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The Mystwick School of Musicraft

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Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series. Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series. Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her audition, she thinks her dream has met an abrupt and humiliating end—until the school agrees to give her a trial period. Amelia is determined to prove herself, vowing to do whatever it takes to become the perfect musician. Even if it means pretending to be someone she isn’t. Meanwhile, a mysterious storm is brewing that no one, not even the maestros at Mystwick, is prepared to contain. Can Amelia find the courage to be true to herself in time to save her beloved school from certain destruction?


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Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series. Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series. Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her audition, she thinks her dream has met an abrupt and humiliating end—until the school agrees to give her a trial period. Amelia is determined to prove herself, vowing to do whatever it takes to become the perfect musician. Even if it means pretending to be someone she isn’t. Meanwhile, a mysterious storm is brewing that no one, not even the maestros at Mystwick, is prepared to contain. Can Amelia find the courage to be true to herself in time to save her beloved school from certain destruction?

30 review for The Mystwick School of Musicraft

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trine

    I can't really say why I loved this story so much. It was by no means perfect, it did had its flaws, such as the messages about being true to yourself was hammered fairly heavy into your head, but still. Perhaps it was the audio version with its brilliant incoorporation of background music that made the experience of music and magic extra poignant. I kept listening whenever I had a free moment to hear which wonderful piece of music I would be treated to next. I can't really say why I loved this story so much. It was by no means perfect, it did had its flaws, such as the messages about being true to yourself was hammered fairly heavy into your head, but still. Perhaps it was the audio version with its brilliant incoorporation of background music that made the experience of music and magic extra poignant. I kept listening whenever I had a free moment to hear which wonderful piece of music I would be treated to next.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Harry Potter with musical instruments? The premise got me, a Harry Potter fan with 10+ years of music lessons under my belt, pretty flipping excited. My instrument of choice was even the flute (and by the way, major props to the cover artiste for drawing the girl holding the flute with correct positioning of the hands). I don't usually go for middle grade novels, but as a flute player with a fondness for magical schools, it seemed like a Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Harry Potter with musical instruments? The premise got me, a Harry Potter fan with 10+ years of music lessons under my belt, pretty flipping excited. My instrument of choice was even the flute (and by the way, major props to the cover artiste for drawing the girl holding the flute with correct positioning of the hands). I don't usually go for middle grade novels, but as a flute player with a fondness for magical schools, it seemed like a win. Amelia Jones is an effective orphan who lives with her grandmother. Her one wish is to go the prestigious magical musical school called Mystwick, the best in the world. Unfortunately, Amelia is a pretty mediocre musician and knows it, but in the eternal optimism of kids everywhere, that doesn't stop her from auditioning. Surprise, surprise, it flops, and Amelia is broken-hearted. Surprise, surprise, she gets into the school anyway (I don't think that's a spoiler; just take a look at the title and cover, you so know that the girl gets in). Unfortunately, it turns out that her admittance was kind of a mistake and even though she's already got a friend, her roommate completely resents her presence and is all kinds of hoping that she'll flunk out. Throw in some hauntings, school hazing, and high stakes competitions, and you would expect to have something pretty awesome. Unfortunately, THE MYSTWICK SCHOOL OF MUSICRAFT ended up being a miss for me. Maybe if I was younger, I would have liked it more. But I think the hallmark of a good middle grade novel is one whose subject matter and character development is mature enough that it appeals to older audiences. MYSTWICK didn't really transcend its target audience of the 9-12 set. There were a couple really good twists in here and I liked the premise, but the actual execution left a lot to be desired, and the characters didn't really have all that much depth. I wish that they'd been fleshed out more. Maybe that would have kept Amelia from feeling like such a blatant Mary Sue. I'm sorry to say that I can't really recommend this as an adult for either adult or YA readers, but young girls may like it. Definitely err on the younger side of the middle grade sliding scale, though. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!       2 to 2.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Amelia dreams of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft but after a calamitous audition her hopes are crushed. But all is not lost. Through a freak of fate she finds herself accepted although her room-mate despises her, her teacher knows she doesn't belong and even the ghosts want her out. The Mystwick School of Musicraft is not perfect, far from it. Apart from the central idea, which is the reason I bought the book, it's heavy in tropes and honestly in parts it borders on annoying. The good Amelia dreams of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft but after a calamitous audition her hopes are crushed. But all is not lost. Through a freak of fate she finds herself accepted although her room-mate despises her, her teacher knows she doesn't belong and even the ghosts want her out. The Mystwick School of Musicraft is not perfect, far from it. Apart from the central idea, which is the reason I bought the book, it's heavy in tropes and honestly in parts it borders on annoying. The good in the book is really good but it lacks direction. It's entertaining but I can't help but think a really good editor would have made this book great.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Hello, Harry Potter fans..........this is the book for you! Strangely enough as I started to read this book I was concerned that it was too similar to that famous book, but I was wrong! This gem features a lot of fantasy elements about a school for mystical musicians. Being a music teacher myself, I really enjoyed this aspect of it and noticed that the author wrote with such accurate details. She must be a music teacher (or at least a musician) herself. I found that I couldn't put this book down Hello, Harry Potter fans..........this is the book for you! Strangely enough as I started to read this book I was concerned that it was too similar to that famous book, but I was wrong! This gem features a lot of fantasy elements about a school for mystical musicians. Being a music teacher myself, I really enjoyed this aspect of it and noticed that the author wrote with such accurate details. She must be a music teacher (or at least a musician) herself. I found that I couldn't put this book down and had to finish to learn how it all ended. It is fine as a stand along book but begs to be a series.. My fifth ELA class would love this book and I plan to use it once it is out in print. Thank you to Netgalley for the free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy Reads

