A Snicker of Magic

Natalie Lloyd, Author
Natalie Lloyd. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-545-55270-7
Reviewed on: 01/13/2014
Release date: 02/25/2014
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-70679-7
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-545-55272-1
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From every angle, Lloyd’s first novel sparkles and radiates warmth. Felicity Juniper Pickle, 12, feels an immediate kinship with the town of Midnight Gulch, Tenn., the latest place her itinerant mother has brought Felicity, her almost-six-year-old sister, Frannie Jo, and their dog Biscuit. The remote mountain town has a history interwoven with secret magic, but most of it seems to have evaporated years ago following a dual between a pair of famous magician brothers, which divided a family and resulted in a curse. Felicity’s immediate concerns lay with her mother’s sadness and her insistence on constantly uprooting the family. With the help of Felicity’s new friend Jonah, who has his own secret magic that he works on Midnight Gulch; the stories that Felicity collects from various townspeople; and Felicity’s ability to see words that reflect people’s hidden thoughts and desires) she tries to save both the town and her own family. Working in the folksy vein of Ingrid Law’s Savvy, Lloyd offers a reassuring, homespun story about self-expression and the magic that resides in one’s mind and heart. Ages 8–12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)
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