Read eBook A Snicker of MagicAuthor Natalie Lloyd –

Introducing An Extraordinary New Voice A Magical Debut That Will Make Your Skin Tingle, Your Eyes Glistend Your Heart SingMidnight 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 HeartBut 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 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

10 thoughts on “A Snicker of Magic

  1. says:

    Every place has a storyMidnight Gulch was once a magical town where some people could conjure rain, others can become invisible when sad, glow in the dark, some baking magic into pies thereby making shy ones feisty or give them hysterical laughter, some make people remember lovely memories or forget gloomy things, and even catch starlights in Mason jars For many years, Midnight Gulch has been extraordinary until its magic dissipated driven away by a withering curse cast against the musical duos, the Brothers Threadbare Foolish heart who fought and failed,Where talent bloomed, your greed prevailed,Cursed to toil, till labor worn,You ll spin up ashes, you ll harvest thorns.Now pack your dreams, make haste, take flight, You re cursed to wander through the night,Till cords align, and all s made right.Where sweet amends are made and spoken,Shadows dance, the curse is broken Years passed by Felicity Juniper Pickle, who sees words everywhere in various shapes and sizes, arrives in this particular town in Tennessee along with her mum Holly, six year old sister Frannie Jo, and their furry friend, Biscuit, in their Pickled Jalapeno Mystified by the eccentric place, it was indeed the first time that she finally feels at home, but the curse of her mother s wandering heart has taken a toll on their family Is the malediction related to the one that was cast ages ago As time fades every picture, there s only one way to solve this mysterious disturbance With the help of Felicity s best friend Jonah, she sets forth a marvellous adventure to restore the town s magic, mend her mum s broken heart, and get rid of the curse once and for all in a spindiddly fashion Gorgeously and vividly told with lush prose, Lloyd creates a realistic world full of decadent surprises enchanting its readers with a subtle magic that ebbs and flows throughout the whole narrative She also creates characters who have their own foibles and challenges Melodious and uplifting, this is a spellbinding tale that inspires us to look for magic within ourselves as well in others despite life s sorrows, pain, loss, and solitary moments Sad memories don t just come in ice cream, you know Everything you touch, everything you smell, everything you taste, every picture you see all of that has the potential to call up a sad memory You can t choose what comes up first But you can choose to replace it with something good I choose to think on the good parts Like Felicity, Lloyd collates and weaves wondrous words with synaesthesia that successfully entices and engages our five senses along with a sense of magical realism In spite of all the positive attributes of this book, redundant words such as spindiddly , splendiferous, and others are a tad overused which was a minor gripe When it comes to the book cover, that s another mouthwatering thing Who wouldn t want to have some ice cream with names like Andy s Snickerdoodle Sucker Punch, Marsh Mallory Mocha Delight, Suzie s White Chocolate Cherry Walnut, Orangie s Caramel Apple Pie, or even Virgil s Get Outta My Face Fudge Ripple when you re on your moody day Quite dandy isn t it As for me, I d prefer Dr Zook s best seller, Blackberry Sunrise enough for me to remember my fondest memories in life as well as the poignant ones It s so weird how life is so full of moving around people coming and going, people passing by each other all day long You never know which person s going to steal your heart You never know which place is going to settle your soul All you can do is look And hope And believe

  2. says:

