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When young Eva finds out that the curses she places on people come true,she sets out to avenge the wrongdoings of the worldthrough her newfound power.
Eva’s mum is different. That much is certain. Her hair is as red as can be, she makes flowers bloom just by speaking to them, and animals seem to love her. Eva’s dad says her mum was born in the wrong era, but was there ever a time when Madalena would fit in? Madalena teaches her daughter to punish wrongdoers with Upside-down Wishes. Eva inflicts her first Upside-down Wish on their godawful gossip of a neighbour. Growing up, Eva will find out that life is full of miracles and magic. She will also discover that in order to succeed you have to put up a fight. Upside-down Wishes sometimes do come true, but sometimes you have to jump into the action and overcome your fears.
Whether you are young or old, and whether you know it or not, magic plays a large role in your life. When strange and unexplainable things happen, we all start believing in a little magic. Young Eva's mum makes the trees in her garden grow to be the most magnificent in the neighbourhood, just like magic. Just like magic, the curses Eva places on people come true. But sometimes, not even magic can set things right. Eva's father has disappeared on a business trip to Uruguay. And Eva's dog, Ti Do, is also nowhere to be found.
Just Like Magic is a sensational novel. It boldly ventures into topical issues such as divorce and racism. The delicate manner in which the author deals with these issues is truly commendable. The uncannily accurate way in which she portrays young Eva's reaction and coping mechanisms to her father's sudden absence is bound to move the reader. Papayianni does quite a bit of head-hopping in her novel, lending us valuable insight into different characters’ emotions, and making us realise that everything is not what it seems, or rather that everyone is not who they seem.
Maria Papayanni was born in the city of Larissa in Greece. She grew up in a house full of people, family members and beloved friends. Her older cousins provided her with books and music. Every summer they would spend three months playing, swimming, biking and watching movies in open-air cinemas. She went on to study Greek Language and Literature in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. More friends there, more of exchanging (books and music) and a lot of travelling. When she graduated, she moved to Athens, where she worked as a journalist for many years. In 1996, she married the composer Thanos Mikroutsikos. Her first book, Goodnight, Mum, was published in 2001, the same year as her second child was born. In 2002 she co-authored with Philippos Mandilaras the middle-grade adventure Catch them! and together they received a Merit Award by the Greek section of IBBY. Ever since then she writes stories for toddlers, children and adults alike and her books have won important awards (As If By Magic: Greek section of IBBY Award & Diavazo Literary Magazine Award. The Lonely Tree: National Award & Diavazo Literary Magazine Award). Her story "You Will Win Another Day", illustrated by Eve Tharlet, was translated in multiple languages by Minedition and in Greek by Patakis Publishers. She also writes for theatre, libretto and plays, performed in the Athens Concert Hall and other stages, accompanied by the music of Thanos Mikroutsikos. If you want to know more about Maria Papayanni, here she is in her own words: www.mariapapayanni.gr