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A Snicker of Magic

Review

A Snicker of Magic

Jonah grinned as he leaned back in his seat. “People claim Ponder’s pies still have a snicker of magic.”

            “A snicker?”

            “That’s magic leftover,” Jonah explained. “Not good for much, not as fancy as it used to be – but enough to make it special.”

Sixth-grader Felicity Pickle was pretty sure there was nothing magical about her or her family. After all, since her father left, Felicity and her little sister Frannie Jo had been wandering around with their mother from city to city, state to state, not staying too long in any one place. So when Felicity’s mother drove their beat up van, the Pickled Jalapeño, into the hidden town of Midnight Gulch, Felicity was positive they would be back on the road within a week. However, Midnight Gulch was where Felicity’s mother grew up, and after they shacked up with Felicity’s Aunt Cleo, a small spark of hope started growing in Felicity’s heart that perhaps they had finally found a home.

It’s not very often that a book comes around that makes your heart beat a little faster and makes life seem that much sweeter.... Do not miss A SNICKER OF MAGIC.

Midnight Gulch has a long history of magic, although most people would argue that all changed once the Brothers Threadbare participated in their famous duel. The Brothers Threadbare were known far and wide for their special brand of magic, most notably found in the music they created with their guitar and banjo. It wasn’t until their pride got the best of them and they decided to see who was superior that the magic went awry. The brother who lost was cursed to endless wandering, and the winner was heartbroken after his brother left. After the duel, the magic in Midnight Gulch faded until only little snickers were found here and there, but certainly not enough to reverse the curse and restore Midnight Gulch to its former prominence.

Felicity Pickle learned this troubled history of Midnight Gulch through the first true friend she met at school: Jonah Pickett. Jonah, also known as the Beedle, spends his time doing good deeds for others and decides to help Felicity as best as he can. Some might call it magic, but Felicity has always been able to read words off of people and things. They seem to jump off of everything and Felicity collects them for their sounds, meanings, and the chance that she might need to use them in the future. Jonah learns of this special ability and agrees to help Felicity in the upcoming school duel, where Felicity has volunteered to read some of her poems despite having terrible stage fright. Jonah also promises to help convince Felicity’s mother that perhaps now is the time to put down roots and call Midnight Gulch home.

There’s magic floating around Midnight Gulch, though, and before Felicity can call Midnight Gulch home, she’ll need to figure out how to not only control the magic but to also set it free. That means making sense of all the words Felicity sees floating around people and places, getting reacquainted with her long lost Uncle Boone and finding a way to break the curse that may be impacting her family more than she realizes.

Joy. Laughter. Heartwarming. Mystery. Intrigue. Love. These are some of the many words that I would use to describe A SNICKER OF MAGIC. Author Natalie Lloyd grabs hold of you from the very first words and you will not want to let go. Lloyd has taken words like Home, Family, and Love and created a magical place that, while set in the fictional place called Midnight Gulch, could be your own family, friends, and hometown if you just stop and look in the right places. It’s not very often that a book comes around that makes your heart beat a little faster and makes life seem that much sweeter. Don’t miss out on living life to the fullest, and most certainly do not miss A SNICKER OF MAGIC.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on February 10, 2014

A Snicker of Magic
by Natalie Lloyd

  • Publication Date: April 28, 2015
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0545552737
  • ISBN-13: 9780545552738