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Newbery or Not: A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

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Pub Stub: Scholastic Press, $16.99 hardcover, ISBN-10 0545552702, February 2014

Book Blurb: Introducing an extraordinary new voice—a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing. Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart. But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” And then there’s Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity’s never seen before, words that make Felicity’s heart beat a little faster. Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she’ll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town . . . and her mother’s broken heart.

Author Tidbits: Lloyd, Natalie. Snicker is her debut.

Newbery or Not: I know it’s far, far too early to be calling favorites, but watch this one, folks. She’s heading for the top. Not only is it cute as a button, not only does it have the power to make you feel sad and nostalgic and tender and giggly all at once, not only does it capture the spirit of the sweetest small town you ever did imagine with the most magical ice cream you’ll ever wish you could eat, it’s a shoe-in for creating a love of language with all of the beautiful, fanciful, and dead-on words Felicity sees everywhere she goes. Most of all, the potent longing for home will touch those of us who haven’t or can’t put down roots, and make the rooted look around at their same-old surrounding with loving eyes. Here comes a great big talent.

Recommend to: Pretty much everybody.

To Buy or Not to Buy: Been there, bought that, promoting it now!

***This honest review refers to an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.***

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