Title: A Snicker of Magic |Author: Natalie Lloyd |Publisher: Scholastic Press |Genre: Middlegrade Fantasy | 311 pages
I made the mistake of reading reviews while in the middle of reading “A Snicker of Magic” and it has dampend my enthusiasm for it this book a little bit. I still wanna give this book all the stars because, had I not read them, I would have been extremely happy with what I got.
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.
A Snicker of Magic is the type of book that engulves you with it’s magic and sweetness and makes you feel all warm inside. It a story about a girl with a special talent who longs to stop travelling and to put down some roots and make friends.
I loved the Pickle family. I loved how colourful and quirky they were. I’m not sure if this is a kind of family that could survive outside of a book in the real world but I loved them all the same. Most of all Cleo, the harsh and crazy and caring aunt who smokes like a chimney and seems brash and no-nonsense.
Felicity, with her special ability to see words all around her was a wonderful protagonist, just right for the target audience. I loved the idea of words visible all around her, in bright colours or moving or tangled up. It had not only something magical to it, it also made the story very warm and inviting somehow.
I also loved the Beedle. He was great.
Felicity is new in Midnight Gulch and yearns to make friends and stay for longer than a week which is totally understandable and not at all surprising. She tries so hard to break “the family curse” which makes her mother want to move from place to place over and over again, that she grasps for every possible straw.
It was actually rather surprising to me that there was no animosity against Felicity from her new classmates. I would have thought that there would be a least a secondary antagonist, but this book is more about embracing who you are and solving a mystery. (At this point, I was a little disappointed how easily Felictiy did on stage later. It seemed too easy, somehow.)
The writing style was perfect for me. It was medium paced, not too fast but also not too slow, and I liked the author’s writing. There is a love for words in this book, a love for a good story which I always adore in books. (Of course, the way people in Midnight Gulch love stories, is a little unbelievable, but I will overlook that now.) Towards the end the book seem to stretch a little too much but it was a more than satisfying ending nevertheless.
I understand the few negative reviews that book got. If you think too much about it, it might be true that the book is even a bit too cute, a bit over the top. I don’t know if I would feel the same way if I hadn’t read the reviews and dampend my enthusiasm a little. Maybe I would have been happy and content until the last page. I’m really quite annoyed about it now but on the other hand I can also undestand why people might think it’s so sweet it gives you cavities. But it’s a children’s book and they are supposed to make you feel good. So that’s why I’m gonna stick with that.
In the end, I feel like that this book is perfect for young readers or people who just want to enjoy a sweet and warm story. It’s full of magic and really, really quirky. It has a great message about family and friendship, about live and love. It has disability rep and even though not everything could be solved in the end – which made the story more real to me – it still made me feel good. “A Snicker of Magic” is a mystery story, a magical story, a family story all rolled into one and I’m happy I decided to come along for the ride.