Ordinary Magic

( 10 )

Overview

In Abby?s world, magic isn?t anything special: it?s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she?s branded an "Ord"?ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society. The outlook for kids like Abby isn?t bright. Many are cast out by their families, while others are sold to treasure hunters (ordinary kids are impervious to spells and enchantments). Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. ...

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Ordinary Magic

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Overview

In Abby’s world, magic isn’t anything special: it’s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she’s branded an "Ord"—ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society. The outlook for kids like Abby isn’t bright. Many are cast out by their families, while others are sold to treasure hunters (ordinary kids are impervious to spells and enchantments). Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. But with treasure-hunting kidnappers and carnivorous goblins lurking around every corner, Abby’s biggest problem may not be learning how to be ordinary—it’s whether or not she’s going to survive the school year!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having grown up in a world in which magic is used for everything—from whipping up breakfast to traveling (via flying carpet)—12-year-old Abby is distraught after she is declared an “ord,” entirely devoid of magic. Most families either cast out ord children or sell them to conniving adventurers, but, in an inversion of the magical boarding school trope, Abby is enrolled in Rothermere, a school where ords learn how to survive without magic. There, Abby meets friends and finds that, despite widespread prejudice against them, there are advantages to being an ord (“Ords can’t do magic,” explains an instructor. “And magic can’t really do ords either”). The first middle-grade novel from Rubino-Bradway (co-author of Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, for adults) takes its time getting underway; when, in the second half, treasure hunters kidnap Abby and other students, the plot picks up. On the whole, it’s a fairly mild adventure with dashes of humor (characters include Barbarian Mike and King Steve); Abby, as a truly “normal” heroine, is easy to identify with. Unfinished business suggests a sequel is in store. Ages 8–12. Agent: Lauren Galit, LKG Agency. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Harry Potter in reverse. In a magical world, a young girl is judged to be merely ordinary, changing the course of her life forever. When 12-year-old Abby Hale passes through the archway of the "Barrier of Fortitude" on the day of her Judging, nothing happens. Even when she repeats the effort over and over again: nada. Mr. Graidy, the ancient head of the Guild painfully concludes: "She has nothing. She is nothing. She's an ord." In the magical universe where Abby resides, "ords" are outcasts. Many are rejected by their families, friends and schools; some are either sold to or kidnapped by exploitative treasure hunters. But Abby is spared the worst since her gifted older sister is in service to the Department of Education and the sympathetic King Stephen. In her debut for children, Rubino-Bradway tells Abby's tale in a first-person narration characterized by upbeat energy and action, treating readers to a jaunt filled with caring schoolmates, teachers, siblings and parents, as well as heartless enemies. While the author has crafted an allegory that successfully lampoons mindless prejudice and coupled it with a pitch to make do with one's own limitations, the story eventually deteriorates into a jumble of repetitive escapades with characters who adjust to their circumstances but don't evolve. Promising, but not quite there yet. (Fantasy. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599907253
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 75,047
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

CAITLEN RUBINO-BRADWAY is also the author of the adult novel Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, which she wrote with her mother. This is her first book for younger readers.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    !!!

    Best book ever.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2013

    I received this book free from the author in exchange of a hones

    I received this book free from the author in exchange of a honest review. Thank you very much, Caitlen!

    At the begining, when Abby found out that she's an "ord", I thought that she will start to cry and everybody will support her. I thought that she'll go at that special school and she will learn history and other uninteresting things and she will have boyfriends, but I was wrong. Abigail Hale is a very brave and powerful girl, and her family treated her like she was theirs, even though she was "nothing". Everybody considered her family worthy of respect and when they found out that Abby doesn't have magical powers, they started to be distant. Even her classmates, even her teacher looked at her with contempt. What they did was bad, but Abby ignored them, therefor she didn't care. And when she arrived at her school in Rothermere, everything seemed normal. But the danger started to appear - the hungry goblins were hunting the ords and two adventurers - Barbarian Mike and Trixie - wanted to kidnap Abby. So when they had the opportunity to kidnap Abby, they did it. But the girl was very brave and I started to admire her for that.

    My rating: 5/5

    The story was very interesting and, even though at the begining it didn't seem quite unique, I really liked it. There were moments when I was kept in suspense and moments when I laughed a lot. My favorites characters were the members of the Hale family. Everyone had something special; but I adored Gil from the very first moment. His jokes were making me smile every time and the fact that he was a writer impressed me. Also, Alexa, her bigger sister, was very nice. Plus, she was serving King Steve, so she was very powerful, smart and always prepared to replace her mother when both Abby and Alexa were far away from home.
    Abby is a really nice character; she immediately managed to make some friends and I was really surprised when she offered to work (a lot) in the kitchen, for the entire school year without any complaints. She proved that she was very diligent and she accepted to spend her free time in the kitchen, washing dishes.

    Oh, and another thing I loved about this book?
    Flying carpets. I love flying carpets and I'm always going to love them.

