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To Come and Go Like Magic Paperback – March 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375851305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375851308
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,040,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twelve-year-old Chili has a burning desire to see the world, but “People don’t leave Mercy Hill,” says her momma. She is the child of a poor, tight-knit Appalachian family, so this particular dream seems even more unlikely to come true. Then Miss Matlock, the new substitute teacher and a well-traveled former daughter of Mercy Hill, enters her life. She encourages Chili’s wanderlust with books, souvenirs, and stories from far-off places while pushing her academically. But Chili’s mentor has earned the disdain of the townsfolk for turning her back on them. Brief slice-of-life vignettes piece together the puzzle of Miss Matlock’s past, slowly reveal Mercy Hill’s history, and showcase Chili’s struggle with growing up. Fawcett’s debut novel displays great promise. The frank prose is laced with wistful longing even while exploring heady themes like gender, class, love, and loyalty. Reluctant readers will find an engaging, lyrical story that excites their sense of wonder, and discover that though they may venture forth, home will never be far away. Grades 5-8. --Courtney Jones --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

KATIE PICKARD FAWCETT grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and spent two years as a social worker in Appalachia. She has counseled and tutored students in the Washington, D.C. area, written ads for Peace Corps and VISTA, and worked for the World Bank writing about development projects in Third World countries. Her personal essays have been published in several magazines, and her favorite diversion is travel and the different cultural experiences it brings. She lives with her husband and son in McLean, Virginia.  Visit her on the Web at KatiePickardFawcett.Wordpress.com.

More About the Author

Katie Pickard Fawcett grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. She has been a social worker in Appalachia, tutored middle and high school students in Virginia, and been an international civil servant and freelance writer. To Come and Go Like Magic has been named a Parent's Choice Recommended Book, listed by the Bank Street Children's Book Committee as one of the best books of the year (with a star for outstanding merit), featured in Weekly Reader's READ magazine, selected for Battle of the Books 2012 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and recently won the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Award for best book of 2011. Please check out the author's site at http://katiepickardfawcett.wordpress.com/

Customer Reviews

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I loved this book,"To Come and Go Like Magic".
Timothy A. Callahan
Set in Appalachia in the 1970s, Chili narrates her story in short vignettes, sharing what life in her small town is like.
Tina Says
This coming-of-age story is told with gorgeous language, laden with poignant imagery, and full of vivid characters.
Laura Resau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Portianay VINE VOICE on March 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I cannot recommend this book highly enough, for upper-elementary/tween readers. The dialogue, the pace, the events, all ring very true, and have the note of authenticity to them. The story takes place in the Appalachia of the seventies, and deals with not only the familiar coming-of-age angst which awaits all tweens, but does it in the unique setting of these eastern mountains of Kentucky. The faithful attention to detail (residents' feelings about VISTA; attitudes toward welfare recipients; matters of class, education, poverty, and wealth) holds the reader's attention, but the main event, to me, seems to be the theme of forgiveness. This one thread ties together the story lines of Myra, the unwed (?) mother; Miss Matlock and her murky past; Willie and his family's story; and even the attitude that will have to be adopted toward the past owners of now-defunct coal mines, and the strip-miners just coming onto the scene. Chili, the protagonist, herself is faced with the ordeal of forgiving someone who destroys something very precious to her.

I love this book, and its gentle handling of so many pre-teen anxiety-ridden situations. The author never flags; my interest never waned. There was no temptation to skip ahead, nor were there unwieldy paragraphs which may discourage the young or reluctant reader. Unjust attitudes are squarely faced, and our heroine, Chili, never stops questioning the why's and wherefore's of those attitudes, and the past events which are shaping her present life. She is believable, and real, and by the last page, I wished I could know how things turned out for her! (Yes, she is a fictitious character!)

I hope we hear more from this author, and soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura Resau on July 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It has a really original and beautifully depicted setting in Appalachia in the 1970s. This coming-of-age story is told with gorgeous language, laden with poignant imagery, and full of vivid characters. I particularly loved how the author dealt with themes of poverty, loyalty to family and community, restlessness, love, and redemption. The portrayal of the community feels very authentic, with an anthropologist's eye for detail. A moving read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy A. Callahan on May 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book,"To Come and Go Like Magic". Author Katie Pickard Fawcett captured the longing of a young girl staying true to herself despite the overwhelming pull of others. The story was beautifully written, grabbed and held me until the end. It told so well the longing to leave home in search of other horizens but yet the need to hold unto what we have in childhood. The story had many angles and characters with their own story but they never got in the way of the story of Chili, the 12 year old main character.
I strongly recommend this look at the seventies in Appalachia Kentucky.

Tim Callahan
Author of the Kentucky Summers Series:
The Cave, The Cabin and the Tattoo Man
Coty and the Wolfpack
Dark Days in Morgan County
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