Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic

by Amy Ephron


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A summer by the seashore turns into a fantastical adventure for Tess & Max in this magical tale filled with excitement, acrobatics, hypnosis, and wonder.

Tess and Max are back in England for another summer with their Aunt Evie—this time by the seashore in South Devon. And they're incredibly excited about the travelling carnival that's come to town. There are rides, games, acrobats, The House of Mirrors—and even a psychic, with a beautiful wagon all her own.

In a visit to the psychic's wagon, while Tess is being hypnotized, the wagon seems to move. Before Tess can shake herself out of the hypnosis, before Max can do anything, they seem to be travelling—along with the rest of the carnival—too quickly for the two of them to jump out. But where are they going and what awaits them? Will they be caught in a world different from their own? And do the Baranova twins, acrobats who miss their sister almost as much as Tess and Max miss their family, hold the keys to the mystery?

Internationally bestselling author Amy Ephron returns with a companion novel to The Castle in the Mist and creates a magical tale filled with adventure, mystery, fantasy, family, and fun.

Praise for Carnival Magic:

"Full of wonder and real-life enchantment, Amy Ephron's Carnival Magic is a charming adventure that will make a believer out of anyone!" —Rachel Vail, author of Well, That Was Awkward and the Friendship Ring series

"Tess is a thoroughly modern heroine: She's athletic, impulsive, and fearless . . . The siblings are authentic children [and] the fantastic elements are the stuff of daydreams. Perfect for classroom read-alouds." —Kirkus Reviews

"The short chapters filled with mystery and action will have readers eagerly continuing to discover the secrets that await them. . . . Fans of the first book will be eager for this fun middle-grade fantasy with a classic sensibility." —Booklist

"The setting is contemporary—yet the language and tone feel distinctly nostalgic. This novel, which works as a stand alone, will captivate readers who enjoy their whimsy with a dash of risk." —School Library Journal

"[Carnival Magic is] a softer otherworldly take on childhood mystery, reminiscent of classics like A Secret Garden . . . [it] is in itself an escape. Tess especially follows in that lineage of strong, intelligent female characters – a sort of Lucy Pevensie/Hermione Granger hybrid who is a leader, who believes in magic." —Teen Vogue

"Amy Ephron has always been a magical storyteller. . . . In Carnival Magic, the companion book to Ephron’s successful The Castle in the Mist . . . Tess and Max are teaching children and their parents about the power of thoughtful decision-making, loyalty, and self-confidence. Life lessons and carnival rides . . . the perfect beach read for all ages." —Parade

“Ephron renders this magical world with such assertive beauty that readers of all ages, who are fortunate enough to believe in the power of magic, will enjoy immersing themselves in the roller-coaster fun of these stories, and come to trust, even if for a short time, that in this ‘alternate universe’ it is possible for us to come together and ‘touch the sky.’” —Jewish Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524740238
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Series: Other Side
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 441,437
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Amy Ephron ( is the author of The Castle in the Mist, her first book for young readers, which was nominated for a SCIBA Award, and of Carnival Magic and The Other Side of the Wall, both companion books. Amy has also written several adult books, including A Cup of Tea, which was an international bestseller. Her novel One Sunday Morning received the Booklist Best Fiction of the Year and Best Historical Fiction of the Year awards and was a Barnes and Noble Book Club selection. She is a contributor and contributing editor at Vogue and, and her work has appeared in numerous other publications. She was also the executive producer of Warner Brothers' A Little Princess. Amy lives in Los Angeles with her husband; between them they have five children. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @amyephron.


Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

October 21, 1952

Place of Birth:

Beverly Hills, California

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Excerpted from "Carnival Magic"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Amy Ephron.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Carnival Magic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadingwithErin More than 1 year ago
Summer fun, strong sibling relationship and magic! My Rating: 4.5 stars Thank you to Penguin for a free physical copy. "Sometimes the best way of making sure you might see someone again is by not saying, good-bye." Tess and Max are going to go back and spend some more time with their Aunt, this time in South Devon. They've come before their parents to spend a little time with just there aunt as well as just getting to explore the summer house. The aunt takes them to two fun places, both full of wonder and charm for Tess and Max who have a tendency to find magical things. Overall while this was the second book in a series, I was able to put the pieces together of what happened in the first one to make sense of what was happening in this one. I ended up really liking this one and I absolutely loved the carnival and magic system. Carnival Magic while extremely at creepy at times, also was never too scary. We worry for Tess and Max and the characters we meet along the way. There is also a sense of knowing that somehow Tess will figure it out either on her own or with a little help from some of the friends they've made along the way. The carnival itself without the magical elements seemed like the usual fun carnival and I loved how normal it was while also being different at the same time. It was really easy to follow along with the urban fantasy elements and how things were kind of happening. I am going to go back and read the first book in this series and I will be impatiently waiting to see if this book series continues on because I need more of life in this world. I highly recommend this book for all middle-grade readers as it has a great sibling relationship as well as being a fun summertime read.