Just Add Magic – Potion Problems: The Power of Middle-Grade Magic

Just Add Magic

Potion Problems

By Cindy Callaghan

Spoiler Alert!




Kelly Quinn and her friends must figure out a way to save a beloved local store and find their infamous Secret Recipe Book, which has gone missing in this sequel to Just Add Magic (the inspiration for the family-friendly TV series)!

Kelly Quinn and her best friends, Darbie and Hannah, are having the worst day ever! Their Secret Recipe Book accidentally gets included in frenemy, Charlotte’s used book drive. Not good. 
As if that’s not enough, the girls find out that their cooking program is on the chopping block at school, thanks to big budget cuts.

Kelly & Company decide to take matters into their own hands and apply for famous TV chef Felice Foudini’s Recipe Challenge. The prize? $10,000 and webisodes on Felice’s site. With the Book and the special ingredients from their beloved mentor, Senora Perez’s, store LaCucina, the girls are sure to win.

But when they turn to Senora Perez, for help, they discover La Cucina is in danger of closing!

Then Kelly gets a mysterious delivery—a package with the missing Secret Recipe Book with a note: “From KE.” KE is one of the Book’s authors, but who is KE exactly?

It’s up to Kelly, Darbie, and Hannah to get to the bottom of the mystery, save the cooking program, and help Senora P. keep her store! (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

In Just Add Magic: Potion Problems 2 the three best friends, Kelly, Darbie, and Hannah, are back but they have a big problem – their magic cookbook is missing. Their problems continue to grow as their soccer coach seems to have gone mad with works outs to make the girls win in their soccer games, their favorite cooking class at school is about to be canceled, and their friend’s shop may close because of ridiculously high rental rate hikes. Whew! That’s a lot for three girls to handle.

It’s fun to see how the girls work together and their distinct personalities. Each brings something unique to the (cooking) table as they work through each problem. The girls are having so much fun that others want to be included. They bring on the Rusamano twins, an ice cream shop employee, Kelly’s aunt, and even Charlotte. It’s great to see how the girls’ attitudes change toward Charlotte and gain a new perspective on their own behavior.

A key aspect of this volume in the series is the element of mystery. They need to discover who the altruistic KE is to understand the magic of the book. By searching for the true identity of KE, they end up going down false trails until the surprise is revealed. By discovering more about the nature of the magic cookbook, Kelly gains insight into herself which helps her solve all the other problems, even though she could never do it alone.

The dialogue is snappy and funny, there are pop-culture references, and yummy treats (including recipes in the back) which all mix to make a fun and witty book perfect for middle grade. I highly recommend this book!

5 out of 5 stars

5 star

  • Michelle


If you liked this one, I’d recommend The Sherlock Academy by F.C. Shaw, Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, and The Marvelous Adventure of Gwendolyn Gray by B.A. Williamson.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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