Monday, April 27, 2009


by Alice Hoffman

# of pages: 166
age range: 12-15

Estrella de Madrigal thought she knew herself: daughter, granddaughter, dearest friend. But truth is rare in this cruel and unforgiving century in Spain, when Jews who refused conversion to Christianity risked everything - love, life, family, faith.

Then: a startling discovery shakes Estrella's world to the core. Emerging from a cocoon of secrets, new love burns brightly, but betrayal unleashes a monstrous evil upon her. Estrella must find the strength - despite grave consequences - to become the person she is destined to be.

Remember the story she is about to tell you.

I read this novel awhile ago, sixth grade! Bought at a book fair, one of the teachers mentioned to me that it might be too old to read, being 12 at the time, and desperate to grow up I scoffed at the idea that the book may be in fact beyond my maturity level. But if it was in the middle school book fair didn't that mean it was middle school friendly? So of course I bought it, and I'm glad I did.

Estrella's story is moving, written in middle-school friendly writing, Estrella's brutal but truthful tale will have tears dampen your eye's. Though the novel is short it doesn't need to be any longer. Hoffman gets the point across, develops her characters, and makes readers feel the pain of Estrella experiences.

If you're worried that you might get bored with it, don't worry. There's plenty of romance to go around, though PG rated it's still sweet, a love between Estrella and Andres.

OMG, i forgot to tell you what the story was about, hah! Incantation is a story about a girl named Estrella (star in Spanish), who discovers that her family are secretly Jew's in a time where being Jewish meant torture and death. Terrified of the secret she is burdened with, Estrella barely manages to make it trough the hardships she endures. But in her time of pain Estrella finds true love, sees beyond the pretty veil her best friend wears, and discovers herself on this heartfelt journey that turns Estrella from a girl into a woman.

If you enjoyed Incantation be sure to check out:

What my mother doesn't know - sonya sones
The sacrafice - kathleen benner duble
the witch of blackbird pond - Elizabeth George Speare

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