    In which I become the Grinch Who Pooh Poohs All Things Magical.This book is currently 1 on Goodreads Mock Newbery page Friends, I just don t get it I must have read a different book Or my definition of distinguished is waaaaaay different than that of the hoi polloi.I ve been a children s and young adult librarian for seven years now, and there are a few tiresome tropes that have been sneaking their way into kiddie lit over the past few years In what is a feat of unimaginable magnitude, Natalie Lloyd has managed to smoosh every trope I despise into a single book She veritably smothers the reader with them.Trope That Makes Me Apoplectic 1 Characters With Idiotic Names.Narrator Felicity Juniper Pickle Felicity Juniper. PICKLE I mean come on.Teacher Miss Divinity Lawson Bus Driver Day Grissom The Legends of the Town Stone and Berry Weatherly The Kinda Antagonist Who Never Really Does Much Toast Terry The Drifter Florentine As a bonus, the protagonist s mother drives a van that the family calls the Pickled Jalape o Because why not.And one family lives on Chicken Bristle Lane Trope That Makes Me Apoplectic 2 Quirky Southern Town.I think Sheila Turnage s Three Times Lucky really hammered this nail into the coffin for me But here comes A Snicker of Magic with an even quirkier town populated by see TTMMA 1 There s the guy who just sings Elvis songs on the corner There s the lady who owns a beauty shop that also doubles as an auto shop OF COURSE There s the old lady who became a country star when she was in her late 50s There s the banjo pickin uncle who just shows up one day It s all here, folks More quirky characters than you can count And just when you think you ve met everyone in Midnight Gulch, Lloyd manages to introduce 72 Honestly, you need a town directory to wade through the volumes of characters taking up breathing room.Trope That Makes Me Apoplectic 3 Wanderin Mama Papa.I ve taught in public education for 15 years There are definitely tons of crappy parents out there But kiddie lit has suddenly become uber obsessed with the wayward, neglectful mother father Pack the kids up Move to a new town Changed my mind it s rainin Let s go somewhere else Felicity s mother especially likes to move her kids on the 7th day of the month but only if it s raining This leads me toTrope That Makes Me Apoplectic 4 Precious Quotient.The precious quotient in this book is through the roof Just looking at the quirky characters names and actions is enough proof for that pudding, but here are a few examples 1.Ice cream that doesn t melt so you can eat it all the time 2 A protagonist who sees wordsJust hangingLike thisHockey puckForlornb e n e f i c i a lMarmaladeIdiotic3 An aunt who makes fairy wings for everyone in the family to wear while they hang out at Snapdragon Pond 4 The word spindiddly used by the protagonist to describe everything Literally everything Like, five to ten times a chapter That rocking chair over there Spindiddly Grandma s gooseberry pie Spindiddly The idea you just had Spindiddly That spider on a web Kinda spindiddly But it has 8 legs and it spins a web Okay, definitely spindiddly I am not being even remotely hyperbolic If Natalie Lloyd had replaced spindiddly with the word great or good or even awesome , any editor in his right mind would be like, Listen, Nat, you gotta find some adjectives But not this editor Hey, Natalie can you throw in about 4,309 spindiddlies in this paragraph It s just not spindiddly enough Fellow Goodreads reviewer Rachael put it best with this to the point polemic Be ready to LOLZ Trope That Makes Me Apoplectic 5 The Power of Story.I teach a graduate course in storytelling I do not need to be convinced of the magic of a great story nor of the charisma of a storyteller who exceeds at his her craft The art of storytelling is in a renaissance thanks, Moth StoryCorps , but the number of children s lit books that have characters begging for a story is inching toward the million mark by now It is one thing if the embedded stories are wrangled with finesse and beauty But A Snicker of Magic s treatment is accomplished with all the subtlety of clown wielding a seltzer bottle At one point, there is a gaggle of characters in the beauty auto shop, and in comes Oliver Weatherly with gallons of ice cream that he hands out so that everyone can enjoy some snacks while he tells a story The story the history of the town The audience people who live in that very town Forgive me if I just can t wrap my head around the inanity of that A drifter wanders into town Yup she s got a story And Felicity begs to hear it Aunt Cleo Story Ramblin Rosie Story Oliver Another story Hey, authors Want to illustrate the power of story Do it with grace and, for god s sake, some substance For reference Moon Over Manifest Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy Habibi Walk Two Moons A Monster Calls Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Use those as your guides Don t have a character slap his knee and bellow, I gots me a story my gran pappy told me, but y all gonna have to beg for it first Kill me.Which A Snicker of Magic almost did Because nearly every page managed to somehow tip my Apoplexy Scale to 10 So help me god if this nabs a Newbery Medal or Honor.

  3. says:

    This book kept calling to me so much that I just had to read it I read it in one sitting and found myself wanting to underline whole paragraphs on various pages to share later If I had been with someone at the time, I likely would have read them aloud.A Snicker of Magic is Natalie Lloyd s debut novel and she has created a story that grabs readers and won t let go The language is beautiful and pitch perfect for the story I need to note that I heard Lloyd speak and I kept hearing her voice throughout the book Readers will laugh, and worry, and cry along with Felicity and the rest of the gang in Midnight Gulch and it has the perfect ending I can t wait to share this one with kids.

