Home > Book, Book Review, Children, Reviews, Young Adult > Book Review – ‘Seven Spells to Sunday’ by Andre Norton & Phyllis Miller

Book Review – ‘Seven Spells to Sunday’ by Andre Norton & Phyllis Miller

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Book Description:

Two children receive messages in an old mailbox in a vacant lot and are plunged into the strangest week of their lives.

Seven Spells to Sunday‘ by Andre Norton & Phyllis Miller is a magical story about Monnie Fitts and Bim Ross – two foster children who find an old mailbox at a vacant lot near their home, and end up having not only the greatest adventure of their lives, but also discover their own true selves and unexpectedly find true friends in each other.

Monnie Fitts is a nine-year-old self-described juvenile delinquent who masks her helplessness & loneliness with an angry scowl on her face and ever-ready fists. Bim Ross is a “scared mouse” who has learned to deal with bullying & the unpleasant things in life by running away, hiding or lying. Both children live with their foster family, the Johnsons, but the arrangement is temporary and both children worry that they can be moved to different foster families any time.

The children’s lives are changed after they impulsively write their names on the mysterious purplish mailbox with painted-on silvery stars. Every morning after that, the children find special gifts in the mailbox addressed to either of them from someone or someplace called “Seven Spells”. I won’t spoil what the gifts are (since discovering what they are & figuring out their powers is half the fun), but I will say that initially, the gifts appear benign and bring good luck to the children. Monnie and Bim aren’t sure at first if the gifts are really magical, but it is undeniable that the gifts bring about unexpectedly positive events. At first. Then the gifts from “Seven Spells” change in effect, and become terrifying and even dangerous to them, and Monnie & Bim must learn to face their greatest fears in order to earn the final and seventh gift – the greatest wish in their lives.

This fantasy children/ young adult book was published way back in 1980 and is out of print. I only have the book since I found an almost-new copy at a garage sale. That’s unfortunate since the story is pretty timeless (except for some references – example – my niece wondered what a ‘transistor radio’ was) and should IMO still be enjoyed by children of all ages today. My young niece and nephew liked the story, especially how the magical gifts at first made Monnie’s and Bim’s lives less miserable.

Every child loves a story about magic, and who wouldn’t identify with Monnie’s helpless rage about the unfairness of life or Bim’s fear of everything? Even I, an adult, could see parts of myself in Monnie and/or Bim. I really recommend searching out this book as something to read with the kids in your life this summer. In addition to the engaging story, there’s a lot of hot topics that you can cover with your kids (bullying for example).

It’s a shame that ‘Seven Spells to Sunday’ is out of print AND there’s no Kindle edition. You can order used copies on Amazon as Hardcover or Paperback. Book Depository also sells copies (if you live internationally, check them out since they deliver world wide with no shipping fees). Better yet, just check if your local library still carries a copy. The writing really is topnotch and makes me wonder if Andre Norton & Phyllis Miller teamed up again as a writing team.

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  1. July 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the great and in-depth book review. I will definitely add this one to my list. Although I’m grown up on the outside, I still enjoy “kids books” on the inside 🙂

    Fingers crossed I can get a copy near me somewhere. Maybe time to raid the second hand bookshops again.

    • July 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! At least someone’s reading my reviews 😉

      Hope you find a copy, it’s a good little book and very well written 🙂 Or check the library – maybe they have a copy?

  2. patty1955
    September 29, 2010 at 1:27 am

    This sounded good, so I bought it used. I’d have preferred in Kindle format,but you can’t have everything.
    If you’re interested in other Norton titles
    http://manybooks.net/authors/nortona.html
    has several free e-books.

    • September 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks, I’ll check the Norton titles out! This book made me a fan.

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