The Power of Poppy Pendle reminded me of Bliss which is a book I loved with a similar theme. Poppy is also a talented witch. She is sent to Ruthersfield Academy where she excels at her studies mastering spells and broom flying with ease. Her parents are so proud of her. But this is where the major conflict of the story arises. Poppy may have highly developed magic skills but she does not want to be a witch - she wants to bake and one day own her own cake shop. Finally, after some major struggles, Poppy is helped by one amazing friend. I know there are so many books about friendship but Charlie is such a important and true friend to Poppy. By the end of the story I wanted to give Charlie a big hug and say thanks for saving Poppy.
The story begins as Poppy is born :
"Poppy Pendle was born on the floor of a bakery. ... Poppy pushed her way out with the speed of an express train and was immediately wrapped up in a cake-scented tea towel by the kind lady who ran the shop. The customers cheered, and someone handed Edith Pendle a bag of warm almond cakes. Sitting up in her mother's arms, Poppy breathed in deeply and reached for the bag of cakes. Then she did something quite unexpected. She gobbled them all down."
Her parents, especially her mother, is so determined that Poppy should become a witch just like her Great Granny Mabel, that all other distractions are banned including her beloved cooking. The final straw comes on the day her mother has the oven removed from their kitchen. I highly recommend The Power of Poppy Pendle.
You might also enjoy Madame Pamplemousse and her incredible edibles and Pie.
Oddly the reviewers at Kirkus did not like this book. Try this review which is more positive. In fact I recommend exploring this blog (Kiss the Book) it is quite amazing. Here is the author web site which includes details of the sequel which will be published this year.