    This is a fun book about music, magic and believing in yourself. Yes, it has quite a lot of tropes but there is also twists that give it a fresh and unique feeling.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Narilka

    Sometimes you find a gem with the monthly free titles from Audible. The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury is one of these gems. I went in expecting a musical Harry Potter and got so much more. The story is absolutely charming, told with a lot of heart and has a strong message about believing in yourself. Here's the official blurb: Amelia Jones has always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create musical magic. Un Sometimes you find a gem with the monthly free titles from Audible. The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury is one of these gems. I went in expecting a musical Harry Potter and got so much more. The story is absolutely charming, told with a lot of heart and has a strong message about believing in yourself. Here's the official blurb: Amelia Jones has always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create musical magic. Unfortunately, Amelia botches her audition and her dream comes crashing down—until the school agrees to give her a second chance. Amelia vows to do whatever it takes to make her dream come true. Initially it was hard not make Harry Potter comparisons. Thankfully Mystwick is vastly different from Hogwarts so my brain was able to stop comparing them fairly early on and I was able to absorb myself into this magical, musical world. Amelia is highly likeable and relatable. Her aspiration to attend Mystwick as a way to connect with her late mother definitely tugs at the heartstrings. She also has some growing to do, as both a musician and a person, and I think people of all ages will be able to identify with Amelia's feelings of inadequacy and self doubt as she learns to believe in herself. There is a fun cast of supporting characters, especially Jai Kapoor, with plenty of entertaining magical hi-jinks and mischief for the kids to get into. I listened to the audio book narrated by Suzy Jackson and with musical performances by the NJSO Youth Orchestra. The music blends seamlessly in with the story making for a unique and magical listening experience. There were times I rewound the audio just so I could listen to the musical portion a second time. I highly recommend it! Here's hoping that there will eventually be a sequel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anna lost in stories *A*

    This was such a whimsical and beautiful story :) first of all, I definitely recommend you reading this in audiobook format, because it includes a bunch of absolutely wonderful musical performances… why, you ask? because in this fantasy middle grade story it’s the musicians that create all sort of magic when they play :) Amelia, our heroine is twelve-ish years old, or so I think, but don’t quote me on that cause that particular detail slipped my mind ;) all she wants to do is get into this very p This was such a whimsical and beautiful story :) first of all, I definitely recommend you reading this in audiobook format, because it includes a bunch of absolutely wonderful musical performances… why, you ask? because in this fantasy middle grade story it’s the musicians that create all sort of magic when they play :) Amelia, our heroine is twelve-ish years old, or so I think, but don’t quote me on that cause that particular detail slipped my mind ;) all she wants to do is get into this very prestigious music school, where her mother was a student before her… she died a while ago and this is her way of connecting more with her… I don’t want to get into too many details what exactly happens next and how Amelia gets into the school, but what I can say is that this story was such a lovely surprise… I definitely did not expect to fall in love with it as much as I did :) I definitely hope there will be a sequel at some point in the future, because I already cannot wait to get back into this world and see what happens next :) don’t worry, there’s no cliffhanger or anything, we get resolutions to things that happen in this book, but there’s definitely a lot of potential for future stories… and that’s all I’m gonna say :) XOXO A

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Beaumont

    This Audible Original audiobook, free to subscribers, was a delight to listen to. It's set in a world where music literally is magic and at a school where this magic, called Musicraft, is taught. It's also going to be published as a print book and ebook, but I don't think it would be nearly as much fun without the music, which includes pieces by Pachelbel, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, and other composers. Suzy Jackson, as Amelia Jones, who is determined to be accepted into the school after a botc This Audible Original audiobook, free to subscribers, was a delight to listen to. It's set in a world where music literally is magic and at a school where this magic, called Musicraft, is taught. It's also going to be published as a print book and ebook, but I don't think it would be nearly as much fun without the music, which includes pieces by Pachelbel, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, and other composers. Suzy Jackson, as Amelia Jones, who is determined to be accepted into the school after a botched audition, is a wonderful narrator. Highly recommended to music lovers who also enjoy fantasy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janne Janssens

    To be honest, I didn't expect to enjoy The Mystwick School of Musicraft so much. It has been years since I read a book for such a young audience. However, this was a fun and light read! The story was full of magic and I loved hearing the music the Mystwick students playing in the background. Suzy Jackson is easily the best narrator I have ever listened to. She gave every character each their own voice and accent without sounding weird. To be honest, I didn't expect to enjoy The Mystwick School of Musicraft so much. It has been years since I read a book for such a young audience. However, this was a fun and light read! The story was full of magic and I loved hearing the music the Mystwick students playing in the background. Suzy Jackson is easily the best narrator I have ever listened to. She gave every character each their own voice and accent without sounding weird.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Rose

