The Magic of Melwick Orchard

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

After more moves than they can count, Isa’s family finally puts down roots. People in town are afraid of the abandoned orchard behind their home, but Isa and her sister Junie are happy to have acres of land to explore.

But when Junie gets sick, Isa’s mom falls into a depression, and medical bills force Isa’s dad to work more. No one notices that Isa’s clothes are falling apart and her stomach is empty.

Out of frustration, Isa buries her out-grown sneakers in the orchard. The next day a sapling sprouts buds that bloom to reveal new shoes. Can Isa use this magical tree to save her family?

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 6
Copyright 2018
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 376
Publication Date 2018-09-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV037000, JUV013000
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Lexile 570
Guided Reading Level W
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed

Author: Rebecca Caprara

Rebecca Caprara grew up in a small town surrounded by apple orchards. An avid globetrotter, she has lived in Italy, Singapore, and Canada. She is now growing roots in Massachusetts with her family.


  • Massachusetts Book Awards "Must Read" List, Long-listed, 2019


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Readers who appreciate magical realism will find the premise of the tree intriguing, and they’ll enjoy a solid story about the family’s emotional rollercoaster and the sisters’ love.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Publishers Weekly

“The fragile relationship between the sisters is well drawn, and though the family’s life seems on the brink of blowing apart, Caprara skillfully shows that good things are quietly blossoming.”—Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“Warmhearted and compelling.”—Kirkus Reviews

Kati Gardner

“Rebecca Caprara has beautifully walked the line between magic and real life in The Magic of Melwick Orchard. For families with children who have illnesses, they will see the truth of what it is like when one member of the family is sick. This story will hold your heart, break it, and then mend it back together.”—Kati Gardner, author of Brave Enough

Jenn Bishop

“Caprara beautifully captures the unbreakable bond between sisters when life throws a curveball. A tender and imaginative debut.”—Jenn Bishop, author of 14 Hollow Road and The Distance to Home

Abby Cooper

“Readers will fall in love with strong-willed, spunky Isa in this magical story about hope, resilience, and what it means to be family.”—Abby Cooper, author of Bubbles and Sticks and Stones

Bridget Hodder

“A beautiful bloom of a book, rooted in friendship, hope, and love. This stunning debut will make you believe in magic—on the page, and in your heart!”—Bridget Hodder, author of The Rat Prince