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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
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Top Customer Reviews
My grandson, 10, and I both read this book. My grandson loves science fiction and dark mysteries, but he did seem to enjoy this book. He thought there was too much mushy stuff, but other than that he understood it was about the good and the bad times in life.
Neither of us has read any of Natalie Lloyd's books. She is a master in writing, and was able to keep our attention throughout the book. Emma Pearl Casey lives with her grandmother and her brother, Topher, in a small town in Tennessee. Grandmother runs a cafe, the Boneyard cafe, named such because it is next to an old cemetery. The Cafe is not doing well, and a malicious developer wants to purchase the Cafe. However, Emma has heard through age old stories that there is a treasure in the cemetery, and if she can find it all will be well.
Like life, there are always ups and downs, joys and sadness, but Emily comes from a can do family, and never do they give up. Many lessons are learned in this book, some of the storyline went on too long for me,but all in all, the story was well received.
Recommended. prisrob 11-08-15
~~Lauren Campbell, 11 year old girl
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!
There are messages here about finding joy in times of sorrow and about destiny leading us in unexpected directions. I found the book to be wholly original and appropriate for the recommended age range (8-12), even if younger readers may not grasp all of it at once.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Emma Pearl Casey can't wait to have her Destiny Dream to find out her life's meaning.Read more