    You know, as a 30-year-old adult, I did not expect to enjoy this middle-grade story from Audible. However, much to my surprise, I was sucked into the world of Mystwick. In terms of the story, The Mystwick School of Musicraft brought back a lot of the magical joy that I experienced reading Harry Potter for the first time, but with a musical twist (which mad my former band nerd heart leap with delight). Story aside, the orchestral performances that accompanied the narrative were incredible and a re You know, as a 30-year-old adult, I did not expect to enjoy this middle-grade story from Audible. However, much to my surprise, I was sucked into the world of Mystwick. In terms of the story, The Mystwick School of Musicraft brought back a lot of the magical joy that I experienced reading Harry Potter for the first time, but with a musical twist (which mad my former band nerd heart leap with delight). Story aside, the orchestral performances that accompanied the narrative were incredible and a real treat to listen to while not overpowering the narrator. As for the narrator, Suzy Jackson did a superb job bringing life to this book; each character was a complete individual with their voicing. Overall, The Mystwick School of Musicraft was an utter gem of a story, and I am so glad that I selected it as one of my monthly freebies from Audible. I would not hesitate to recommend this title to fantasy lovers of all ages.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Houck

    I love the dirigible spelled organ school bus! That's so cool. I found myself really wishing I could play a musical instrument so I could be friends with these kids. If you ever played a musical instrument in school or aspired to, you need to pick up this book. It's so fun! I love the dirigible spelled organ school bus! That's so cool. I found myself really wishing I could play a musical instrument so I could be friends with these kids. If you ever played a musical instrument in school or aspired to, you need to pick up this book. It's so fun!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah E.

    A redhead playing a flute (correctly) on the front cover? SIGN ME UP.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cori

    I like to dabble in writing fantasy books, among other genres, so I'm fascinated by an interesting magical system. The Mystwick School of Musicraft uses...wait for it...music to craft magic spells. Naturally, I was intrigued. Amelia Jones lives with her grandmother and has dreamed her whole life of going to Mystwick, the same school her mother attended before she died. Her mother was a maestro (think wizard), and Amelia wants nothing more than to follow in her mother's footsteps. The book's allu I like to dabble in writing fantasy books, among other genres, so I'm fascinated by an interesting magical system. The Mystwick School of Musicraft uses...wait for it...music to craft magic spells. Naturally, I was intrigued. Amelia Jones lives with her grandmother and has dreamed her whole life of going to Mystwick, the same school her mother attended before she died. Her mother was a maestro (think wizard), and Amelia wants nothing more than to follow in her mother's footsteps. The book's allure really rides on the magical system. Beyond that, there's nothing new under the sun here. Khoury basically took the concept of Hogwarts and symphonized it. While I certainly don't fault authors for starting their books off in a school (Rowling certainly didn't create a new construct when she did this- many authors did this before her), Khoury used too many plot devices that were anything but subtle nods to Harry Potter. The stern but loveable head mistress, the cat, the mean professor that is a secret protector, the friend that was Hermoine in every way possibly other than curly hair, the mother protecting her child from dark magic...it was all there. I did really like the subverted history references from our world, twisted slightly to fit the world of music magic. That was a nice touch. In terms of Audible production, the voice actress wandered into the realm of whiny many times while voicing Amelia's dialogue. It got better eventually...but not by much. One of the things that could have given this original a lot more pop was the music. When I first heard flute music in the background while Amelia was playing a spell, I got excited. And then I realized the tune...she was playing "Itsy-Bitsy Spider." I think the production crew could have really knocked this out of the park by using original, if not obscure music pieces. Instead we heard "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" several times, Canon in D, and several other well-worn/nursery rhyme tunes. It wasn't until the very end we finally heard anything original, and it was great. But the use of tinny, washed-out tunes could actually be distracting while the narrator was speaking. I don't regret listening through this original by any means. If for no other reason, the magic system gave me some inspiration. That said, I can only rate this as just...okay. I'd rate this book a PG for some mildly scary scenes for young viewers and mention of dark magics/ghosts.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Hartz

    I got the audio version for free on Audible. I am a middle school art teacher and always trying to find new books to recommend to students. This is now hands down one of my favorites! I couldn’t imagine reading it - I’d be dying to hear the sounds. With the Audible version, a youth orchestra plays accompanying music in the background during certain parts and it is so lovely. The narrator does a fabulous job as well. The story itself is a great story and written like it’s an actual 7th grader. Ma I got the audio version for free on Audible. I am a middle school art teacher and always trying to find new books to recommend to students. This is now hands down one of my favorites! I couldn’t imagine reading it - I’d be dying to hear the sounds. With the Audible version, a youth orchestra plays accompanying music in the background during certain parts and it is so lovely. The narrator does a fabulous job as well. The story itself is a great story and written like it’s an actual 7th grader. Many middle level novels make the kids seem so much older than they really are but this author does a great job with keeping the feel of the youth. Lots of great messages for teens and pre-teens as well! Highly recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    What a beautiful surprise. RTC

