The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike is a unique, spell-binding story of love, family and truth. Eleven-year-old Rayne lives with her mother in their quiet village. Bound by the magic of her family’s past, she is destined to become a spell breather, just like her mother. However, Rayne would much rather be out with her friends, living a “normal” life. She doesn’t want to learn the secrets of the spell book and is constantly worried that she will get it wrong, causing trouble for the people of the village. Then, one day, a stranger approaches the village and Rayne’s life changes forever. Accompanied by her friend, Tom, and an unusual fox named Frank, Rayne goes on a quest to save her mother, her village and the life she treasures. Will Rayne unravel the mystery of the spells and embrace the girl she is meant to be?
True friendship and trust is essential as Rayne embarks on her journey to save her mother and village. Will Tom stay by her side? Is Frank who he says he is? Who will help them? Will she ever see her mother again? These questions surround Rayne as she doubts everything she thought was the truth and discovers facts about her family that she never imagined.
From the opening chapter, Rayne wrestles with her identity. Should she follow her destiny even if she doesn’t understand it? She soon realises that it isn’t just the spells that are broken but that her life is broken too. Only when she learns to be true to herself and discovers what is truly most important in life, does she find out who she really is. This journey of self-discovery is an incredible adventure full of monsters, villains, heart-stopping moments and dark twist and turns.
Words contain power and magic. They can build-up, affirm and love but they can also hurt and destroy. Throughout this story, the power of words is incredibly clear. Synonyms and layers of meaning craft imaginative, living, breathing spells that take power from their lexicon. This richness of language provides so many opportunities for the story to be used in schools. Right down to the Spell Making Tool Kit at the back of the book, The Last Spell Breather is what every teacher strives for – the opportunity to create word magic with children.
Thank you to Julie Pike for the beautiful posters and postcards!
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