I am pleased to introduce to you today, our mother and son guest reviewers: Kari and Gabe (9).
Kari is the blogger behind, Bookopolis, a free social network and book discovery tool made specifically for young readers (ages 7-12.) In Bookopolis, kids get excited about reading for fun when they connect with friends to share their favorite books, rate and review books, get new book recommendations, and earn points and prizes. The site is COPPA compliant and a parent or teacher must activate a child’s account.
Please take a moment to visit Kari and her wonderful blog Bookopolis to say a quick hello.
About the Book
Title: A Snicker of Magic | Author: Natalie Lloyd | Publication Date: February 25, 2014 | Publisher: ScholasticPress | Pages: 325 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 | Reviewed by: Kari & Gabe, 9 (Mother & Son)
Summary: Introducing an extraordinary new voice–-a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing.
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.
But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere–-shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears–-but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” And then there’s Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity’s never seen before, words that make Felicity’s heart beat a little faster.
Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she’ll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town . . . and her mother’s broken heart.
1. What is the story about? This book is about an eleven-year old girl named Felicity who literally collects words from the air and learns a big lesson about friendship and what home really is. It takes place in Midnight Gulch, a small town in Tennessee that is rumoured to be magical and is set in a modern time period.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book (if applicable)? The cover shows scoops of ice cream, which is related to some of the magical powers in the town. There’s an ice cream flavor – Blackberry Sunrise – that makes you remember either sweet or sour memories as you eat it. There are not many pictures in the books, but words are sometimes written in different ways that make you picture them in your head floating or dangling in a room. That’s pretty cool.
3. Who is/are the main character(s)? Can you relate to them? Do you like them? How are they like you or not? Felicity and Jonah are the main characters. I can relate to Felicity being shy and not wanting to talk in front of groups. I like how kind and thoughtful Jonah is as he tries to help people all over town. They’re both really likeable.
4. Have you experienced anything in your life like what happens in this book? What happened? Not exactly since I have not had to move schools, but I can imagine that moving so much like Felicity does would be really hard.
5. What is your favorite part of the story? When Felicity realizes what chords align means and helps to set the magic loose again in the town.
6. What is your least favorite part of the story? It’s so good I don’t have one.
7. Are there parts of the story that don’t make sense? There are a few odd wordings that the author writes, but the story is pretty easy to follow.
8. How did the story make you feel? The story made me feel happy and excited to find out what happened next.
9. What lessons did you learn from this story? I learned about the meaning of home and friendship.
10. Who do you think would like this book? Yes, I would love to read it again. And I would recommend it to some of my friends – mostly girls but some boys would like it, too. It’s a great story – I hope you’ll read it!
~ 4.5 STARS ~
What It’s About? A Snicker of Magic tells the tale of Felicity Pickle, a sixth grade girl who yearns for a sense of home after moving to six different states over the last few years because her mom has a ‘wandering heart’ and doesn’t like to stay in one place for very long. She is a kind, shy girl with a special gift for seeing and collecting words and turning them into beautiful poems. Felicity and her family have just moved to her mom’s hometown of Midnight Gulch which people say used to be filled with magic. Felicity finally feels at home here, makes a wonderful new friend, and starts to see that there’s still a snicker (that is, a little bit) of magic left in the town. But, she is constantly worried that her newly discovered happiness will disappear when her mom gets restless and wants to move again. The story unfolds as Felicity learns the wonderful secrets and curses that fill this town and ends up on a journey to unleash the magical powers of the town’s families once again. It is a beautiful story about the importance of home, friendship, family, and finding out the special magic within each of us.
My Thoughts: This is a beautifully written tale that immediately drew me in with its charming characters and delightful word choices (things are often “spinndiddly” and “splendiferous”.) The author, Natalie Lloyd, uses different typefaces and fonts throughout the book, which creates wonderful visual imagery of all the words and emotions connected to the people and places that Felicity encounters. While this is a magical tale and the book is more accurately classified as fantasy than realistic fiction, the characters are all very real – with real fears, challenges, and sorrows – and are easy to relate to for both kids and adults.
My Bottom Line: I read a lot of middle grade and young adult fiction, and this is one of the best stories I’ve read in a long time. It is a nice break from the more aggressive dystopian novels that are very popular these days. I read it with my 7 year-old son, too, although I had to explain some words and concepts to my younger child. I recommend it to both girls and boys in the 8-11 year old age group who enjoy fantasy as well as those who like realistic fiction.
~ 5 STARS ~
Please follow Kari and visit her wonderful website, Bookopolis