By: Sarah Armstrong
Genre: YFH - Fantasy & magical realism
Published by: Hardie Grant Children's Publishing
Published: 4 May 2022
ISBN: 9781760508432


Eleven-year-old Tulsi comes from a long line of women magicians, but her mother has always forbidden her to learn Big Magic. It’s dangerous, thrilling, and powerful – and Tulsi wants it more than anything. But one hot summer’s night, a magic trick goes horribly wrong, and her mother disappears. Only one person can bring her back, and that’s Tulsi.

But first, she’ll have to learn a lifetime’s worth of Big Magic – in just one month. It’s an impossible task, especially when her teacher – her strange grandmother, Sylvie – was long ago banned from doing any Big Magic at all. Tulsi is determined to save her mum, but does she have what it takes? And where, exactly, has her mother gone?

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Tulsi and her family run a travelling circus. Life is not always easy, but they are close knit group, and friends are treated like family. When financial issues become serious, it looks like the circus might be closed forever. Can magic save them?

Tulsi’s Mum is a magician, and although magic flows through the females in their family, her Mum has tried to protect Tulsi from it and won’t teach her how to use it. But why?

When a spell that her Mum was working on goes wrong and her Mum disappears, Tulsi and her Dad are devastated. They track down Tulsi’s grandmother, Sylvie, who her Mum has had very strained relationship with, to try to understand what has happened. They soon learn that Tulsi is the only hope of trying to find her. The trouble is Tulsi doesn’t know any magic, let alone Big Magic, and time is running out. Can Sylvie be trusted, and can she teach Tulsi what she needs to know in time?

This is a wonderful, suspenseful, magical mystery story of family secrets, family connections, friendship and courage. Tulsi is a character you will love. She is determined to do whatever it takes to save her Mum and her circus, even though the risks are extreme.

With travel to parallel universes, this will have you thinking about how every decision you make can alter the path of your life.

It will be thoroughly enjoyed by all students in middle to upper primary.

Reviewed by Sam