#INTLYALITMONTH: Crooks and Straights by Masha du Toit

Review by: John Kurtenbach

Crooks and Straights by Masha du Toit

The story at first sounds like the typical struggle between those with magic (Crooks) and those without (Straights).  The plot follows young Gia as she learns about the abilities and special qualities of her younger brother, Nico.  Cape Town had been a haven for those with magical powers, but that is changing and Mia has to look out for her brother.  At the same time, she is growing up and wants to have a “regular” teen life.  The characters are endearing, particularly her parents.

Those who are fans of fantasy and the combination of young magicians coming-of-age (think Harry Potter, The Wee Free Men… the list goes on), will enjoy the book.  What I find most appealing is it moves away from North American and European settings and is instead set in the vibrancy of Cape Town, South Africa.  South African slang and even Afrikaans words are slipped in, and the context is enough to make sense of the story even if you are unfamiliar with Cape Town and its history.  

This title has been popular in my school library, which is one of the reasons I selected it.  There is also a sequel, Wolf Logic

ISBN: 978-1499226829

Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Language:  English

You can purchase this book here.

*Book purchases made via our affiliate link may earn GLLI a small commission at no cost to you.

About the author:

Masha du Toit

Masha du Toit is an artist and writer living in Cape Town, South Africa.  She has published a number of young adult titles, mostly in the fantasy genre.  As her web page states, she writes stories about everyday magic. Follow her on Twitter.

Reviewer: John Kurtenbach

John Kurtenbach

23 years as an overseas librarian, I am currently working at the American International School of Johannesburg. You can reach me at jkurtenbach@aisj-jhb.com.

Curator of the second #IntlYALitMonth at Global Literature in Libraries Initiative:

Linda Hoiseth

Linda Hoiseth is the high school librarian at the American School of Dubai and has previously worked at schools in the US, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, Peru, Qatar, and India. She has a B.S. in English and Secondary Education, an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a graduate certificate in School Library Media. Linda is an IB workshop leader and a member of the ECIS Libraries Special Interest Group. She’s a fierce advocate for all students to have access to all the books. Follow her on Twitter.

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