The Trouble with Filly Tucker

Genre: Fiction Good magic Juvenile ages 6 – 12


Witchlin, Filly Tucker has a problem. In order to earn her wand, she must master all basic magic spells before her tenth birthday. Filly struggles to get even the simplest spell right.

Filly lives in a cozy cottage with Grandma Copperbottom—she is the famous witch extraordinaire—and her old, ornery black magic cat, Tabasco,

One afternoon, as Filly arrives home from rolling down grassy hills with her friends, she discovers a large cardboard box outside her front door. Unbeknown to Filly, this box is waiting to transport her to the home of the terrible Twissle twins; known for their unruly, madcap lifestyle and obnoxious spells. Filly quickly learns how the Twissle twins rely on their horrid personalities and crazy magic tricks to amuse themselves.

They soon have Filly stuck to a broom-stick whizzing uncontrollably around the room while they create green meatballs to throw at her, hoping to knock her to the ground. Soon they add a dozen Canada geese who appear from nowhere and soar around the chandelier in pursuit. As if there is not enough chaos happening, a large ginger cat, wearing a huge hat and silver spurs, enters; he thinks he’s a cowboy as he rides around the room on the back of a flying Collie dog.  Filly clings, terrified to the speeding broomstick, and tries to avoid the crazy cowboy cat, the Collie dog, the Geese and flying green meatballs. Too late, she realizes she should have paid more attention to learning her spells.

If Filly is going to survive a weekend full of the Twissle twins magic she knows she must quickly master her spells. Only time will tell if Filly Tucker will manage to save the cowboy cat and collie dog, get home, or earn her wand.

Goodreads Book Reviews

Book Review 1

If you’re tired of cheesy romance, cringe horror, or fantasy books that don’t make sense and are interested in exploring a fresh and different world of magic, try “The Trouble with Filly Tucker”. It’s so rich in both concept and writing, it’s well worth the journey.

Our main character, Filly Tucker, is Mrs. Mileta Copperbottom’s granddaughter; the latter is known to be a ‘Witch Extraordinaire’- one of the best and greatest witches ever born, while the former was a troubled witch who struggles with even the easiest spells. The young woman lives with her grandma and Tabasco, a magic cat, the one who always gets to be Filly’s victim after an unsuccessful trial of spells.

One day, after she attended a birthday party, she comes home with a mysterious box at their doorstep. They believe that this box is sent to her by the Witches’ Council to test her ability through a mission. Her mission is to deal with the terrible Twissle twins. When she arrived at their house, she regretted that she hadn’t paid enough attention to learning spells.

There are too many wonders in this book to describe them all. But I thought that the magic system was clever. It was delivered in a very detailed and easy-to-understand way. No one knows if Filly would ever earn her wand. But just thinking about her mastering her spells, practically made me want to clap my hands and jump up and down!

Book Review 2


What I love in this book are the characters. Filly Tucker is a young girl who can’t keep up with the other witches in learning their spells. She always fails even with the easiest one. Grandma or Mrs. Mileta Copperbottom is Filly’s Grandmother, she is one of the best witches in her time and is considered to be the Witch Extraordinaire. And Tabasco the magic cat, he’s just a typical cat with short paws and long whiskers indicating that he has lived for a long time. He was a gift from her mother and is promised to be by her side until she had learned all her magic spells however long it takes. I love all of them and their characters are well done but Tabasco outshines the others a bit, at least for someone who loves savvy cats like him. And of course, when you love a character from a book, it’s to have someone you wouldn’t despise – mine is the Twissle twins.

The rhymes are wonderful and the characters are lovable. The book’s premise may sound familiar but this has so much more to offer than what’s on the outside.

I hate spoilers so you should go and pick this book up. It’s worth every second of your time.

Book Review 3

That was one cool adventure! I was blown away by how invested I became in Filly Tucker’s story. The action and relationships were done beautifully, and the lore had me going. It’s compelling from the very start.

Filly, Grandma, Tabasco, and Janet – I loved this group so much. Their relationships blossomed over the course of the story that it’s hard for me not to love each and every one of them.

I’m impressed by how Barr weaved the magical realm without looking so complicated and seamlessly into our own. Despite the fantasy, it was entirely believable. It made me feel like it.

If you consider yourself to be someone who loves great character dynamics, coming head-on in the face of your struggles, with magic, love, and humor, this book is your home run. A perfect read for all ages.

