A Snicker of Magic

A Snicker of Magic

4.4 17
by Natalie Lloyd
     
 

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Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing. Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that;…  See more details below

Overview

Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing. Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart. But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster. Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
★ 01/01/2014
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
The New York Times Book Review - Elisabeth Egan
…whimsical and bewitching…Thankfully, this is not one of those books where all roads lead to one triumphant and redemptive moment. Lloyd's story takes many unexpected twists and turns…A Snicker of Magic covers wholesome, warm-fuzzy territory in a quirky, cheerful way. It should be read aloud for maximum enjoyment, with a pen handy to jot down new words…Young spelling enthusiasts, Scrabble lovers, Boggle big leaguers and word people of the world—hang on for the ride! Felicity Pickle will take you places, and that, fellow logophiles, is spindiddly, indeed.
Publishers Weekly
★ 01/13/2014
From every angle, Lloyd’s first novel sparkles and radiates warmth. Felicity Juniper Pickle, 12, feels an immediate kinship with the town of Midnight Gulch, Tenn., the latest place her itinerant mother has brought Felicity, her almost-six-year-old sister, Frannie Jo, and their dog Biscuit. The remote mountain town has a history interwoven with secret magic, but most of it seems to have evaporated years ago following a dual between a pair of famous magician brothers, which divided a family and resulted in a curse. Felicity’s immediate concerns lay with her mother’s sadness and her insistence on constantly uprooting the family. With the help of Felicity’s new friend Jonah, who has his own secret magic that he works on Midnight Gulch; the stories that Felicity collects from various townspeople; and Felicity’s ability to see words that reflect people’s hidden thoughts and desires) she tries to save both the town and her own family. 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. Ages 8–12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

* "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
 

Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Eleven-year-old Felicity Pickle sees words in the air. Some are sparkly and exciting; others are sad. She collects them in a notebook that she would like to share with others, but when she tries, her voice simply does not work. Felicity, her artist mom, and her little sister move around frequently in the family’s van, which they call the Pickled Jalapeno. As Felicity prepares to enter yet another new school, the words she sees are lonely and hurtful, but she cannot help but hope this time will be different. They have arrived in Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a small town where they will live with Aunt Cleo. According to legend, the town was once magical, but the magic left with the Threadbare Brothers after their musical duel. Soon, Felicity makes a new friend Jonah and together they decide to restore the magic. Against her better judgment, Felicity enters a talent contest where she will attempt to share her words with the community; she hopes this will cause her mother to settle down. But time is running out, and her mother is packing, ready to move on. However, Felicity continues to be hopeful that they have finally found a home. Readers of all ages will enjoy this delightful story about the power of words, music, and love. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson; Ages 8 to 12.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-11-20
The protagonist of this debut joins a growing list of endearing young girls from the South, and it's an extra bonus that her new best friend and mentor is a boy whose method of transportation, without fanfare, just happens to be a wheelchair. Felicity Juniper Pickle, her little sister, Frannie Jo, and their dog, Biscuit, have once again been moved by their mother to a new town. This time they are moving in with Mama's sister in Mama's old hometown, Midnight Gulch, Tenn., which used to be renowned for its magic--the kind where people could "sing up thunderstorms and…dance up sunflowers." Felicity, who has an uncanny ability for seeing and using written words but suffers from stage fright, wants to stay in Midnight Gulch. Her new friend, Jonah, with whom she performs anonymous acts of kindness, persuades Felicity to enter the Duel--a talent show in which her "weapon" will be her words. As the Duel approaches, Felicity and Jonah find themselves caught up in figuring out how to return the town's magic and to reverse a curse from Felicity's "balloon-riding, globe-trotting, curse-bearing great-great-grandfather" (surely homage to Holes). Although pacing is sometimes difficult, this tale offers all the other earmarks of fine storytelling, including colorful, eccentric characters, an original, highly likable narrator and a mighty "spindiddly" plot. (Fantasy. 8-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545552721
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/25/2014
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
56,864
File size:
30 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Natalie Lloyd lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She collects old books, listens to bluegrass music, and loves exploring quirky mountain towns with her dog, Biscuit. She is the author of A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary.

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A Snicker of Magic 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to see what's next for Natalie Lloyd!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm only on the first chapter of this book and i think that it's amazing!!!! Everyone needs to read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book earns 10000000000000000000000000000000 stars! IT WAS INCREDIBLE! READ IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Snicker of Magic is, like, so cool. I love the descriptiv words. I am totally getting the book, and you should too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ages 9-12 will love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness wow! This is a book about Felicity Juniper Pickle, who stands for boundless joy. She collects words, but Midnight Gulch is the place where she sees the word home after traveling most of the us looking for one. The first person she meets is Jonah, alias the Beedle. His mom is the mechanic and hair stylist for Midnight Gulch. He is the one who tells her about the curse that will change everything. Full of secrets, words, and music, this book is about healing whats broken, undoing bonds, and the power of words and of home. A must read for any age, but mostly anyone who loves, words, song, and magic. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Artzicarol More than 1 year ago
This was a creative read, with lots of ice cream, made-up words, and a snicker of magic. Now I have the word “spindiddly!” stuck in my head. I like the way the main character, Felicity, sees actual visible words around people and places; they give her clues as to emotions, histories, and personalities. The ending was satisfying as the mysterious “curse” of the town of Midnight Gulch was resolved.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
This book is adorable. I love how it introduces vocabulary - this book is perfect for parents who like to read with their kids and want some extracurricular activities like looking up definitions or using the word-lists found in this book for kids to make their own poems. It's also a handy way to introduce kids to the concept of neology - that word is never mentioned in the book but the main character, Felicity Pickle, is a neologist who invents words like spindiddly, which means "better than awesome." I love language evolution so this appealed to me greatly. The first couple of chapters made me anxious because of the use of the word gypsy. My family has Romanichal roots and the way Travelers are portrayed isn't always pleasant. The Romanichal and Roma are never mentioned by name in this story, only the word gypsy is used and not in context with Romany culture. The Pickle family is what the Roma call New Agers/New Age Travelers - people who live a Bohemian lifestyle without following Romany culture. I would like to caveat the previous sentence by pointing out that there were a couple paragraphs that made me imagine that the town of Midnight Gulch may have originally been settled by the Roma who then forgot who they were (which is a reality for many American Roma families). New Agers can be a source of despair for the Roma - imagine what you think you know about gypsies and there's a good chance you're envisioning New Age Travelers instead of actual Romany people, but the Pickle family doesn't even rely on that stereotype which is a nice change from the usual portrayal. I'm so pleased that I received a free copy of this book from GoodReads First Reads in exchange for a review because I loved this story. The writing style made me think Dr. Seuss meets Roald Dahl meets Alice Hoffman. I look forward to reading more work by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It rocks
meredith3212 More than 1 year ago
I ordered this for my 10 year old, he loves it. I ordered a few days before Easter and way beyond pleased went I got it the day before. Thanks BN!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book you should read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
-she flops over.-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He blinked up at her, nodding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peeps need ta write a twenty page sample,yo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1) Absolutley NO DRAMA! <br> This includes; Fighting, arguing, unkindness, ect. <br> 2) Dont tell ANYONE about this camp! Doing so will get you kicked out! <br> 3) Have fun!