Early Book Review: The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Big Birthday Bash by Frank Cammuso

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Big Birthday Bash is the second graphic novel in The Misadventures of Salem Hyde series by Frank Cammuso. It is currently scheduled for release on May 20 2014.  While I enjoyed the first book in the series, which sets up the characters, you can enjoy the second book without having read the first. Young witch Salem Hyde is stubborn, impulsive, and loves flying. Her cat and magic tutor Whammy is nervous and much more careful. In this book, Salem is invited to a birthday party, and she wants to make sure everything goes perfectly. But from the invitations to the presents, party games, and spells gone awry, nothing happens exactly the way it should, and she’ll need Whammy’s help to sort it all out.

Big Birthday Bash is a wonderful follow up to the first book, Spelling Trouble. Salem is just as good-natured and brimming with good intent, and just as likely to have things go a little awry. The relationship between Salem and Whammy is solid and their give it take is well done. I also like the use of the classmates and innocent naivete of Salem and her friend. The artwork is a perfect match to the story, and gives the characters great expression and life.

I would recommend Big Birthday Bash and the prior volume to young readers that enjoy graphic novels with a character they can both relate to and imagine trading places with in order to enjoy the benefits of magic and a talking cat companion. I look forward to seeing what kind of misadventures Miss Hyde encounter next.

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