Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

A Snicker of Magic is slow starting, but I enjoyed it once it got underway. Sixth-grader Felicity Pickle is cursed with a mother who can't stay in one place. Literally cursed, if the stories of Midnight Gulch, Tennessee are true. Two magical brothers dueled and everyone lost when the woman they both loved cursed them. Their descendants are still affected by the curse.

Felicity's gift is to see words. She seems them over people's heads, in rooms, along roads, in the stars. Her mother decides to return home - not to stay, just to visit. But Felicity feels like she has come home. She meets her first best friend, Jonah, a boy in a wheelchair with a delightful secret.

Midnight Gulch is known for Dr. Zook's Famous Ice Cream Factory. It stays frozen without ice, and the Blackberry Sunrise flavor is the most popular because it brings back memories.

But there is hope, found in the verses of the curse: "Cursed to wander through the night,/Till cords align, and all's made right./Where sweet amends are made and spoken,/Shadows dance, the curse is broken." Felicity, Jonah and a host of other 'do-gooders" set out solve the curse and make things right. Felicity is sure she can break the curse and keep her mother from wandering.

This is not a very magical book. Midnight Gulch has remaining only a snicker of magic. At times, I wondered if there really is any magic at all, and that's part of the book's charm. There are interesting characters of many different ages. This is a great book for new vocabulary, and for helping the reader see that everyone has secrets and fears. I definitely recommend it for the right reader.

A Snicker of Magic can be found in the Children's Room under the author's name, LLOYD, Natalie.

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