her; she’s got to stop taking the world on her shoulders and accept some help from her friends this time. There’s a little more intrigue this time out, making for a juicy subplot, an old rivalry that will keep you on your toes, and an ending that leaves me hopeful for more. The police blotter from Flunked has given way to the Happily Ever After Scrolls (newspaper updates) and letters via the Pegasus Postal Service, both of which offer humorous news updates that enhance the plots and give us some extra details that Gilly – our narrator – couldn’t know.

A fun addition to your fractured fairy tale fiction section, and an equally fun booktalk. I talked this book up to my tweens when I brought copies of Flunked into my library, and I haven’t seen my copies since. Once my copies of Charmed come in, I’ll revisit my Flunked activity kit and get the kids creating their own fairy tales!



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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