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Kids Book of the Week: The Potion Diaries: Going Viral by Amy Alward

September 19, 2017

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Smart, charming, and funny, the final instalment of the bestselling Potion Diaries series will keep young readers on the edge of their seats.

The Potion Diaries series follows Samantha Kemi. She’s an ordinary girl. She goes to school, has a best friend, and loves social media. There’s just one difference – she’s also an alchemist living in a world divided between magical people (“Talenteds”) and “Ordinaries.”

The Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, and she ends up falling in love with her own reflection. Cue a nationwide hunt for a cure, that becomes a competition. Teenage Sam enters on behalf of her family, alchemists who have fallen on hard times. But it’s not just a race to find the cure – it’s also a race against Zain, her former classmate and enemy, and son of the head of a megapharma company threatening the Kemi’s livelihood.

That’s just the first book. Over the first and second books in the series, The Potion Diaries and Royal Tour, we follow Sam on her adventures with Zain and her new BFF, Evelyn the Princess of Nova. They’re fast paced and quirky, and do a brilliant job of combining magic and fantasy with modern technology and the daily life of a teenager.

The latest in the series, Potion Diaries: Going Viral, follows Sam’s latest adventure. She’s been through a lot over the past few months, busy saving the world multiple times, and she finally wants to sit down and enjoy a date with her new boyfriend. But when the Princess goes missing from public life, Sam can’t help but think that the new Prince Stefan has something to do with it.

What ensues is a enthralling race against the clock that will span right across the continent. It’s a clever play on words, the title – a virus starts to take hold in Nova, and with a combination of potions and viral videos, Sam might just be able to save the day… again!

The magic in the world is well-written. Sam herself is not Talented, but rather an Alchemist, and it’s a great message to kids that you don’t have to be super-powered to be extraordinary. The characters are diverse and quirky, and there’s great representation for kids here that really represents what pre-teen life is actually like. As well, there’s … a secret romance that we personally loved, and will have you rooting for them from the get-go!

Going Viral is perfect for kids ages 12 and over, and we guarantee you they’ll devour all three books as fast as you can say abracadabra.

Grab your copy here, and follow Better Reading Kids on Facebook for more great kids book recommendations.


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