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Clara Thorn, the Witch That was Found
by Don Jones
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“Clara shines as a spunky protagonist who is grown-up enough to accept her destiny…. Jones links math and magic in a way that makes math seem cool…. Fresh ideas, some welcome diversity, and memorable character work enliven the material.” —Booklife
Poor Clara. On the one hand, things are going well: she’s aced her Math final, and school’s almost out for the year. Dad’s hanging in there with contract jobs, Mom’s helping make ends meet by cleaning other people’s homes, and they’ve at least got a roof over their heads. Vegas isn’t the nicest place in the summer, but it’s no worse than the half-dozen other places she’s lived in her short life.
But on the other hand, she has no friends. Everyone at school is either diffident or a bully—as if they can sense that Clara doesn’t quite fit in. And then there are the triplets, who mysteriously vanish in the Art Alley near the school.
That’s when things get interesting.
Clara follows them through a Border to Underhill, and before long she’s thrown into a world she never knew existed. A world of magic, witches, excitement, and danger. It seems she’s apparently the only one who can save all of Underhill from an exile who wants to trap them all and cut off the source of magic!
Also, she’s pretty sure her parents knew about this all along.
“Jones’ series opener brims with wonderful characters. … While a school for magical youngsters has become a popular subgenre all its own, this novel unfolds as an engrossing mystery. … Clara’s…synesthesialike power showcases the author’s radiant prose.”—Kirkus Reviews
“…an incredibly well written Young Adult Fantasy—using magical realism to bring the enchanting world of Underhill to life. The lore of the world…is easy to understand, as [Jones] reveals it in dribs and drabs, allowing the reader to learn about this new realm at the same speed as Clara…. He has hit on all of the typical tropes including found family and magic schools, while managing to create something completely and utterly unique.”—Reedsy.com Discovery
“This is the kind of book that, when you send your child to bed, you know they're making a tent out of blankets and reading by flashlight so they can continue to read.” —Ray Hayes (beta reader)