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maria Elmvang

    This is definitely a book that gains hugely from being "read" as an audiobook. The inclusion of music in every chapter is awesome and made for a totally different (and more immersive) reading experience... even if listening to the music did sometimes cause me to forget all about listening to the actual words! No matter - worth it :-D It started out being very Harry Potter'ish, but fortunately quickly changed tracks completely with Mystwick being very different from Hogwarts. I do wish we could ha This is definitely a book that gains hugely from being "read" as an audiobook. The inclusion of music in every chapter is awesome and made for a totally different (and more immersive) reading experience... even if listening to the music did sometimes cause me to forget all about listening to the actual words! No matter - worth it :-D It started out being very Harry Potter'ish, but fortunately quickly changed tracks completely with Mystwick being very different from Hogwarts. I do wish we could have heard more about the Musicraft classes themselves though, as I always find that fascinating. I mostly loved the story... it was charming and fun and though obviously written for children/YA still definitely appealing for adults as well. My one complaint about it - and the main reason I subtracted a star - is the same issue I have with so many books in this genre: Kids who have really serious concerns about something BUT NEVER TALK TO AN ADULT ABOUT IT!!!! I guess it could be argued that Amelia didn't really have any cause to trust the teachers... but still. Ah well, the rest was absolutely delightful, and for once I actually really HOPE it will end up being a series, rather than just a stand-alone novel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    Rating: 4 Stars:★★★★ (Maybe 4.5? Still deciding on a rating!) The Mystwick School Of Musicraft is a charming and delightful Middle Grade novel that follows Amelia Jones and her journey, when she attends her dream school of Mystwick to continue learning about creating magic through music! But the journey is a bit tougher than she anticipates and throughout the novel she faces obstacles, struggles with her studies, but ultimately learns more about trusting the music within herself! With how the p Rating: 4 Stars:★★★★ (Maybe 4.5? Still deciding on a rating!) The Mystwick School Of Musicraft is a charming and delightful Middle Grade novel that follows Amelia Jones and her journey, when she attends her dream school of Mystwick to continue learning about creating magic through music! But the journey is a bit tougher than she anticipates and throughout the novel she faces obstacles, struggles with her studies, but ultimately learns more about trusting the music within herself! With how the plot unravels, layers to the history/exploration of Musicraft, depth to the magic system and much more paint such a rich world that seamlessly blends with ours to deliver so much potential for future books (if its ever turned into a series)! I also feel like this is a middle grade that's gone under the radar and it deserves a lot of love! It hits all the right notes to deliver a fun adventure with a really unique world/magic system, a delightful cast and even more intriguing story--I highly recommend this! Amelia is such a wonderful narrator and through a 1st person POV, her unique voice delivers a wonder, comedic tone, and fun delivery to such a fascinating story! On the day of her exam to get into Mystwick, Amelia knows she still needs a bit of practice, but she quickly makes a new friend at auditions, Jai Kapoor and I loved how their friendship really developed throughout the book! Amelia's audition doesn't go as planned and her dreams to go to Mystwick start to feel further away! However, she's given a trial period and allowed to stay. What I really appreciated about this story was how Khoury delivered a tale of growth as we see Amelia overcome this internal conflict and give it her all to prove that she does belong, even as she struggles catching up with the other students while also keeping a secret that she feels could distance herself even more. But she continues pursuing her dream, attempting to boost her courage/confidence knowing that her mother also attended many years ago (although her grandmother would prefer she just forgot Mystwick altogether). It was interesting uncovering the mystery to her mother and how it ties to a lot of her motivation throughout the story! There's always something fun to explore through the plot, also this mainly takes place in a boarding school which means lots of time spent with world building, character development, friendship, etc. And for a standalone there's such a connection to the setting that I felt (mainly because its set in our world w/ magic), where the world feels so expansive and wonderfully developed! It came to life and while there's a lot explained as to how the magic system works (different types of magic, instruments, musicians around the world, the rules of Mystwick, etc.) there's also some left unsaid but I really appreciated that because it left a lot to the imagination too! A big focus of the plot not only follows Amelia's daily school life at Mystwick (classes, practicing, trying to fit in with the students, including her roommate Hamako Bradshaw aka Darby), but also her attempts to solve a mystery as to who could be trying to sabotage her chances at staying! If you love fantasy interwoven with mystery, you'll definitely enjoy this one. Its a big part of the story that unravels throughout the book and I loved how it really offered a lot to not only the story but the characters and their development too! There's also a friend trio (what I thought was originally going to be a duo) which really grew on me throughout the book: Amelia, Jai, & Darby! Their dynamic and wacky adventures were so much fun to follow! I also appreciated how their friendship had its ups and downs but really took time to develop! However one of my personal gripes with that, is their friendship felt like it could have been a bigger part of the story too--there's a bit of drama/conflict that happens throughout the book and there wasn't really anything wrong with that, but I felt it would have shined much better if their friendship was developed more & given more page time! But I also appreciated how this is a story about personal growth, hence a lot of internal page time/development with Amelia! Family (legacy even), friendship, and personal growth were all big themes of this story and really shined through. Khoury really cemented those themes into the story and alongside the plot, were such shining moments of the story. The 1st person POV delivers such a unique voice and energy that it brings the entirety of the story to life and you can't help but want to keep turning the page! There's also such a diverse cast, a side character with a wheelchair, and overall you feel such an inclusivity in this world, with characters from different backgrounds--even getting small glimpses as to how magic operates outside the US which was great! Again while it seems that the story wraps up in a great way for a standalone with all the major plot threads tied up, there's somethings left unsaid and some new threads included for a possible sequel? I'm not sure if that would happen but I would ABSOLUTELY love another book set in this magical world! It really comes to life and once I reached that last page I was sad to be leaving the wonderful world of Mystwick! The Mystwick School Of Musicraft is a charming middle grade fantasy which blends a character-driven tale with mystery, humor, and a delightful magic system sure to captivate! There's a lot of depth to the world, its characters, alongside a tale about finding the confidence within yourself. This is a middle grade you don't want to miss! *More details to be added in my review!* (About the magic system, instruments, plot threads, etc.) *I've also read that this audiobook is fantastic so hopefully I'll check it out too!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Connor