It makes me think that this one would make a great movie if given a chance.

Book Review 4

I let myself enjoy the magic, the discovery, and the coming of age. Now, I don’t know how I will ever move on from this wonderful book.

The setting is deeply fascinating. While magic is too cliché, it was perfect for its target audience. Solid, cool, very easy to perceive, and far from complex details.

I adored Filly, even though she’s continually underestimated. Her character seems to always be on the path where she needs to deal with something difficult. But she’s intelligent and knows herself better than anyone else. She had human friends whom others believe are the reason for her failure in an attempt to learn her spells. But in the face of diversity, she knows that they aren’t her hindrance to success. And her adversities aren’t the limitations and stereotypes they say.

It’s a comfortable, familiar ride, right on its beat. I would love to have a sequel for this book. And if given an opportunity, I will surely continue with the series. Highly recommended for everyone!

Book Review 5

Very engaging, full of action and interesting characters.

If you like reading books about magic, particularly about teens finding their abilities, failing to use them, and then successfully learning it in times of struggle, this is the book for you. It shows us new magic, new history, and more possibilities in fantasy.

I loved the built character of Filly Tucker, who starts out as a struggling witchlin. This young woman needs to master all her spells before her 10th birthday for her to earn the wand every witch must have. But fourteen months before that time comes, she hasn’t learned even the simplest spell of “cleaning and tidying”. Worried about her, Tabasco, a magic cat, always nags and scolds her about not learning anything.

A mission has arrived then for her, it’s a test for her abilities, and in order to prove it to the Witches’ Council, she must deal with the horrible Twissle twins first.

A brilliant book, it’s far from any children’s literature I’ve ever read before. My son adores it too. Great world-building, fantastic character development, and spellbinding imagery!

Highly recommended. 

Book Review 6

This book was so amazing that words are hard to find to explain how great this is. You must read this yourself for you to find out. 

Just like any other preteens, Filly is trying to figure out her place in their world. But unlike other kids, she had to deal with a few challenges, on top of that, learning how to use spells to gain a wand.

I really loved the magic intricately woven in the story. All of the elements and systems of their world were imaginative. And even though it is tied with tropes that are common and well-worn in the fantasy genre, this book had a lot to say.

Mary Barr did an excellent job and is beyond any author I know. She establishes a setting, sights, and sound, which are the things that’ll forever be imprinted in my heart.

Will this magical novice be able to discover her true self and finally make use of the ability hiding inside her soul? That’s for you to find out. Don’t miss out on this book.

I firmly believe that this will be known by many people in time.

Book Review 7

The first time I read this book, I had a lot of fun. And the second time wasn’t far from that at all, other than it’s more powerful. This is such a pretty fast-moving book that makes my reading journey exciting.

I enjoyed Filly Tucker as the main character, especially that she represents all the young girls out there – struggling to do things that are new to them, doubting their capabilities, and uncertain about the path they’re taking. Remember that every child has their own pace and no one should be pressuring them because time will come and they’ll be the best at their own abilities.

The world-building was complex, which was wonderful. I enjoyed Barr’s development of the story and the characters. Her writing was so out of this world. There’s just something about it that feels so addictive that you can’t stop reading it. That being said, I finished this book in one sitting.

The story doesn’t shy away from the danger of magic but it also has its limitations. Every scene is impactful and taught us a lot about the world.

Book Review 8

Truthfully speaking, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I have no idea what this is all about other than the characters are witches. But it didn’t take me long to realize that I stumbled upon a gem.

Filly Tucker as the main character is a wonderful girl. She’s smart, tough, and a fearless woman. She lives with her Grandma and Tabasco- a magic cat, in a cozy cottage. She is bound to be officially a witch if she could master all her spells, by then she’ll earn her own wand. But for her, it isn’t as easy as it seems. One afternoon, she found a box in front of their home. What is inside are the things she needs for her upcoming mission. First, a cloak, the red side of the cloak is used for invisibility, while the blue side could help her land safely when flying. The pink slippers are for jumping. And the dry old twig is her wand. Lastly, the pink circle at the center of the box would bring her to the Twissle twins.

This is unique. The writing is beautiful and the storytelling is rich. Barr seamlessly merges the world of witches and reality. One of my favorite things here is the imagery, it was stunning and something you would never forget.

Book Review 9

A phenomenal read no one can come close to!

