Friday, April 4, 2014

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd -- ESSENTIAL

Lloyd, Natalie A Snicker of Magic, 320 pgs. Scholastic Press, 2014. $16.99. Content: G.

When twelve-year-old Felicity Pickle and her family roll into Midnight Gulch, she knows there's no use getting comfy because they're just going to roll right back out again when her mama gets the urge -- and that will be sooner, rather than later. But before she knows it, Felicity finds herself settling in, taking on a best friend, practicing random acts of kindness, and eagerly learning the legends of this once-magical town. Felicity soon realizes how hard it will be to leave this special place, but how can she break the curse that dooms her family to wander the country so they can settle down once and for all?

Like the town of Midnight Gulch, this book feels almost magical. Felicity's ability to see words dancing, strutting, and sparkling through the air feels so alive I swore I could see words of my own above people's heads after a session of reading. The legend is intriguing, and the feeling that something special is coming at the end of the book kept me eagerly turning the pages...or, well, hitting the "Next Page" button on my Kindle, to be precise. As an adult reader, I particularly enjoyed the good example set by Felicity and her best friend, both of whom value helping others and have an infectious love of words. Would be a fun read for students who like ice-cream-sweet stories with a little magic woven in.

EL, MS -- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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