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A Snicker of Magic Paperback – April 28, 2015
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—A delightful and inspiring debut. Mama has a wandering heart, which means that 12-year-old Felicity Pickle and her little sister, Frannie Jo, have wandered along with her in their battered van. But Midnight Gulch feels like home, and not just because it's where Mama grew up. It's one of those quirky little towns where there just might be magic. It's the characters that make this story shine: gruff Aunt Cleo and her tongue-tied swain; Oliver and Ponder, purveyors of unusual ice cream and baked goods, respectively; Jewell Pickett, hair-stylist and auto-mechanic extraordinaire; and her son Jonah, who has the amazing ability to make things better for anybody, despite his own difficulties. And Felicity, who sees words everywhere and uses them in remarkable ways. She's a girl who loves deeply and openly, and who creates her own kind of magic. Added to these elements are a series of folkloric backstories about feuding brothers, doomed romances, mysterious do-gooders, lost children, and a curse. Mibs Beaumont and her magically gifted clan from Ingrid Law's Savvy (Dial, 2008) would feel right at home here. As Felicity loves to say, "Yes…yes…yes!"—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Felicity arrives in Midnight Gulch and learns from her mama that there used to be magic there. Magic is a bonus for Felicity, who longs to stay in one place so she can make a friend. She finds one in wheelchair-bound Jonah, and he fills in Felicity on the town’s magical history and its people. And, as it turns out, Felicity is capable of magic herself—word collecting. She sees words everywhere—on people, in her glass of milk, and in the trees. The word “treasures” that she finds are the real winner for this novel. (The words are not part of the sentence structure, but they add to the story by revealing the moods of people she sees, or are used as onomatopoeia.) The unusual language, showing a tinge of Tennessee mountain dialect, spins a web around the story that touches on helping others, budding friendships, and strength of family. First-time novelist Lloyd has produced a “spindiddly” product that will hearten word and poetry lovers and encourage those who have almost lost hope for a happy ending. Grades 5-7. --Martha Edmundson --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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The plot is that there is a town that used to have magic in it. The magic was fueled by two brothers Stone and Berry. When they sung and played guitar, everybody danced and things were good. At one point the two brothers dueled. After their quarrel, they both left the town and the magic was gone. Felicity and her family move to the town when her mom gets a new job. After hearing the story about the brothers duel, she realizes the “curse of the wandering heart” has effected her mother, too. She decides to try and restore the magic to the town that it had lost, and hopefully finally find a home by curing her mothers wandering heart. She takes part in the school wide talent show in the hopes that, if she performs well enough, the magic might return to the town. She also looks for the brothers. If you want to know if Felicity finds the brothers, restores the magic, and finds happiness for her mother nd herself you'll need to read the book.
The main character of the book is Felicity Pickle, a self described “word collector”. Her traits are smart, kind, and curious. She likes collecting words that only she sees floating in the air or above someones head and putting them in her journal. She believes in magic and is hopeful that she can restore the town to its former glory. She becomes dedicated to this after seeing the word “home” in the town – something she has never seen before.
I think that the theme of the book is that if you believe in yourself than you can accomplish great things. “I heard the sound of three hearts colliding: a sob, then a ripple of happy laughter, then a whispered hallelujah.” The reason that I think that is a good example is that the mother and the daughter are meeting with her dad for the first time in a couple of years and they had to work very hard to get to meet with her dad. I think that the theme of this book is a good thing because it inspires you to work hard to achieve your goals.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantastical stories. If you like magic you'll love this book. I sure enjoyed it. It has a nice story line and an even better ending.
This is my favorite book.
"A Snicker of Magic" is one of the most beautifully written, well-paced, and solidly-developed books I have ever read. The language choices absolutely glimmer, and the characters are both whimsical and realistic. I've sent it back to my Children's Lit professor at university with a recommendation for her upper-div course as an example of how poetic prose can be, how simple lines can draw complex characters, and how kids books don't need (necessarily, lol) to have explosions or dragons or gods to be fantastic.
I can't recommend "A Snicker of Magic" highly enough, and her second book, "The Key to Extraordinary," is just about as good -- though "Snicker" remains at the top of my list.
Midnight Gulch used to have magic when the Threadbare Brothers (Stone and Berry Weatherly) and played their music. But something happened and the had a duel to find out who was better. The loser was cursed to wander for the rest of his life.
Felicity comes to Midnight Gulch with her little sister and mother. She likes to collect words that pop in the sky--Felicity grabs them and makes poems of them. But she is scared to share any of this outside of her family. Then she meets the Beedle, a person who helps those in need of something. She finds out it is Jonah.
At school, Felicity teacher wants to have a duel like the Threadbare Brothers did. Jonah talks Felicity into doing it. Jonah takes her to meet the original Beedle, Oliver Weatherly, and leans the history of the town, the duel and the curse that is on the Threadbare brother, Stone. Felicity also finds out she is a relative of the Weatherly's and figures the curse is on her and her family (he mom can never settle down anywhere).
As She and Jonah work to solve the mystery around the curse, things begin to happen. Her mother starts painting the Gallery, and her aunt gets back together with the bus driver. The day of the duel, Felicity is unhappy because the next day she will be leaving with her mother. At the duel, she figures things out and finally breaks the curse. Everything turns out well.