Wizard by Paula Paul is a super story for young adults. Merlin the magician transports his younger sister Meghan to safety in eleventh century Armorika (France). Except he doesn’t – she ends up in twenty-first century America! At first Meghan struggles to find the words to describe her new surroundings – cars are monsters, the modern university building with electric lights is an enchanted castle (despite there being no bowmen to defend it) and every room she goes into could be a dungeon with a dragon in it. But order emerges out of chaos and Meghan is taken in by Ryan and his lecturer father, together with Ryan’s aunt, the new-age Alicia. She starts high school where she makes a big impact, not least because of her bungled spells. Meghan means well, but things don’t always go to plan.
Yes, this is another time travel book, but it has such a unique twist. Feisty Meghan, with her less than perfect magical abilities, is the perfect heroine. There are laugh aloud moments when her sixth century behaviour doesn’t quite fit into her new surroundings. But it’s not glib, and there’s a real message in the story about being a true friend and doing the right thing. The shallowness of false friendships because of only wanting to be cool is clearly illustrated. Meghan the outsider learns to value Tyler the outside for himself. Despite being confusing and flawed, modern life suits our heroine. Meghan’s closing words are: “Go back to my own century, I don’t think so!” I’m glad she’s staying because I hope Paula Paul will be creating some more adventures for her.