cover image Even and Odd

Even and Odd

Sarah Beth Durst. Clarion, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-35038-5

Twelve-year-old Emma Berry, known as Even, and her 11-year-old sister Olivia, called Odd, share a knack for wielding magic, but the power alternates between them daily, frustrating both Even, who dreams of becoming a fully accredited hero of magical realm Firoth (whence the family originates), and Odd, who prefers all things mundane. When the portal between Stony Haven, Conn., and Firoth malfunctions, leaving Even stuck in the form of a skunk, the sisters investigate. Stranded on the magical side with a young unicorn, they discover that border magic has gone haywire, causing upheaval. Now they must find a way to fix the magic and reopen the portals. Juxtaposing the sisters’ real world with a whimsical one populated by unicorns, dragons, mermaids, and more, Durst (Catalyst) inserts a subtle message about the separation of families through closed borders. Even’s drive to excel in the magical field is countered by Odd’s practicality, balancing their varying personalities and separate goals. A straightforwardly told, feel-good portal fantasy. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger. (June) [/em]