A Snicker of Magic

by Lloyd, Natalie

Ages: 8 years and up (approximately grades 3+)

Felicity Pickle has never had a permanent home or a friend to call her own. Her mother has a wandering spirit and moves Felicity and her sister, Frannie Jo, from place to place. Their next stop is Midnight Gulch, the town where her mother grew up that has a history rooted in magic. Long ago in Midnight Gulch, secrets were baked into pies and people danced up real thunderstorms. Felicity has a little magic in herself, too. She can see words appear out of thin air, words that people are thinking or words that describe the objects or people around them. Felicity collects these words in a notebook because she’s too afraid to speak them herself. Slowly, Felicity eases out of her shell. She has a new best friend and becomes intrigued by the legend of a curse that banished the magic from Midnight Gulch. With her newfound confidence and her own little snicker of magic, Felicity might end the curse and finally find a place to call home.

While elements of whimsy and magic are a large part of this book, the overall theme is about the importance of love, family, and forgiveness. It shows the reader that families and love can come in many forms, and that forgiveness is more powerful than any curse. Debut author Lloyd showcases her folksy storytelling style by creating the most charming of towns in Midnight Gulch with quirky characters that are authentically human, flaws and all. This fun, heartfelt read is recommended for grades 3 and up for readers who enjoyed A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff and Savvy by Ingrid Law.

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