Filly Tucker is a very young protagonist about nine years old who seeks to learn all her spell abilities before she reaches the age of ten because that’s the last year she would be given a chance to have a wand. She doesn’t know much about the world and her thoughts can feel a little silly that she tends to ignore the idea of learning. Yet, it’s important to keep in mind that she’s a very young woman experiencing a world that’s still unfamiliar to her.

Later in the story, as I get to know more about Filly, I’ve grown a maternal affection for her. I want to see her succeed in learning and navigating their own world, yet I also want her to be safe. If this book follows Filly throughout her teen years, I know she’ll be a legend like her grandmother.

My kids just need a few more years to grow and learn how to read. By then, I’ll introduce them to this smart and brave woman. Very worth it!

Book Review 10

I loved this book.

The characters are particularly unique. You see them shine in their spotlight and you hear their voice believable. And Filly was especially someone I’m incredibly fond of.

She lacks knowledge about the magic flowing within her. Yet, she faces all her adversities head-on without doubts and thoughts of backing out. The supporting characters are also integral to this story. Without them, Filly wouldn’t know her true self and embrace what she really is, to begin with. Her relationship with her Grandmother, Tabasco, and Janet was also beautiful, and I am thrilled. It takes a new shift in the story and brings a smile to my face.

With that in line, it makes a more intimate story because the readers develop relationships and interesting knowledge about their world as the main protagonist tries to figure it out at the same time. It’s a wonderful, well-crafted story full of magic. A must-read.

Book Review 11

I sincerely cherish this prose. It’s a book geared for a younger crowd and definitely not for me, but I think this could work for any age. I must say, it’s a perfect palate cleanser after reading a complicated novel because this story is refreshing.

The magical elements were so much fun. I loved the idea of the main character struggling to learn her magic spells and then successfully mastering them not long after. Because it teaches the children that there’s a specific time for everything. And if it isn’t for you now, maybe something much better awaits you at the right time. And upon deep analysis, there is also lots of wisdom we could learn from it.  

But there were a couple of things holding it back from being a favorite read for me. One thing is that fantasy seems to be cliché and well-worn in this genre. But it is a book about the journey, not the destination so I’ll let it slip. I can look past it in favor of all the other things that I’ve fallen in love with in this book.

I will definitely be checking out Mary Barr’s other works in the future. And I would recommend this to anyone looking for something different from a typical fantasy book.

Book Review 12

This was an amazing book to read with your child!

One of the things that I loved about Mary Barr as an author is that she brings a unique voice in her writing. It seems like her character is alive and pretty much all of them are unique, those who cannot be compared to anyone.

Filly Tucker is a young witchlin who doesn’t know how to use her magic. And it pressures her more because she needs to master all of it before she reaches the age of ten. It’s really interesting to see Filly navigate her way through the magic and learn about it. It was such a cool and original expedition I’ve ever been on.

Overall, the magic system was so interesting and perfect. The writing alone is all that I need, what more for the plot and other elements, I literally couldn’t put it down. An interesting story you wouldn’t want to miss.

Book Review 13

This book was, for me, a surprisingly captivating one. It was a pleasure to read such a masterpiece and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Mary Barr clearly writes with love. You can see her personality through her writing and it showcases a rich and varied character within magical realism. The author schools her readers about the witches’ world better than any book.

Moreover, she paints the imagery strong enough for me to picture out the dust, the street, houses, and just about everything else. It’s like a movie running in my mind. Yet, while it’s fictional, you can see real aspects with a magical spin.

Every character she created holds its own personality. None of them is a blur, and every single one stands distinct.

Highly recommended to all readers out there.

Book Review 14

It appeals to adults and kids equally.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of “The Trouble with Filly Tucker”. I was actually having doubts at first because this middle-grade book isn’t my cup of tea, especially the fantasy genre. To me, it just felt childish. But there’s something about the premise that tugged me so bad. I’m beyond happy that I picked it up. This is a story that’s targeted for children but works for all ages in my opinion.

Aside from its magical element, this novel does a great job at delving into questions of identity. And it’s one of the things that’s particularly important here. Filly is confronted with understanding herself from many sides, but she only discovered her ability at her own pace.

The discovery is way too short for the amount of build-up presented. But, given the number of pages, it all makes sense at the end. This is a story worthy of reading. I badly need this story in a movie.

Book Review 15

Surely, this is the best kids’ book I’ve ever read in my entire life.