    [3.5 Stars] Woah, this was certainly a fun ride! It's been a long time since I have read a novel by Jessica Khoury, so I'm happy to say this one was just as entertaining as her other book I've read. I really loved the musical elements. I've seen some people comment on its accuracy which I like to see. I am very musically-inept, so I can't personally comment on that. But it seems like Khoury really did her homework and brought in a lot of accuracy with how she described music and different musica [3.5 Stars] Woah, this was certainly a fun ride! It's been a long time since I have read a novel by Jessica Khoury, so I'm happy to say this one was just as entertaining as her other book I've read. I really loved the musical elements. I've seen some people comment on its accuracy which I like to see. I am very musically-inept, so I can't personally comment on that. But it seems like Khoury really did her homework and brought in a lot of accuracy with how she described music and different musical pieces. The audiobook is THE way to experience this story. I loved all the music played by the New Jersey Symphony Youth Orchestra and other musicians during the narration. It really added so much, and for me, being musically-ignorant, it helped me appreciate all the music included even more. The only thing that was weird is for the actual narration. The accents of non-American characters are inconsistent. Australian is especially cringey, but honestly, I can't even attempt to replicate an Australian accent. But even accents from the UK are hit and miss though. If a character has an accent, I'd like it to consistently be there. I enjoyed seeing Amelia experience everything and grow so much during the course of this story. She really goes through it, and comes out having learned a lot about herself and about what she wants. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well even though I wish we had been able to get some more depth from them. I wonder if this is actually a standalone or not because this could easily be expanded into a series. It would make sense for the secondary characters to grow more over the course of the story, and I would definitely be here for it. I'd love to continue to read about this world. I've seen people call this a musical version of Harry Potter, but I don't fully agree with that. If you take a high level of abstraction, sure. It's a young kid going to a magic school, but that's about it. I don't want to get into spoilers, so I won't. But Amelia and her story stands on its own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)

    Yes five stars! The only way I could like this book more, no wait change that, The only ways I could like this book more would be: 1. if it were longer 2. If it had a sequel. Let me get this out of the way first. When you read this book (notice I did not say if?) I highly recommend you listen to it via Audible. Not only is the narrator exceptional but the production of this is exceptional. As you can see from the title this book has to do with music. If you are simply reading the book guess what Yes five stars! The only way I could like this book more, no wait change that, The only ways I could like this book more would be: 1. if it were longer 2. If it had a sequel. Let me get this out of the way first. When you read this book (notice I did not say if?) I highly recommend you listen to it via Audible. Not only is the narrator exceptional but the production of this is exceptional. As you can see from the title this book has to do with music. If you are simply reading the book guess what you don't get? The music! If you however listen to this wonderful book via Audible you get music! There is nothing like woodwind music, in my humble opinion. Don't worry it's not the kind of audiobook that has music in the background and you can't even hear the narrator. No! It's a snippet of music that does not drown out any reading. This could partially be because our protagonist cannot talk and play the flute at the same time. Bingo! (when the music is longer it still does not drown out any narration). OK now on to the story. Imagine if you will a lighter version of Harry Potter. A shorter version of Harry Potter. A version of Harry Potter where the spells are not words but music. You pretty much have this book. And if you say to me that you do not like Harry Potter (why???) I say to you I bet you will still love this book as much as me! Remember it is lighter. It is a fluffier version of Harry Potter. And for diehard Harry Potter fans trust me. This is the book you are looking for. After all, there will never be another Harry Potter. But similar? Heck yes! And like all the middle grade books I've read this one also has important lessons for the reader. In a nutshell don't doubt yourself Harry, err, I mean Amelia Jones. Amelia Jones is the perfect protagonist. The opening scene, which has our protagonist dealing with a runaway chicken is perfection. You learn so much about her in the opening. And you continue to learn about her, watching her character strengthen throughout the remainder of the book. I really really hope there will be sequels. I would love to see her grow up. I would love to know what happens to her as a teenager. What happens to her when she graduates...Etc. I am fully vested in this character! She has great spunk! I admire her as much as I do Tiffany Aching in the Terry Pratchett Discworld series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aina

