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The Magic Nation Thing Hardcover – August 23, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385730853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385730853
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,585,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6–As a little child, Abby O'Malley always assumed that her psychic ability was all her magic nation (a misheard version of the word imagination). Now 12 years old, she knows that her talent makes her the one thing that she doesn't want to be: peculiar. She doesn't mention her ability to anyone, either. Not to her divorced mother, trying desperately to run her own San Francisco detective agency. Not to her friend Paige, who would just use Abby's talent to her own ends. Abby is content to hide her true self away, until she accidentally gets tangled up in a couple of her mom's cases and reveals herself without meaning to. Snyder's characters appear on these pages as fully thought out, three-dimensional people. Abby's desire to be like everyone else is utterly understandable and Paige is simultaneously manic and likable. However, the ending is far-fetched and comes out of left field as Abby's divorced parents spontaneously, and with little reason, end up together once more. An additional purchase to the many books that examine the connections between magic and day-to-day life.–Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. Thirteen-year-old Abby O'Malley has always been puzzled by her psychic ability: she can read minds, find missing objects, and sense "other weird things." A preschool teacher once reassured Abby that her visions were just her imagination--her "magic nation." But when Abby mysteriously solves several cases for her mother, a private investigator who claims to have psychic abilities of her own, Abby becomes convinced that the power of her "magic nation" is real. Abby resents her mother's job--the oddness of it and the role it seems to have played in her parents' divorce--and she tries hard to tamp down her psychic impulses. Then her best friend learns Abby's secret, and tries to create intrigues for Abby to solve. Tension builds between the friends until Abby is able to help with a family emergency. Readers will delight in Snyder's vivid descriptions of Abby's special powers, but what will draw them most is the warm, believable story about friends dealing with anger and new feelings and Abby's yearning to solve the biggest conundrum of all: Will her parents reconcile? Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dottie Randazzo on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:46 Mins
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on September 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The one thing that 12-year-old Abby O'Malley never wants to be is a private investigator, like her mom, Dorcas. Abby longs for a regular life, which would include living with both of her parents (and not in a detective agency!) and also not having visions other people don't have. But Dorcas keeps reminding her daughter how her special gift, including an amazingly good and timely "guess," saved the day with a previous case.

Abby wishes she never had inherited her sixth sense from her mind-reading ancestors. She tries to deny her "magic nation thing," which is what she named her special powers after misunderstanding when someone told her that what she was experiencing was "just her imagination."

Dorcas takes on the case of kidnapped six-year-old Miranda Moorehead. The mother suspects her ex-husband of taking their daughter. Abby is especially interested in the case because Paige, Abby's best friend, believes she saw the victim shopping before she was kidnapped. One day, Abby picks up a locket belonging to the little girl. She begins to experience her "magic nation thing" and has visions of the girl having fun with a man at Disneyland. Abby, however, does not want to admit, even to herself, that she has these weird powers. Therefore, she can't just come out and tell her mother what she's seen. On the other hand, if she doesn't tell her, maybe Dorcas won't figure out where Miranda is. Finally, Abby thinks of a way to set the right wheels in motion.

Abby's powers lead her into one adventure after another in this exciting book. Unfortunately, they also threaten her friendship with Paige. When someone close to the two girls vanishes, can she muster up her sometimes-unpredictable visions to save him?

The characters in THE MAGIC NATION THING seem like real people.
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