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The Key to Extraordinary Hardcover – February 23, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A young girl from a long line of special women fights to save her home. Emma, like all of the women in her family, is a Wildflower. Each woman is destined to live an extraordinary life, experiencing a Destiny Dream that reveals her unique path. Shortly after the death of her ex-rocker mom, Emma feels a deep emptiness, but she consoles herself by helping out in the Boneyard Cafe, the family business situated on the edge of a cemetery, and giving tours of the cemetery to tourists. The café has fallen on hard times, and when it looks like Granny Blue, her tough, tattooed, ex-boxer grandmother, might sell the place to a developer, Emma looks for answers within the local folklore about a hidden treasure and a ghost. When she finally has her own Destiny Dream, it seems to point to the treasure, but the clues are frustratingly vague. With the help of a small cast of quirky characters and magical flora, Emma finds her true destiny and eases her troubles through the journey. The prose is bubbly and light, with a cheerful, optimistic tone despite some of the seemingly darker elements. Though not as multilayered as Ingrid Law's Savvy (Dial, 2008), this novel will be appreciated by younger middle grade readers who enjoy mysteries with an ample dose of magic and whimsy. VERDICT Fans of Lloyd's first book, A Snicker of Magic (Scholastic, 2015), will be pleased with this frothy, pleasant tale.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journalα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This tale offers all [the] earmarks of fine storytelling, including colorful, eccentric characters, an original, highly likable narrator and a mighty spindiddly plot.” -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
From every angle, Lloyd's first novel sparkles and radiates warmth . . . Working in the folksy vein of Ingrid Law's Savvy, Lloyd offers a reassuring, homespun story about self-expression and the magic that resides in one's mind and heart.” -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
A delightful and inspiring debut . . . Mibs Beaumont and her magically gifted clan from Ingrid Law's Savvy would feel right at home here. As Felicity loves to say, Yes yes yes! -- School Library Journal, starred review
Top customer reviews
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Do you remember in A SNICKER OF MAGIC how certain ice cream flavors made you feel a certain emotion? Well, that very cool and almost magical concept is kind of in KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY with the hot chocolate, known as BONEYARD BREW. AND I LOVE IT! What I would give to pop into the Boneyard Café, and sit down with Emma and Cody Belle and Earl…
If you love delightful Middle Grade fiction with colorful and humorous characters facing real life problems and challenges, and perhaps even a dash of magic, then you will most likely love THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY. Like hot chocolate and freshly baked muffins? Treasure? New friendships?
GO AHEAD THEN!
Emma Pearl Casey can't wait to have her Destiny Dream to find out her life's meaning. She's hoping it will fill up the emptiness in her heart & take her on a fantastic journey. Readers will go on a magical journey with Emma. Natalie Lloyd's words are full of magic & hope. The story is a lyrical masterpiece flowing from one chapter to the next. The craft in this book is exceptional! Emma's story is sure to inspire many readers to find their own starry destiny! If nothing else, it'll leave you wanting a Boneyard Brew & peach-lavender muffin!
When I came home from school last night and saw this book sitting on the kitchen counter, I ripped it open and dove right in. Part of me wanted to slow down and savor it, but I just couldn't. As I got into it, I was compelled to see what Emma's Destiny Dream was, and how it was going to be realized. I wanted to see if the mysterious boy would ever speak again. I had to know if they could save their family bakery, the Boneyard Cafe. I was curious if the ghosts in their backyard cemetery were real. I needed to know what the key in her dream unlocked! I couldn't put this book down!
If you love stories with multi-generational families, compassionate characters, traditions, and eccentricity, I think you will love it, too! The Key to Extraordinary is extraordinary. It will satiate a hunger you didn't even know you had!
Most recent customer reviews
Every woman in Emma’s family is special.Read more
Snicker of Magic and Key to Extraordinary are similar in that they have a fabulously quirky small town, rich...Read more