    2nd reading Gave this 4 starts but the second time was even better so I gave it 5 stars this time. Btw Chapter 28 is just Chef's Kiss 1st read This was fantastic!? I had such much fun listening to this it was a really great experience, this book was definitely written to be listened. The narrator's voice was mesmerising and it made the experience even more enjoyable! The Rock parts were my fave. I really liked the characters, and there's some nice representation too!? I'm so glad this was my fist 2nd reading Gave this 4 starts but the second time was even better so I gave it 5 stars this time. Btw Chapter 28 is just Chef's Kiss 1st read This was fantastic!? I had such much fun listening to this it was a really great experience, this book was definitely written to be listened. The narrator's voice was mesmerising and it made the experience even more enjoyable! The Rock parts were my fave. I really liked the characters, and there's some nice representation too!? I'm so glad this was my fist audiobook bc I've got the feeling I'm gonna want to reread this soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    This was so freaking cute! I don't know how accurate all of the information about instruments and music was but having a Hogwarts where you cast spells by playing music is the most pure thing ever! The characters, ghost mystery and magic was so much fun. This was so freaking cute! I don't know how accurate all of the information about instruments and music was but having a Hogwarts where you cast spells by playing music is the most pure thing ever! The characters, ghost mystery and magic was so much fun.

  22. 5 out of 5

    E.F.B.

