Review Blog

Jan 17 2017

A snicker of magic by Natalie Lloyd

cover image

Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9780545552738
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Natalie Lloyd's warm-hearted debut novel celebrates the mystical and magical, families and friendships, the interconnectedness of village life, the impact of past decisions and the importance of making things right. She weaves a multitude of quirky characters into an Appalachian folk tale, like a ballad handed down over generations. There is a celebration of super-abilities not disability, a message of philanthropy, of building character and learning to be resilient.
'And I like words; I collect them. I like poems, songs, stories... everything. But words never sound right when I try to string them together and say them out loud. They're just for me to keep. I've always seen words. I see them as clearly as I see you.'
Sixth grader Felicity Pickle is a word-collector, a 'logophile'. As she travels across the country with her Mama, younger sister Frannie Jo and her dog Biscuit, she captures and records 'spindiddly' words in her blue notebook. Thousands of words swirl around Felicity filled with love, loss, pain and happiness, and she is able to express herself in written, not spoken words. When her mother's restless spirit is finally drawn back to her childhood home magical Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, Felicity comes to understand her family's own snicker of magic.
Felicity's friendship with Jonah Pickett, whose life is not bound by his wheelchair, leads her to uncover the truth behind the curse of the Threadbare brothers and how their story has impacted the town over many years. Magical icecream, the power of invisibility, dancing shadows, duelling music, disappearing hot air balloons, there is an abundance of imagery conjured up in Natalie Lloyd's whimsical prose.
A snicker of magic
is a special story to challenge the lover of magical realism. Felicity's motivational quotes encourage the reader to see the value of words, poetry and creative writing.
Rhyllis Bignell

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