A charmed (and charming) dog, a language-loving girl, and an innate aunt-niece bond are among the alluring threads that MacLachlan (Dream Within a Dream) deftly weaves into this taut novel. Seven-year-old Grace’s aunt Lily, a writer frustrated by her dearth of story ideas, posts an ad for an assistant—“for inspiration and some magic!” A magician soon appears at her door with unlikely assistant Rex, a Lab who is bored, “needs new work,” and “will make you happy.” That proves true when the dog suddenly types words from Toni Morrison on Lily’s computer keyboard: “If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” This is the first of Rex’s sly nudges that provide both Lily and Grace—a collector of words who hasn’t yet discovered how to string them together—with the confidence and inspiration to find their creative voices. MacLachlan again proves her gift for shaping endearing and credible characters—even a magical canine—in this bright yet reflective story. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/19/2019 Release date: 03/01/2020 Genre: Children's
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