    Note: I listened to this on audio and haven't a clue how some of the names are spelled. Please excuse any terrible spelling mistakes. Well. That was interesting. This book was one of Audible's free offerings back in October 2019 and was literally the only one that I thought looked potentially entertaining and not outright creepy. Also, Middle Grade is generally safe content-wise for the most part, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I finally got around to listening to it this month and... it was o Note: I listened to this on audio and haven't a clue how some of the names are spelled. Please excuse any terrible spelling mistakes. Well. That was interesting. This book was one of Audible's free offerings back in October 2019 and was literally the only one that I thought looked potentially entertaining and not outright creepy. Also, Middle Grade is generally safe content-wise for the most part, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I finally got around to listening to it this month and... it was okay. Ish. Not really my thing, but not completely awful, either. To get more specific, I've always felt neutral towards the magical boarding school trope. It's the aspects of the magic in any fantasy story that attracts or repels me. If the magical elements stay light and fanciful that's fine with me and it's fun to see authors get all creative and make up the rules and such of the magic and the world. If the magic starts going more towards dark and spiritual, and especially if it resembles real world witchcraft practices, symbols, etc, too much, I'm really not comfortable with that. This story, unfortunately, had a little of both. It started out pretty light and fluffy and I was entertained by the rules of musical magic and liked that this was set in an alternate version of our modern world, complete with alternate history. It was when it started getting into talk of the "black spells" that I started wondering if I was going to end up unhappy with it. Honestly, I'm surprised this book hasn't been marked as "PARANORMAL" here on GR because the second half of the book is literally that. Sorry if anyone considers that a spoiler, but I'm not going to put it in spoiler code because I know plenty of people old, young, married, single, parent, and childless who would want to know that aspect up front because it would be a deciding factor of if they'd like this book or not, and it is not mentioned in the synopsis at all. The fact is plain and simple: Ghosts of the actual-dead-people variety are a huge factor in this story and the black spells mentioned above relate specifically to summoning ghosts, necromancy, and raising the dead. Had I known that, I wouldn't have downloaded this book in the first place. Thankfully, it was a free book, the story was short enough that I don't feel I wasted much time having listened to it (especially going at 3x speed, LOL), and the creep factor was low enough that I don't regret listening to it due to any upset or losing sleep from the creepiness or anything. Even with those things aside, I'm just not a reader who likes or enjoys ghost stories. This is the reason I'm giving this book 2 stars. The reason I'm not dropping it to 1 star is because there were some positive elements. To be fair and balanced, I will list them now. I saw some other reviewers label Amelia as a Mary Sue, but I didn't find that to be the case. Yes, she is a really typical Kid-with-Talent-and-a-Dream but being a Mary Sue traditionally means a female character is being portrayed as a perfectly perfect human being who can do ALL THE THINGS better than everyone else with no problems, and that's not Amelia at all. Amelia *is* very talented compared to other musicians at her original school, but she actually finds out she's not as talented as the other musical prodigies going to Mystwick and has to work twice as hard to get on the same level as them. Yes, she does have one thing she's naturally very good at that not a lot of other people can do, but that could also describe the vast majority of the other kids at the magic school (and a lot of people in real life, too?), soooo... yeah, I didn't think of her as a Mary Sue. I actually really liked that she had that balance of talent and lack of talent. Also, Jai (spelling?), the British boy who befriends Amelia was an absolute sweetheart, and also funny and fun. I enjoyed every scene with him in it, I liked how he supported and encouraged Amelia through every trial, as a true friend should, and that she returned the favor. They were such a good example of what a healthy, platonic friendship between a boy and a girl can look like and, even better, IT NEVER TURNED ROMANTIC IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. *cackles with glee* Yes, I'm weird and I own it. 😛 I'm just really pleased to see a middle grade book that handled a boy girl friendship in this way because I'm of the opinion that middle schoolers have no business dating and I really get tired of seeing media that make it look like that's something they should be doing and are abnormal if they don't do. HEALTHY FRIENDSHIP, FTW!!! The theme of the loving bond between mother and child being more powerful than death was very touching and handled with great sensitivity and respect. I only wish it could have been done without the paranormal aspect. That little twist near the end that proved wrong Amelia's negative assumption about one of the teachers was also nice. In summary, this book had some positive and even enjoyable aspects, but the handling of the paranormal elements made it not the right book for me. Those who share my feelings about the things mentioned would probably not enjoy this book either. However, if you're okay will all of these things, and especially if you like Harry Potter, you'd probably like this book a lot. It has all the magical boarding school stuff you love but is different enough that it isn't a carbon copy of Harry Potter, and the musical magic stuff is very creative. For further information about any content that could be of concern for other readers (especially parents) please see my content advisory where I include SPOILERY detail. Content Advisory: Magic: The story is set in an alternate version of our earth during modern day time where playing music creates magic. So long as one plays it right, magic will happen. Playing the music wrong can make the spell go wrong and can have consequences ranging from comic to deadly. The intentions of the composer dictate what the spell/musical piece does. All humans can work magic through music though some are far more talented with it than others. There are specific species of animal that can make musical sounds and work magic, but it's not all animals. There are little mentions throughout the story of historical events that happened in our real world but have been altered to fit the rules of this alternate world where magic is normal. (Things like the musicians on the Titanic playing a repetitive song that let them levitate people and objects to shore to save them, or the Myans using a spell that made people think their skin was crawling with spiders.) There are different colors of spells. The majority are benign or good (things like levitation, making wind blow, rain fall, making things glow, etc, etc that can be used for the purposes of the person casting the spell) but there are black spells which are considered dangerous and related specifically to resurrection, necromancy, and death. Though Mystwick magic school and many other people pretend like black spells don't exist (while still having rules that these black spells aren't allowed), it turns out (view spoiler)[they do exist, and someone has summoned up a ghost that Amelia thinks is the ghost of the girl who died and thus opened a spot for her at the school. The ghost appears at random times, interacting with things around Amelia, and seems like it might be trying to get her expelled. DOUBLE SPOILER It turns out it isn't the spirit of the other Amelia, it's Amelia's deceased mother who was just trying and failing to communicate with her. Amelia is the one who unintentionally summoned her while playing her flute during a moment of sadness. END DOUBLE SPOILER (hide spoiler)] Spiritual: The ghosts in this story aren't just some weirdo dressed up in a sheet, or someone using projectors/holograms/whatever to fool people, they are the spirits of actual people who died. Some of them are bad because they are people so desperate to get back to their lives they'll do anything to force it. Some of them are good because they're people who have accepted their fates and wouldn't hurt others just to get back to the realm of the living. Sometimes these ghosts are summoned into the world on purpose and sometimes they are summoned accidentally. The reason black spells are banned is because messing with the dead can have twisted consequences. A girl Amelia knows says she knew someone who tried to summon the ghost of a dead friend, but it was like the friend came back without a soul and she proceeded to burn down a house with a family in it. Another person is said to have raised their favorite dog from the dead. Though not outright stated, it seems that there is no afterlife/heaven/hell in this alternate world. I say this because MASSIVE SPOILER (view spoiler)[ It turns out that when Amelia was just a toddler she fell in the river and drowned. She still carries the memory of this event (though it's repressed and only gets triggered by certain things) and when she died she saw literally nothing but blackness. The world was gone, her parents were gone, and she was alone. Her mother, in extreme grief and distress, composed a resurrection spell that successfully raised Amelia from the dead with no consequences for the toddler, but it apparently took the life of Amelia's mother. (hide spoiler)] Someone accidentally opens a rift that allows a bunch of ghosts (mostly bad ones) to escape into the world. They fly around causing fear and havoc, including paralyzing the teachers of Mystwick. A bunch of students end up having to play a musical spell together to send the ghosts back into the rift. Violence: It's not detailed, only simply stated that a potential Mystwick student never made it to the school or received her acceptance letter because she went on a vacation with her parents on their boat and the boat sank, drowning the whole family. As stated above, someone says a ghost burned down a house with a family inside, but there are no icky details. Language: No swear words spoken, some kids, mostly boys, make a couple crude jokes, including one about farts, and a double entendre about an "a hole." Sexual: Someone calls Jai Amelia's boyfriend, but there isn't romantic attraction between the two. Their friendship is sweet, innocent, and remains platonic throughout the story. Other: The majority of the students at Mystwick come from very wealthy families. Therefore, a lot of them treat Amelia, who is from a normal, middle class family, like she doesn't belong there. This treatment of her never gets extreme or violent, though. It is mostly expressed through shunning, with the other kids pretending she doesn't exist or just plain looking down on her. Parental loss, as well as loss of a close friend through death is a huge theme in this story. Those who are sensitive to these topics may want to approach with caution as it is very poignant.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    Middle-grade books are the best remedy for any reading slump. I have been reading a lot of thrillers and historical novels lately and I needed something light and exciting. The Mystwick School of Musicraft was exactly that and more. It is the story of Amelia, a twelve-year-old, who has dreamt all her life to attend the Mystwick School of Musicraft just like her mother did. Amelia lost her mother when she was four years old and was raised by her grandmother. Through unusual events, Amelia is acce Middle-grade books are the best remedy for any reading slump. I have been reading a lot of thrillers and historical novels lately and I needed something light and exciting. The Mystwick School of Musicraft was exactly that and more. It is the story of Amelia, a twelve-year-old, who has dreamt all her life to attend the Mystwick School of Musicraft just like her mother did. Amelia lost her mother when she was four years old and was raised by her grandmother. Through unusual events, Amelia is accepted in the school, but she will have to prove that she belongs there. She will face many obstacles from her teachers, her peers, and even a ghost. Does Amelia have what it takes to stay at Mystwick or will she fail? This book is compared to the Harry Potter Series. I have not read HP and if it is as good as this book is, I am now tempted to give it a try. If you like magic and adventures, this book delivers exactly that. This is a fantastic start for this new series. 🙋🏼‍♀️ Thank you RainCoast Books and HMH Books for Young Readers for sending me an ARC of this magical novel. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝘆𝘀𝘁𝘄𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗳𝘁 by Jessica Khoury will be available at your favourite bookstore on January 21, 2020. #poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #book #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #bookphotography #themystwickschoolofmusicraft #jessicakhoury #bookreview #middlegrade #fantasy

