This book. THIS BOOK. My brain is crammed full of the most wonderful and factofabulous words right now; A Snicker of Magic is like an explosion (or a celebration) of words, magic, feels, and ice cream flavors. I tingled, I laughed, I sniveled, I rejoiced… and I feel like I’m homeward bound. Lloyd was able to make characters and words come alive with a bit of imagination and trust and just a snicker of magic, and it was an amazing story that succeeded in capturing my heart.
Jonah grinned as he leaned back in his seat. “People claim Ponder’s pies still have a snicker of magic.”
“That’s magic leftover,” Jonah explained. “Not good for much, not as fancy as it used to be – but enough to make it special.”
Twelve-year-old Felicity Juniper Pickle just moved to Midnight Gulch, a town where magic used to happen: where the Hancocks used to turn invisible, the Smiths baked secrets into pies, the Terrys called in the rain, and the Weatherly brothers played music that made everybody dance… but those are things of the past, and all that’s left now is a snicker of magic. And just when Felicity makes her first best friend, bonds with her aunt and uncle, and dispels the sense of loneliness she has felt her whole life, Felicity’s mother is itching to move again. Felicity’s new best friend, Jonah Pickett, is certain that if Felicity participates in the upcoming talent show, good things will happen; but even though Felicity is a fantastic word collector, she gets tongue-tied every time she steps on stage. To make her mother see Midnight Gulch as home and not just a stop on the way, Felicity needs to conquer her stage fright, her magic, and her past, and discover the truth behind the disappearance of magic in Midnight Gulch.
Felicity has an awesome power: she has the ability to see words as living things that form from people and objects, that have personalities and minds of their own. She catches the words that she likes by writing them down in her blue notebook and on her shoes, and sometimes she’d make them into poems for her younger sister, Frannie. The descriptions of the words that Felicity sees are marvelous and beautiful, and they make the black, typed words that we normally see come to life:
The letters were made of melted sunshine. They dripped down the window glass, warm and tingly against our faces. Believe is a powerful word to see and today. But that morning, I felt it.
In addition to her magic, Felicity is also awesome because she has a big heart. She cares about her family a lot, and her interactions with her sister and her mother made me like her more and more throughout the book. She has her own problems and fears, but she thinks about the big picture and puts her family first most of the time.
I knew my word-catching charade wasn’t the best way to make a fast friend at Stoneberry Elementary School. But it was the only way I could think of to make my sister feel better. 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.
And Felicity’s new best friend, Jonah, is also incredibly nice and sweet. The two of them have a hint of something going on, and even though I refuse to believe that sixth graders can actually develop a full blown, heart-pounding relationship (#indenial), Felicity and Jonah are as close as it gets. Is it a platonic or romantic relationship? Who knows. But it makes me want to go “awwww” and it kept me grinning throughout most of the book, so you should probably book a dentist’s appointment before you read this.
Jonah Pickett was like snow days, field trips, candy stores, and Christmas Eve all blended into one big swoosh of a feeling.
The great characters in A Snicker of Magic also add an oomph to the plot. The plot itself is engrossing and captivating – not with twists and turns, but with more secrets revealed throughout the story, kind of like opening a present. A snicker of magic gets infused into every page, whether it be from characters, settings, ice cream flavors (Snickerdoodle Sucker Punch should be a real ice cream flavor!), words, or actions, and by the end it’s like you have this massive buildup of awesomeness that explodes and showers everyone with happiness and magic and LOVE.
I can’t stop quoting lines from A Snicker of Magic because everything is beautiful, sweet, and uplifting. I had tears in my eyes by the end because it was so touching, and this book is bound to give you a toothache with the sweetness overload. A Snicker of Magic makes words come alive with just a bit of magic and a lot of love, and it has a great message about the importance of family and friends that really touched my heart.