Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MG Review: A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

A Snicker of Magic 
by Natalie Lloyd
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Magical Realism
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 25th, 2014

by Scholastic Press 
Source:  Public Library


Favorite Line:  
“It's so weird how life is so full of moving around-people coming and going, people passing by each other all day long. You never know which person's going to steal your heart. You never know which place is going to settle your soul, All you can do is look. And hope. And believe. “

Midnight Gulch used to be a town filled with magic, where "stars were kept in Mason jars and thunderstorms were caused by singing".  And then there were those who had magic for music, like the Threadbare boys.  This is the town where Felicity's mama grew up, and the one that Felicity, her mama and sister Frannie Jo are just now returning to.  Mama says the magic left Midnight Gulch with the Threadbare boys,  but Felicity learns a secret that might bring the magic back.  With the help of the Beedle and Felicity' s teacher, Miss Lawson's talent show, maybe just maybe Felicity may have finally found a way to stop mama's wandering heart. 

A Snicker of Magic is a magical story with characters that are interesting and varied.  It's a story with a small town feel, where quirky characters stories intertwine to reveal the plot.  Mama with her wandering heart,  not able to put roots down in one spot and Felicity keeping hope and believing that some day it might be possible.   Even little Frannie Jo, who is wiser than she gets credit for.  I read a few interviews of Lloyd's on  The Secret Files of Fairdaymorrow and Literary Rambles where she talked about the inspiration for her story and where her characters came from.  I enjoyed reading about how she incorporated her grandparents, friends and even beloved dog into her story.  Lloyd gives an authentic feel to the relationship that Felicity and Frannie Joe share.  

 "...And I think if you're lucky, a sister is the same as a friend, but better.  A sister is like a super-forever-infinity friend."  

I so loved how Felicity writes her words on her tennis shoes, sees them as words everywhere, above and around a person, even floating down a hallway.  But, especially that she "catches these words" and uses them to develop a poem for her sister on their first day at their new new school.  You can feel their love for one another.   

What comes so easy for Felicity to see, does not come easy for her to speak in front of more than one person.  Her lack of confidence in herself and loneliness make me want to give her a big hug.  I was so happy that Felicity met Jonah, who's words "shimmer and make her heart beat a little faster."  He is so sweet and wonderful as the mysterious "Beedle."   I like the way he is drawn to Felicity over missing pieces in both their families.  He seems to know exactly what she needs, especially since Felicity thinks that "making new friends, in a new place, when you're the new girl, is harder than fractions."  

Most of all I really enjoyed how Lloyd chooses just the right words to tell her story...

"The way he said her name made my heart cramp. In all my years of word collecting, I've learned this to be a tried and true fact: I can very often tell how much a person loves another person by the way they say their name. I think that's one of the best feelings in the world, when you know your name is safe in another person's mouth. When you know they'll never shout it out like a cuss word, but say it or whisper it like a once-upon-a-time."



  1. So glad you enjoyed this. Me too! I loved everything about it.

  2. I love your review! The first quote is so perfect! A Snicker of Magic is such an amazing book. No one should miss it! So glad you enjoyed reading our interview with Natalie. She is so sweet and talented. :)

    1. Wonderful interview and I so look forward to see what she comes up with next. She has a lovely poetic style.

  3. What a wonderful review! I'm so glad you enjoyed this--A Snicker of Magic quickly became one of my favorite middle grades for 2014. I just love to recommend this book to people--it is such a gem. I also like the quotes you chose.

    1. Thanks Katie, I would have loved to add all the quotes, but that would have made it way to long. I want to re-read it again, so gonna have to purchase it soon.