The flow was so good because of the rhymes. My young follower, who was 7 years old, easily understood the plotline because of the writing.

Barr creates a magical world where you follow a clever kid named Filly Tucker in her journey of figuring out how to use her magic spells. She struggles at first in learning it but after receiving a mission from the Witches’ Council, it seems like the only push she needs is meeting the terrible Twissle twins. The young woman really stands out because of her determination and relationship with the other characters.

You can never go wrong with this book. This is a sign for you to dive into it. I’m confident that it’ll suit your taste, whatever genre you’re into.

Book Review 16

I’ve found another sole joy in life, yes, that’s “The Trouble with Filly Tucker”. And I enjoyed this book tremendously.

This book tells a story of a girl who, at a very young age, started to figure out how to use her spells. But despite being born in a family of the greatest witches, she doesn’t seem to keep up. She struggles in every spell and fails every trial. Even the most basic spells are difficult for her.

One fine day after she attended a birthday party, she was surprised to come home with a box waiting for her at the doorstep. And this box would bring her to the Twissle twins’ home, her first mission. There, she unintentionally released her powers because of how terrible she was treated by the two, Willy and Billy.

This brilliant rhyming narrative with a fun message and few great images stirred together makes an enchanting and spellbinding all-time favorite. This is a book for all ages.

Book Review 17

My children loved this and we had lots of fun reading it.

I opened it today, started reading it. And before I knew it, I was reading it with my children who are curious as to why I don’t nag them the whole day. Kidding aside, the words just kept running in my mind which is the reason why I can’t take my eyes off it. The story, the characters, and just about the whole is beautiful. Absolutely all ages will love this.

And if I can recommend one middle-grade fantasy to you, it’s this one. To be honest, I’m not really into this genre, I’m not a big fan. Most of them fall short with me. But then I stumbled upon this wildly enjoyable, hilarious, and gorgeous story of Filly. While most fantasies are novels about discovery, this one is about the journey. It’s about wisdom, friendship, overcoming your struggles, and so much more.

Mary Barr is such a wonderful author. She understands what appeals to the young generation and brings them to a world with endearing characters.

Book Review 18

As a child, when we hear witch, we often visualize an ugly-looking old lady with her hat and broom at night. But in this story, the witches aren’t scary at all.

Filly Tucker is a lovely, clumsy, good-natured witch who tries her best in getting her spells right, but usually ends up troubling their magic cat, Tabasco, and making all possible mistakes first.

This isn’t my first time reading this book, also not the second but the third. I can’t get enough of Filly’s story that I needed to reread it all over again. And it’s just as powerful as the first time.

This book is very sweet and it’s very hilarious too. I loved the whole story, especially the banters with the twins. And if there would be a sequel, would I dare to try them out? I would, definitely! Without a doubt.

 Book Review 19

Who doesn’t like reading books about magic and witches? I barely know anyone who refuses to read such things. But if it’s not on your radar, you should still give it a try because I believe that it’s a book that is for everyone.

I am firmly convinced that this would never fail to entertain a child. Boy or girl, I’m pretty sure it will pick their interest and captivate their hearts.

Overall, the story was the best. Considering my age, I was surprised to be captivated by the narrative. It’s a nice and easy read which the author cultivated in a not simplistic way but also not complicated, it’s right in between. The writing weaves an intricate spell over me that makes me want to read it again.

The message was spot-on and the words of wisdom are something we all needed. A much-recommended book from a very dainty reader. If I loved it, I’m sure you will too.

Book Review 20

The Trouble with Filly Tucker is an eerily beautiful book with a cozy atmosphere and immersive storyline. I’m not gonna lie but I was absolutely swept away with this story.

This reads like a modern-day fairy tale. It is full of witches, magic, and is far from any other fantasy books created out there. It checked all my boxes for enjoyable and whimsical literature. It has everything you’re looking for in a book. It gets under your skin and sits there, making you simultaneously warm and cold.

Although there is much to enjoy here, it is not real without its faults. To me, the plot was kind of predictable. But then it shocked me at the end. And the strength of it was nothing compared to its flaws. Nothing’s perfect so I’ll just let it slip.

Mary Barr was able to evoke all emotions in me. It surely is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I honestly couldn’t control my feelings that I sometimes laugh out of nowhere. But this is just so beautiful and is crafted very well that it has made a big impact on me. To say that I’m impressed is an understatement.