325S: Pre-Harry Potter school for magic

Seeking a fiction novel. Book was from elementary school library, may be start of series. Burning tree on the cover. Kid learning to use magic but can't cast spells, he isn't good at it. Turns out he is a spell creator/breaker.

One thought on “325S: Pre-Harry Potter school for magic

  1. I think it’s A Plague of Sorcerers by Mary Frances Zambreno.


    Jermyn Graves comes from a family of sorcerers, but although he seems to have the talent, it takes him unusually long to get his familiar. When he finally gets one, it turns out to be a skunk, and people make jokes about it. A familiar is often a clue to the sorcerer’s special kind of magic, and a skunk is really weird. It turns out that Jermyn has a talent for creating new spells, which is a rare talent. He and his unusual familiar use their abilities to save the other sorcerers from a strange plague.

    There’s also a sequel to this book called Journeyman Wizard, which follows Jermyn through this continuing training and is kind of a magical murder mystery.


    If it’s not that, it could also be Wizard’s Hall by Jane Yolen, but the burning tree really makes me think it’s A Plague of Sorcerers.

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