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- nonstopreader - This is the book my school's book club picked for our summer meeting. I haven't read it yet but it looks like a good one.
February 8, 2016
In a folksy tale laced with supernatural mystery, Lloyd (A Snicker of Magic) poetically conveys the depth of 12-year-old Emma's emotions as she embarks on a quest to uncover a legendary secret. Except for the times when Emma is overcome by "the Big Empty," a feeling she gets when she misses her recently deceased mother, she is an ordinary girl. Still, there are things in her Blackbird Hollow home that are extraordinary, like flowers with magical powers, the haunted graveyard just beyond her house, the tantalizing "Boneyard Brew" served in her grandmother's cafe, and The Book of Days, which records the "destiny dreams" of her ancestors (interspersed through the story). When her grandmother, plagued by money worries, considers selling the family business, Emma is determined to save the cafe by finding treasure, reputedly buried in the graveyard. The book's evocative setting and cast of eccentric minor characters will draw readers into Emma's worldâone warmed by friendship, love, and hopeâto share in her discovery that the most valuable treasures lie within. Ages 8â12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media.
February 1, 2016
A girl awaiting her destiny must uncover lost treasure to save her home. Orphan Emma lives above the Boneyard Cafe, her family's business, right next to the cemetery. She comes from a long line of Wildflowers: the women in her family each experience a Destiny Dream, a specific dream that steers them to extraordinary lives. When it looks as though Emma's grandmother (Granny Blue, a tattooed retired boxer) will be forced to sell their home, Emma looks for answers in a graveyard legend. The Conductor, a Civil War-era ghost, is said to have left treasure in Blackbird Hollow. With the help of Cody Belle, her trusty best friend, and Earl Chance, a boy newly returned to town and traumatized into muteness after a close encounter with a tornado, and guidance from her own less-than-clear Destiny Dream, Emma uses town lore to hunt for the treasure. Despite ghosts and graves, the story avoids the macabre and instead focuses on the relationships among memory, sadness, and joy, especially as Emma's still recovering from her mother's death. The mystery's as much fun as a treasure hunt should be, and the clues are augmented by magical flowers. Blackbird Hollow is as largely white as might be expected of an Appalachian holler, but the story avoids twee with such details as Granny Blue's Harley and Emma's fondness for rock-'n'-roll. A bouquet of quirks, whimsy, sweetness, and magic. (Fantasy. 8-12)
COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
March 1, 2016
Gr 3-6-A young girl from a long line of special women fights to save her home. Emma, like all of the women in her family, is a Wildflower. Each woman is destined to live an extraordinary life, experiencing a Destiny Dream that reveals her unique path. Shortly after the death of her ex-rocker mom, Emma feels a deep emptiness, but she consoles herself by helping out in the Boneyard Cafe, the family business situated on the edge of a cemetery, and giving tours of the cemetery to tourists. The cafe has fallen on hard times, and when it looks like Granny Blue, her tough, tattooed, ex-boxer grandmother, might sell the place to a developer, Emma looks for answers within the local folklore about a hidden treasure and a ghost. When she finally has her own Destiny Dream, it seems to point to the treasure, but the clues are frustratingly vague. With the help of a small cast of quirky characters and magical flora, Emma finds her true destiny and eases her troubles through the journey. The prose is bubbly and light, with a cheerful, optimistic tone despite some of the seemingly darker elements. Though not as multilayered as Ingrid Law's Savvy (Dial, 2008), this novel will be appreciated by younger middle grade readers who enjoy mysteries with an ample dose of magic and whimsy. VERDICT Fans of Lloyd's first book, A Snicker of Magic (Scholastic, 2015), will be pleased with this frothy, pleasant tale.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
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