    I really like the fact that the humor was mixed with the action and magic and I enjoyed reading Abby's story. I love that, sometimes, there were some funny breaks in which the funny characters were involved (like Gil, of course). Okay, maybe Abby was making me laugh too, but Gil...
    It would be awesome if I would have two brothers like Jeremy and Gil. Though, I'm really sorry for Abby. I wish she had magical powers. But then, the story would have been too ordinary, right?

    Anyway, "Ordinary Magic is a book that really deserves five stars and you should read it. I hope that Caitlen will write a sequel, because this book really deserves one and I'm really curious what happens next.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ordinary Magic is a cute, magical read about ordinary kids who p

    Ordinary Magic is a cute, magical read about ordinary kids who prove to be extraordinary in a world where magic is the norm. Every kid dreams about magic at some point in life, and in Abby's world it is no exception. However, kids in Abby's world typically take magic for granted. I freaking love this world, and I admire kids like Abby who dare to run straight into danger to protect their friends and their beliefs. The ordinary girl that she is, Abby shines in the magical world she lives in.

    Exceptional as the world building is, the characters are what make this story shine. They all played their roles without fail, and they all have their unique personalities. I loved Abby's friends in their own special ways, especially Peter--the loner who seems to feel something special towards Abby. I expect to see more development between the two in the future (because there better be a book two!). Abby's family is equally amazing, if not more so. Despite the general populace's distaste for ords, Abby's family rallies together to protect the baby of their family. Abby's eldest sister Alexa is my hero(ine). An extremely power magic wielder, Alexa uses her abilities to protect and educate ords like Abby when she could be doing something crazy.

    This is a book for people of all ages. There is no wasted scene; each one contributes to the development of the plot. Readers of all ages will enjoy the adventure, magic, and humor. Middle-grade readers will delight in Abby's magical world where ordinary kids can shine and prevail against the bad guys. Older readers will appreciate the underlying meanings behind various plot lines, such as the prejudice against ords. And a little magic never hurts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2012

    An interesting reversal of the Norm....where there is a world wh

    An interesting reversal of the Norm....where there is a world where MAGIC is the born and non magic the exception.Loved the characters....would definitely order any more offerings from this author to add to my 50000 or so books

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    I enjoyed the story, but think there are too many loose ends. No

    I enjoyed the story, but think there are too many loose ends. Not everything can be resolved in one story. Yet this is a set up for a sequel or more. I would read any future books to learn how the loose ends are explained or taken care of.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ordinary Magic is about Abby. Her world is pretty much opposite

    Ordinary Magic is about Abby. Her world is pretty much opposite of ours; people who can cast magic are normal, those who can't, aren't. Abby comes from a family where her siblings are very high on the magic scale (especially her sister who I believe is a 9) and they're a very nice loving group of people. So when Abby comes back and they realize she's an Ord, they give her nothing but full support. I suppose it helps that her high ranking sister also works for King. So she puts Abby in a school for Ord's where they teach them how to live without magic (sounds awful, right? lol).

    It was interesting how the author spun the fact that living with magic was normal where doing normal things like hand washing dishes (instead of poof'ing them away -- where do they go anyway?), cleaning areas, learning self defense and studying were such a hassle! While Abby doesn't leave the school much, I thought the world building was fantastic. Every time they would travel from home back to the school (on a magic carpet!) I could clearly see what they saw. I loved how close Abby and her family were and how much they cared about Abby even though she was an Ord. I loved the tone of the book, how it felt like Abby was sitting with you, telling you this story (complete with her side comments). It helped me feel a connection with her.

    I enjoyed the parts having to do with Barbarian Mike and his wench Trixie. They were so frustrating and they just did not know when to quit! Seriously! Even though they annoyed me to no end, I still enjoyed their appearances. Mostly because I was more interested in how Abby would react. But geez, talk about desperate!

    I also really liked Fran, and how her writing was always in a tiny font to emphasis she was was a tiny person. And Peter! Even though he was a jerk most of the time. When he wasn't he could be really sweet, especially to Abby. I also liked the teachers after getting to know them, they weren't so bad.

    While I did enjoy this read (for the most part) and the adventure, there was something missing. It didn't completely pull me in. I can't really figure out why :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Excellent book

    I greatly enjoyed reading this imaginative book. The author did an excellent job of crafting a magical world and infusing her characters with personality. I would recommend this book for middle school children up through adults.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Discover a world where being normal means being different. This

    Discover a world where being normal means being different.
    This was an imaginative and fun new read that had me hooked from the very first page. The story was very descriptive and really made you feel as if you were a part of it. There are tons of new characters that will have you both laughing and worried. It is almost impossible not to get engrossed in this enchanting new world the author weaved.
    Abby goes through many of the same situations that young kids go through even though her world is a bit different. She is still learning about whom she is and how to fit in so I believe a lot of readers will be able to relate to her just like I did.
    Ordinary Magic is a great new read that children and adults alike are sure to love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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