TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome J. Elle

J. Elle on A Taste of Magic

In this post, we feature author J. Elle, whose previous, acclaimed titles include the YA novel Wings of Ebony. You can hear her speak about her middle-grade debut, A Taste of Magic, and try her “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Author J Elle and the cover of A Taste of  Magic

A Taste of Magic

  • Written by J. Elle
  • Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
  • Release date: August 30, 2022

Kyana Turner has just found out the family secret: she’s a witch! This means mandatory lessons every Saturday at Park Row Magick Academy, the magic school hidden in the back of her local beauty shop. Learning spells, discovering charms and potion recipes, and getting a wand made to match her hair’s curl pattern, Kyana feels like she’s a part of something really special. The hardest part will be keeping her magic a secret from non-Magick folks, including her BFF, Nae. But when the school loses funding, the students must either pay a hefty tuition at the academy across town or have their magic stripped . . . permanently. Determined not to let that happen, Kyana comes up with a plan to win a huge cash prize in a baking competition. After all, she’s learned how to make the best desserts from her memaw. But as Kyana struggles to keep up with magic and regular school, prepare for the competition, and keep her magic secret, she wonders if it’s possible to save her friendships, too. Full of humor, heart, and mouthwatering desserts, Elle’s middle-grade fantasy is a layered story about community, responsibility, and the magic in everyday life.

From A Taste of Magic, written by J. Elle.

Turning twelve should feel like a big deal.

Click here to view a longer preview A Taste of Magic, written by J. Elle.


Explore A Taste of Magic

Listen to J. Elle talking with TeachingBooks about creating A Taste of Magic. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by J. Elle.

Imagination Activity with J. Elle

If you were going to create a community project with magic, what sort of project would you make? Refer to pages 98-103 and 137-139 in A Taste of Magic to read about the ideas Kyana and her classmates came up with.


Finish This Sentence . . . with J. Elle

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy J. Elle’s response.

“My protagonist can’t live without…”

My protagonist can’t life without a peach cobbler to gobble down on her favorite holidays. Her secret ingredient is nutmeg! She puts in just a pinch to give the cobbler a unique flavor.

“I hope that my book may encourage readers to think about…”

I hope that my book may encourage kids (or teens) to think about how uniquely talented and special they are! I want readers to understand that people’s talents vary, and what makes one person special might be different from what makes someone else special, and that’s okay. Be proud of the things you’re good at, whatever they are!


Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank J. Elle for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of A Taste of Magic signed by the author, J. Elle.

More Connections to J. Elle and A Taste of Magic


Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of J. Elle and Bloomsbury Children’s Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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