  24. 5 out of 5

    jacqueline

    Ten-year-old flute playing me would’ve loved this book, as 25-year-old flute playing me thought that it was absolutely magical and charming. HEY DISNEY - PLEASE MAKE THIS INTO A CUTE SERIES ON DISNEY+

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacie (Shy Book Nerd)

    This book was magical. It’s about a girl named Amelia who goes to a magical school where instruments make magic! Amelia went through an uphill battle trying to prove that she can be at the school while also dealing with some bullies. I loved hearing about the different instruments, some I haven’t even heard of. It brought back memories of when my son was in band last year and how I could picture them bringing the music to life. I really wish he would get back into it, haha. The magical elements This book was magical. It’s about a girl named Amelia who goes to a magical school where instruments make magic! Amelia went through an uphill battle trying to prove that she can be at the school while also dealing with some bullies. I loved hearing about the different instruments, some I haven’t even heard of. It brought back memories of when my son was in band last year and how I could picture them bringing the music to life. I really wish he would get back into it, haha. The magical elements added to the story was wonderful. I haven’t read a book like that before so that was a delight. I really want to look into the audiobook for this because I hear it’s awesome. Check this one out for those that love music!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    Predictable, but in a good way. The audible version added an actual music component, which made it more akin to a light audio drama than a book. Worth a listen - but probably not a read. (3.5/5)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This gave me Nevermoor vibes, but the magic reminded me of Pocket Full of Murder and those two are two of my favorite middle grades. The narrator did a really good job and I liked the orchestra that they added. It was a very nice touch to the overall feel of the book. It did get a bit corny in some parts, mainly at the end, but it is a kid's book so I'll forgive it for not having some complex plot/answer to the mystery. Overall I really liked this and I loved the music magic and the characters. This gave me Nevermoor vibes, but the magic reminded me of Pocket Full of Murder and those two are two of my favorite middle grades. The narrator did a really good job and I liked the orchestra that they added. It was a very nice touch to the overall feel of the book. It did get a bit corny in some parts, mainly at the end, but it is a kid's book so I'll forgive it for not having some complex plot/answer to the mystery. Overall I really liked this and I loved the music magic and the characters. If you like Pocket Full of Murder or Nevermoor, you should definitely give this one a try!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica F

    What if music was magical? I mean really magical. As in the orchestra stopped the Titanic from sinking by playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat for three days straight. Amelia has always wanted to be a maestro like her mother... but can she make the cut? When she gets into the Mystwick School of Musicraft by accident, she's determined to earn her place. But a vengeful ghost seems to have other plans... Ok but can we stop pretending teachers who are d*cks to kids are mean because they really care and ju What if music was magical? I mean really magical. As in the orchestra stopped the Titanic from sinking by playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat for three days straight. Amelia has always wanted to be a maestro like her mother... but can she make the cut? When she gets into the Mystwick School of Musicraft by accident, she's determined to earn her place. But a vengeful ghost seems to have other plans... Ok but can we stop pretending teachers who are d*cks to kids are mean because they really care and just want to push them to do their best? Seriously. Research shows kids learn best from positive relationships. No more saint Snapes please! Overall I thought this was a great addition to the magic school canon. Lots of Nevermoor and Harry Potter vibes. Also a nice nod to music lovers/band kids. Not enough of that in kidlit!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Ferguson

    This is book Harry Potter fans have waited for with an imaginative unique universe. However it is missing the humor and softer moments of the Potter gang.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    I loved this book! The whole production with the music and sound effects made is such a treat to listen to!

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