cover image One Jar of Magic

One Jar of Magic

Corey Ann Haydu. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-268985-6

With taut underlying tension and a sympathetically flawed protagonist, Haydu’s (Ever Cursed) middle grade novel literalizes magic’s effects on a family and community. Rose Alice Anders has looked forward to the upcoming New Year’s Eve, her 12th birthday, for as long as she can remember. In Belling Bright, the anniversary means she’s old enough to join her family at TooBlue Lake, catching magic on New Year’s Day. To Rose’s father, the town’s most celebrated magic-catcher, it means that she—his “Little Luck”—will finally follow in his footsteps. But despite encouragement from her less magically inclined brother, who takes after their mother, Rose catches only one jar of magic—angering their volatile father, leading her to question her destiny, and resulting in social fallout. Using insightful flashbacks to reveal Rose’s conflicted feelings about her dad and her desire to fulfill his dream, Haydu deftly, and with startling clarity, portrays the presence and devastating effect of abuse on a family. The sweet protectiveness of older brother Lyle, Rose’s gradual awareness and acceptance of herself, and the hope that families and people can heal offer further thoughtfully rendered touches. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Literary. (Feb.) [/em]