  4. says:

    Felicity Pickle has lived in 6 different states even though she s only in the 6th grade She s tired of travelling the country with her mama, Holly, and her little 6 year old sister, Frannie Jo Maybe people can t grow roots the same as trees do, but we both needed a place to dig in and grow some good memories And so did Mama.The only problem is that Mama has a wandering heart She s always been this way restless, ready to leave town at the slightest provocation She can t stay still and she can t settle down This is making her children very unhappy.Finally Mama returns to the town she grew up in, the town where her sister Cleopatra still resides The magical town of Midnight Gulch, Tennessee.After going to school for her first day in her new town, Felicity learns about the history of the magical town, where each family had their own special brand of magic They say some people could catch stars in Mason jars And some people could sing up thunderstorms and some could dance up sunflowers Some people could bake magic into a pie, make folks fall in love, or remember something good, or forget something bad Some people had a a magic for music They could play a song and it would echo through the whole town, and everybody in town, no matter where they were, stood up and danced They say some people glowed in the dark And some people faded when they were sad first they went colorless, then totally invisible.But then tragedy struck when the Brothers Threadbare, Stone and Berry, became famous due to their musical magic After years of happily travelling together and acquiring fame and fortune, jealousy struck And so the brothers agreed to battle each other in an epic magical duel But whoever lost would be cursed with a wandering heart unable to settle in any one place for any length of time, and therefore unable to ever be happy again That cursed one was Stone, and after he left town he was never seen again.Or was he Felicity knows that since she is a direct descendant of Stone s bloodline, she and her family are cursed as he was That is why her mother can never stay in one place for long That is why she and her sister have been travelling from town to town incessantly since they were born.But Felicity loves the magical and kooky town of Midnight Gulch She loves its history and its people And she also is starting to have strong feelings for a boy she met on her first day in class, a boy who takes her breath away, a boy with spiky blonde hair and a big heart Jonah Pickett Jonah s face was so close to mine that I could count the small cluster of freckles across his nose Ten freckles, that s all Just a small constellation His eyes looked even greener up close.Felicity is determined to buy time in the town, and hope against hope convince her wayward mother to stay But how can she do this Felicity has a gift 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 Sometimes they have wings and sometimes tap shoes and sometimes zebra stripes Sometimes I see words hovering around people Most people, anyway The interesting the person, the fantastic the words Words come in all sorts of shapes stars, spaceships, pretzel words Some words glow and some words dance Sometimes I think I see words people are thinking about, or the words they want.Felicity s ability to see words helps her read minds and see the future Can she use this power to help her mother finally settle down and call somewhere home This book is amazing, magical It s also very Southern, as in Tennessee Kentucky type Southern, you know mountain Southern If you re familiar with that area, you know what I mean.Everyone has fun names like Toast, Florentine, Cleopatra, Boone, Day, and Ponder They all have highly diluted remnants of magic a snicker of magic, as Felicity would say This gives some people a slight ability It s wonderful to read about people s small magical skills that were much stronger generations ago An example would be how Charlie Sue s ancestors had the ability to turn invisible, but Charlie Sue cannot turn invisible However, you can never get a photograph of her she only appears as a blur on film That s just one example of what is going on in the book.The writing is beautiful, whimsical, and vivid As soon as Jonah said their name, the same wondrous feelings came rushing up inside me the kick thump of my heart and the catch of my breath I tried to rub away the tingly sensations rolling up and down my arms It seems as if the air all around me was full of static electricity.Or Mama wasn t looking at me She had her face turned toward the light of the window The sun was doing its best to shine on her, to warm up all the cold places down in her heart.It s a wonderful book, I would highly recommend it It s aimed at middle schoolers, but that never stopped me from enjoying a truly good book I soaked up every word I ll leave you with my favorite quote The way he said her name made my heart cramp In all my years of word collecting, I ve learned this to be a tried and true fact I can very often tell how much a person loves another person by the way they say their name I think that s one of the best feelings in the world, when you know your name is safe in another person s mouth When you know they ll never shout it out like a cuss word, but say it or whisper it like a once upon a time.Swoon Lloyd certainly has an amazing way with words.

