The Veil of Magic series, by Maureen Bush, is a great, accessible series for young fantasy readers who are ready to start reading chapter books and novels. It’s set in Calgary and the Canadian Rockies where readers are given a chance to learn about and appreciate the nature all around them as they follow along on a fantastical story about friendship, responsibility and bravery.
The Veil Weavers is the third book in the series. It follows a brother and sister called Josh and Maddy as they race to save a magical world that has been damaged by the misuse of power and magic. While much of this damage has been caused by the evil villain, Gronvald the troll, Josh and Maddy’s friends have unknowingly contributed as well. When the damage is discovered everyone is able to learn about actions, consequences and problem solving. The book easily talks about problems like global warming, environmental concern and animal rights in a simple way that kids can understand.
Many of the warm and bright friends made by Josh and Maddy are animals that will be well known to a Canadian audience, such as crows, wolves and buffalo. Respect for these animals and their habitats is a strong theme through the book as the animals themselves explain common concerns shown in the real world. The magical world that the story inhabits shows one example of the natural habitat these animals thrive in and encourages young readers to be mindful of their impact on nature.
The author is also unafraid to break from some of the norms that come with talking animal characters. The crows, for instance, enjoy human company but aren’t very good at speaking our language so they have a crow interpreter! The Veil Weavers is an exciting book with an empowering magic system, endearing characters and lots of opportunities for learning. Maureen Bush has done an excellent job of catering to the growing interest in the fantasy genre while incorporating real world problems that young readers should be aware of.
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