Welcome to LOAF, installment 2! It's been a bit of a rough week here--I came down with a mystery illness that gave me a high fever for two days, and now I'm just in weak-kitten recovery mode. Good news: it gave me several days to read! 

Today I'm celebrating my fellow Montana writer Janet Fox, and her latest middle-grade adventure THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE. First, let me stop a moment and talk about Janet. She's not only a good writer, but a great friend and mentor. She is one of the leaders of our Montana SCBWI chapter, and she really does her best to lift other writers. I was so happy to finally get a chance to dive into her latest.

This book is a mix of a classic middle-grade mystery, with magic, Scottish traditions, and a little touch of Narnia (it's set in the 1940s, with the children sent to the country to be out of London during the Blitz). I loved the setting, and the castle was wonderfully creepy. Kat was a well-rounded, curious girl who I could relate to as the main character, though I also enjoyed the varied cast of other children and adults in the castle. Best of all was the mystery of the chatelaine, and what lurked behind it.

Recommended if you like middle-grade mysteries in the classic vein, with a dose of magic!