  5. says:

    Felicity is an intense happiness, a particular kind of joy.a wondrous joy, and the most fitting name for the charismatic main character of this happy, hopeful little tale Having accepted the gypsy life style as her mural painting mom carries her and her young sister Frannie across the country Felicity was surprised by the tug she felt entering Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, A Proper Place to Call Home Granted, she knew this was her mother s home and that they d be bunking with her mother s siblings, but it was than that.While most townsfolk will say that Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a few insist that a snicker of magic remains A century old curse holds that leftover magic dormant, until the riddle that evoked it has been solved That snicker gently tugs at Felicity, seemingly soliciting her assistance As she is inexplicably smitten and eager to bring back the Rain Conjurers, Shadow Catchers and families that could turn themselves invisible or bake secrets into pies, that made sense.The splendiferous town captivated Felicity, but The Beedle mesmerized her For half of a century, the anonymous do gooder was a local hero, covering payments when someone fell behind, lifting spirits with kindness and spreading good will When The Beedle reveals himself to her, an immediate friendship is formed Awe struck and amazed by all of his good deeds, Felicity feels timid because her only talent is catching poems As some folks see auras, Felicity sees words Whirling around, captured in thought bubbles, jumbled on top of one and other she collects the most appealing ones, just as someone else may collect marbles or baseball cards Ironically, the very thing she treasures the most, stays stuck inside of her When she opens her mouth to speak, her cherished words betray her Not with Beedle, and certainly not when Uncle Jonah played his banjo, but still often enough for apprehension to envelop her.Joy is quickly replaced by concern Felicity spots the signs that warn her wandering mother isn t keen on staying Desperate to establish roots, Felicity resolves to solve the riddle, unleash the magic and make a permanent home Not just because she feels happy here but her tiny family, Florentine with her bag of burdens.every single person and the community as a whole, would benefit greatly With the sweetest intentions and commendable selflessness, Felicity is utterly inspiring.Ms Lloyd perfectly placed the irresistible Felicity as our narrator and in doing so, gleefully snatches the reader from reality straight into the heart of Midnight Gulch The faint tinkling of wind chimes will tease, a whiff of sugar wind tantalizes and the bluegrass music taps toes Reading A Snicker of Magic is like visiting the grooviest small town you can think of..noshing local delicacies, dancing free as a mountain girl , and discovering a secret.and my favorite part It s possible to have a happy ending, even if the ending isn t what you imagined While this book is appropriate for and certainly appealing to third fourth grade readers, it would be than a disservice to limit the audience I can t imagine the reader regardless of his age that wouldn t find this delightful, inspiring story worthy This review was written for Buried Under Books Blog.

  6. says:

    When you read a lot, you re looking for new books that surprise and delight you A Snicker of Magic is charming and extraordinary because Natalie Lloyd s personality shines through every page I don t think the book is perfect the plot threatens to spiral out of control and I could barely keep track of the staggering cast of characters, but Ms Lloyd brings it together at the end for a satisfying conclusion.Look for from this debut author She s the real deal A remarkable fresh talent.

  7. says:

