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Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power Paperback – June 17, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—While preparing a salad one afternoon, sixth-grader Abby Carnelia makes the astonishing discovery that when she tugs on her earlobes, she can make a hardboiled egg spin. The library and Internet research give her no insight into this seemingly useless power. Then her dad suggests that she attend a summer magic camp. Abby hopes that it might help her find out why she is able to cause this strange phenomenon. Pogue's first novel for children has an original enough concept to keep readers entertained. Short chapters and plenty of dialogue move the story along, and Abby is a protagonist many readers can relate to as she tries to discover if there is something more sinister going on at Camp Cadabra. Marred only by a slightly schmaltzy ending, this book will please fans of Bruce Coville's "Magic Shop" series (Harcourt) or other readers looking for a little magic.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

New York Times columnist Pogue's debut novel is a youth fantasy about magic and, eventually, a shifty pharmaceutical company. Abby Carnelia discovers that she is endowed with magic when she makes a hard-boiled egg spin after tugging on her ears. Her power is specific, inexplicable, and thoroughly useless, and her attempt to find an explanation leads her to Camp Cadabra, where she meets other children just like her. The story progresses at a leisurely pace, kept buoyant by the snappy dialogue between kids, until the last third of the book, when Camp Cadabra's hidden agenda is revealed. Abby's emergence as a leader among her peers is not entirely convincing, and the intrusive narrator, who we later discover is Pogue himself, is at times jolting. Still, the premise that every child is magical is clearly expressed without ever being heavy-handed. Abby's triumphant finale will have young readers contemplating how they, too, are special. Grades 3-6. --Kara Dean --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (June 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250045525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250045522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Pogue is the founder of YahooTech.com, having been groomed for the position by 13 years as the technology columnist for the New York Times. He's also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, host of science shows on PBS's "NOVA," frequent public speaker, and a science/tech correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning."

With over 3 million books in print, David is one of the world's bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "for Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes 120 titles. Having discovered that so many people don't know some of the most fundamental tech techniques on their tech gadgets, he set out in 2014 to write "Pogue's Basics," a single book that attempts to be the driver's ed course for technology.

David graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985, with distinction in Music, and he spent ten years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals in New York. He's won two Emmy awards, two Webby awards, a Loeb award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music. He's been profiled on "48 Hours" and "60 Minutes." He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter M. Beck on July 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My eight-year-old daughter and I absolutely loved this book. It was an ideal book to read together because I could explain words and ideas she was not familiar with. The story will charm adults too. My daughter loved the Harry Potter series and this book proved to be a wonderful bridge from the magical to the real world. We look forward to Mr. Pogue's next children's book. In the meantime, I will enjoy his great tech columns for the NY Times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power"
Written by David Pogue

When I saw that David Pogue, tech reviewer for the New York Times, had written a kids' book, I snapped it up to use as a bedtime book for my daughter... Pogue is a cogent, humorous, admirably human writer and I figured he'd be good at kids' lit as well. And sure enough, "Abby Carnelia" is a rewarding book, a relatively down-to-earth sci-fi(ish) thriller about a young girl who discovers that she has an honest-to-gosh magic power, and goes about trying to figure out how to understand it better and harness it wisely. The trouble is, it's kind of a dumb power -- she can spin eggs with her mind -- but the good news is she's not alone. Abby, the protagonist, is an appealing character -- humble, practical, occasionally naive, but basically on the ball -- and she and the other characters all "read" well -- they seem like real kids. There's also a little bit of techie stuff in the book -- just a little bit of e-mail and some computers -- but just enough to anchor the story in a contemporary setting. As a parent currently awash in dragon and wizard books, I also appreciated that this isn't really a bit sci-fi/fantasy book, more like an "Escape From Witch Mountain" or Scooby-Doo action-mystery story, maybe a little more down-to-earth and real-world than a lot of what kids are reading these days. (It's not that I dislike all fantasy books, it's just that it seems like a little bit of overkill these days...) Anyway, we really enjoyed this one... The ending is a bit rushed, but the book is a winner. (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain childrens book reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Awesomness on February 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In my opinion this was the best sunshine state book I ever read. It had a lot of detail and funny moments. This book started out like any other book, a little boring but it became a really good book in the end. How this book changed from time to time was one of the best features of reading this book. Anyone who is looking to read a good book needs to read it. I highly recommend reading it if you have the time. I love reading and I read a lot of books and I can tell you this is the best one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 25, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once my 9-year-old daughter started reading it, she couldn't put it down. She kept telling me, "This is the best book!" and when she was done, "You have to read it mom!". That's a great recommendation for any book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justine on August 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think that the book is ok but then again in the middle it gets boring.
It just was not a book for me and so yeah and only get this book if you are needing a book
for the school year and you have a book report.
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By Mary Martino on June 17, 2015
Format: Paperback
When I was a little girl I read Norman Bridwell's 'The Dog Frog Book', about a dog who floats down a stream in a large pan. Forever after, I sometimes wondered when I looked at my dog whether this was the sort of thing he might do sometime without ever telling me. Also, I read 'Little Witch' by Anna Elizabeth Bennett as a child and now, at age 49, I have a row of little re-purposed glass spice bottles along the side of my tub. They hold brightly colored bath gels that I can mix into the tub like a magic potion (this makes sense if you've read the book). The point is, I think David Pogue's 'Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power' has the potential to be THAT kind of long-lasting, 'the world is a magical and wonderful place' book for a child, one that they will carry with them well into adulthood and perhaps never lose that delicious touch of magic. This book is a happy gift to the world and I'm glad I read it.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By F. Hanson on June 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book about an otherwise ordinary girl, Abby, was a great gift for my 8-year-old granddaughter.
I started to read it to her, but when I had to do something else, she resumed reading and would not
put it down, updating me about what was going on in Abby's life. Her mother even announced she
was next in line to read it. A great book that contrasts fake magic and little real real magic in a
wonderful way by an 11-year-old girl who overcomes her anxieties about her little magic power
with the help of others.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I liked this book very much but it could have had better chapter names. Ex: Chapter 1 egg. After all there wasn't much description in the chapters. At first when I saw chapter 1 I was like uhh why do I have to read this, but then when I started reading I was like wow! I loved this book but more description would've made me way more pumped up.
So that is just advice of you write another book. Besides that though, very good book!
P.S I encourage more books!
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