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Missing Magic
     

Missing Magic

by EMMA LAYBOURN
 

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Ned’s gotten into an elite new school. But there’s a problem—everyone there can do magic. And Ned can’t.  Ned tries to adjust to his new situation, avoid making enemies, and jump-start his magic skills, all with very little luck. Then, just as he’s getting accustomed to having his hair turned into snakes and his books into bricks,

Overview

Ned’s gotten into an elite new school. But there’s a problem—everyone there can do magic. And Ned can’t.  Ned tries to adjust to his new situation, avoid making enemies, and jump-start his magic skills, all with very little luck. Then, just as he’s getting accustomed to having his hair turned into snakes and his books into bricks, Necromancers strike and Ned and his classmates are kidnapped. But without magic, how can he possibly help them escape?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

An author must be either very confident or very foolish to attempt another novel about a fish-out-of-water boy sent to a school of witchcraft and wizardry. Laybourn is evidently the former, as she laces her U.S. debut with heaps of humor and a strong moral message. Eleven-year-old Ned is "magically challenged"-in a world where everyone uses magic to meet their every need, he is totally devoid of magical ability. Despite this, he is accepted into Leodwych School, largely thanks to the efforts of his influential Uncle Kelver, a powerful mage. At school, he is bullied for being different-pelted with flying food, his hair turned into snakes-and in time he runs away, homesick for the simple life on his parents' farm. Under pressure from his father, he returns to school, only to be one of several school children kidnapped by the airships of the Necromancers. There he discovers that his Uncle Kelver is not the benevolent man he thought he was and learns the reason he cannot perform magic. Comparisons to Harry Potter may abound; indeed, Laybourn seems to invite them at times. But the moral of the story-that laziness and stagnation are truly dangerous-elevate this little book to a grand parable. Ages 8-up. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Seemingly normal in every way, eleven-year-old Ned, in his world, is disabled because he is magic-less. Using the influence of Uncle Kelver, Ned's second cousin, Ned's mother enrolls Ned into Leodwych School, where Uncle Kelver is the governor. Ned stands out as different in a school where the students use magic to do their school work. A victim of snake hair, jelly chair, and other pranks, magically challenged Ned is ready to go back home to the farm, but after a one-week stay at home and some advice, he returns to school. Meanwhile, the threat of Necromancers, evil wizards, is buzzing around Ledowych, as children are mysteriously disappearing. The Necromancers kidnap Ned and some of his classmates and employ them as slaves aboard their airship. The children use their magic to keep the airship afloat. What will Ned to do when the ship's guards discover that he has no magic powers? Behind the magic, Ned discovers some interesting surprises during his adventure.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
Eleven-year-old Ned leaves his family farm to attend Leodwych School at the request of his powerful Uncle Kelver, a Mage. The problem is that all of the students have magical powers except Ned, and he is unable to defend himself against them. After being abducted by an invisible airship, he learns that his uncle is a traitor and that he is responsible for Ned's lost powers. His captors are the highly feared Necromancers, sky pirates who steal supplies and children to run their airships. Two of his schoolmates are captured along with him and forced to use their magic to help fly the ship. Ned bargains with one of the Necromancers to save his friends, but Uncle Kelver casts a spell that accidentally removes everyone's magic. The children make it back to Leodwych with the help of mermaids, and everyone has to learn how to do things without magic. Naturally, Ned is the best person to teach them. Not particularly remarkable, this quick, light fantasy goes against convention in that magic, or the easy way out, isn't presented as the answer to everything. The plot and characters are simply drawn but will satisfy less-skilled readers.
—Corinda J. HumphreyCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Another Harry Potter spawn, the twist here is that the central character, Ned, is the only one who doesn't have magical powers. He's sent to Leodwych School, where his Uncle Kelver is the governor, to learn magic, but he can't. So Ned is miserable because the other students do their assignments by magic, play tricks on him with spells, target him in a flying food fight and resent his familial ties. They even play games of flyball, spinning and looping in the sky. Sound familiar? Many other elements are derivative: The terrifying Necromancers are kidnapping kids as galley slaves to use their spells to keep their giant airship afloat; the double trumpeted goosehorn menacingly writhes and coils around anyone who tries to play it by magic; and adored Uncle Trevor turns out to be the bad guy. On the plus side, it's a younger read than HP, there are lots of humorous school scenes and it's Ned, the good guy without any magical abilities, who comes to the rescue. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440678431
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/21/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
197 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Emma Laybourn lives in Cheshire, England.

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