    Your words matter than you know A Snicker of Magic won my heart I mean my whole beating reading heart This story has word magic like I have never seen or heard before It blew me away And to add shock on top of awe this is Natalie Lloyd s debut I m in jaw dropping, gasping awe over here Okay, okay let me try to reel in my tongue, string a few words together and try to make sense out of all the love in my head and heart right now.This is a tale about the magic of words and stories And the power they hold to heal, hurt, and whip up a heap load of trouble and fun So lean in close, Natalie Lloyd spins a weirdly wonderful story packed with family, love, sweetness, and magic you have to hear Hear, feel, and take to heart Felicity Pickle along with her Mama, sister, and cute as button dog wander and roam from place to place Constantly stirring Constantly searching for the next great place, adventure, and inspiration Young Felicity is ready to stop, plant some roots, and find some friends though So Felicity is hoping Midnight Gulch has the cure to her Mama s wandering heart Midnight Gulch, Tennessee used to be a magical place A place people wanted to stay put, raise some memories, and call home Tales of family curses, banjo music, dueling magicians, ice cream, and love pepper the town s history But is the magic all used up With a little help from a full cast of crazy characters and storytellers, Felicity Pickle is going to find out Maybe, just maybe Midnight Gulch has a snicker or two of magic left over to help Felicity and her family settle down, face fears, and break an old family curse So cross your fingers, open your ears and hearts and hold on this story is a doozy Before I go on though, I have to spit out some huge love for the words in this story Felicity is a word collector She sees words in the air and all around with color and action They flip, slide, and float And boy o boy does Natalie Lloyd give Felicity a full palette of words to savor, collect, and paint pictures and poems with Beautiful words Natalie Lloyd is a word magician She conjures up old, new, light, and weighty words and then makes them her own She combines and cuts words to create new word wonders Words to shout, sing, and shimmy about with Words to inspire new words Words to believe in These are just a few of my favorites Clatter, slither, and dash away.Boundless, gargantuan, and humdinger.Fizz, flutter, and floozy.Lickety split quickPumpernickel and plumb adorableSwankifiedWonderstruckHope and family.Phew Sorry I went on a word tangent there Back on track I can t possibly pick just one favorite aspect or character in this tale Sooo I m going to gush about the whole tooting town Streets to dance down Trees to climb Music to hum Magical ice cream to melt in your mouth and remember So many stories, hearts, and memories tucked away in this wacky mountain town A town filled with people who care, look out for each other and share Share stories and history with each other They are each other s history All the families are so wrapped up in each other It s a beautiful warm, welcoming feeling to experience Every single character tickled my funny bone, piqued my curiosity, and made me smile BUT Jonah Pickett came close to stealing the show Oh, sweet boy I wish there were Jonah Picketts in print and the world A do gooder with a heart and smile so sweet and pure it will make you aww, fall and wish for a friend just like him Jonah Pickett was like snow days, field trips, candy stores, and Christmas Eve all blended into one big swoosh of a feeling Jonah has a secret or two of his own though Dagnamit everyone in town has a secret, dream and story to tell Come on You have to visit Midnight Gulch for the people, stories, and ice cream There is so much love wrapped up in Midnight Gulch And music Okay Boone is another show stopping scene stealer Haha.There are too many to point out But Boone and his banjo made a wonderful toe tapping addition to the family I ve shouted this fact out loud and clear around the GR block, but once can t hurt a word magic and music mix makes my heart and soul happy So very happy I ve said too much and not enough This is a story to read again and again to catch a different word, beat, and tone each and every time.A Snicker of Magic reminded me that families can mend With love, forgiveness, and magic we can all mend I just have to remember to be brave Say the words out loud And LOVE.Highly recommended.A quibble or two view spoiler The smoking and the word stupid disappointed me here I know people smoke and say the word stupid, but it still disappoints me to see them in a book for young readers I will say this though stupid was not directed at someone It just popped up a few times in talk like stupid this or that I just didn t want to see that word mixed in with so many wonderful ones Small bumps in the road though hide spoiler

  8. says:

    This is such a visual book Throughout the story I kept imagining what a wonderful movie it would be This remote town is filled with eclectic characters Each of them have a bit if magic in their lineage Our heroine sees words When someone is talking the words they don t say will escape from their ears or float around their heads This is a lovely YA novel that is safe for children to read No violence or hints of sex Just a sweet story of home, friendship, family and just a touch of magic.

  9. says:

    Please read this spindiddly book Here is what is so factofabulous about it..The enchanting characters in this book made my heart sing out Yes Yes yes I adore this book I hope you will read it and feel the same way I truly believe it is magical.

  10. says:

    This book straight up annoyed me Thoughts I had while reading this 1 This author is trying too hard and it shows Instead of telling a story she s stringing together pretty words 2 This book is so sweet Now it s saccharine Now it s cloying.3 How long has Felicity known Jonah Less than a month And she s saying he always does this or never does that Really 4 I d rather be reading Savvy 5 I can t take another What the hayseed or Spindiddly 5 I d rather be reading anything else I care not for what happens to these characters I quit Okay, so I didn t finish a book with great reviews and a lot of fans I just don t get it, folks Too many characters, too many threads, not enough substance.