A Snicker of Magic

A Snicker of Magic

Book - 2014
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The Pickles are new to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a town which legend says was once magic--but Felicity is convinced the magic is still there, and with the help of her new friend Jonah the Beedle she hopes to bring the magic back.
Published: New York, NY :, Scholastic Press,, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780545552707
Branch Call Number: J LLO
Characteristics: 311 pages ;,22 cm


From the critics

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Aug 07, 2019

I do not know why exactly, but this book did not really appeal to me. There were certainly parts that were interesting and captivating, but there were parts that really bored me and made me wonder why I was still reading it. Overall it was decent, just not really my kind of book.

Jul 23, 2019

The most amazing book I’ve EVER read. Felicity Juniper Pickle is a character most people can relate to, excluding the magic. Some people have to move around a lot. I like how Felicity can see words, and her uncle Boone can see music notes as colours. At the beginning of the book, she’s scared to share her words with Midnight Gultch, but when she learns about the magic, and that she can break the curse, she’s not scared. Also at the talent show, she forgot her blue book, where she writes down the words she sees and likes, instead of reading the poems she wrote, she figured out the riddle Isabel Thistle made to cast the spell on Berry, since he lost the duel between him and his brother Stone. And Felicity cracked the curse and set Berry free of his wandering heart. And one more thing, Felicity is related to Berry, and that’s why they moved around a lot. But when she broke the curse, they didn’t have to wander again. So they stayed in Midnight Gultch. Now, I have two last things to tell you. One, the Threadbare brothers duelled because of someone, not something. They were battling for Isabel Thistle. Two, the sign when you entered Midnight Gultch was saying “Midnight Gultch. A place that has magic”. Well, really it didn’t have any magic yet, and after the talent show, it now says “Midnight Gultch. A place that still has magic.” Which is true. It never lost its magic. The magic was just waiting to be found.

Feb 21, 2018

This story is magical the whole way through. Felicity Pickle is a delightful narrator and the descriptions of Midnight Gulch and the yummy ice cream make me want to go there for a visit. Love the words she sees and collects and what they tell her about those around her. There are wonderful depictions of neighbors helping one another and seeking to understand, accept and bring healing. Such a lovable bunch!
Would make a popular classroom read aloud for 4th - 6th grade students.

Apr 14, 2016

I always take the praise in a book’s blurb or back cover with a grain of salt. But in this case, “a magical debut” and “an extraordinary new voice” are decidedly not hyperbole. A Snicker of Magic is quirky and heartwarming and wonderful, especially if you’re in love with words.

Felicity Pickle is. She sees words wherever she looks, and collects them too, writing them down in her journal, on her sneakers, or even on her arm.

Jonah believes Felicity is a poet. He thinks, too, that Felicity should enter the Talent Show. And he’s going to help her win. Jonah is the Beedle – the town’s secret “angel”. He has a sixth sense about how to help people, and he is Felicity’s first friend in a long, long time of wandering.

What Felicity wants most is to stop wandering: for her and Mama and her little sister to make Midnight Gulch their home. It’s where Mama came from, after all. But the town’s magic has been all but gone since the Brothers Threadbare quarrelled and left town. For Felicity’s family to stay will require breaking the brothers’ curse — and maybe competing in the dreaded Talent Show as well.

I can’t begin to tell you all the ways this spindiddly book won my heart. From the words Felicity sees — some real, some delightfully made-up — to its unerring blend of small Appalachian town and magical realism, from its whimsically eccentric characters to the perfection with which it captures and expresses longing and love, hope and despair and determination, A Snicker of Magic is sheer enchantment.

(see my full review at http://bookwyrmshoard.com/book-reviews/a-snicker-of-magic-by-natalie-lloyd/ )

strong sense of place storyline, magic, family and town history, great descriptions. lots of suspension of disbelief (for grown ups). a fun read.

Jun 01, 2015

A heart-warming, middle grade novel with a cast of memorable characters. The narrator was precious, and I loved her voice.

JCLChrisK Apr 27, 2015

Mood and perspective are most often used in book reviews to describe writing, but they could just as easily be used to describe reading. Or, more precisely, readers. Any review is as much a reflection of the mood and perspective of the reader as it is a statement about the writing, and the joy of this book more than most, I think, is dependent on the emotional state of the reader. I had moments when I felt A Snicker of Magic was way too optimistic, saccharine, and folksy-hokey. And I had moments when I felt it was spellbinding, magical, and uplifting. I don't think my responses varied due to inconsistent writing from page to page, but to where my mind was when I chose to engage it. And while its personality may not have been the best fit for mine, overall I enjoyed its themes, quirkiness, and characters too much to stay grumpy with it even in the bad moments. In the end, I have to say this was a most enjoyable yarn.

A very sweet story for those who enjoy stories about quirky girls, family, community and overcoming challenges which include a sprinkling of magic. While I felt the book was a little long and somewhat tedious at times, it would be a great classroom read aloud to couple with a word collecting assignment for grades 4-6.

Jul 08, 2014

I have to agree with joywolf83--this book is so well-written and magical, just perfect for a summer read. The angst of shyness is tempered by the discovery of family ties and beginnings of friendships, with references to sugar-scented winds and strains of music that make people want to dance. I guarantee you're going to want an ice cream cone after reading this, and also that you'll be looking a little closer in your everyday world for the magic hidden in it.

May 04, 2014

Omg. Why didn't someone tell me this book is..... BEYOND GOOD?! Spindiddly means better than awesome and that is what this book is. Full of stories that upfold how a magical town came to be, a young girl tries to piece it all together. In her single parent family she has a desire to have a home, since her mom can't be content in one place. They end up moving back to where her mom grew up. There is a mystery of how the town was founded and how it had magic. So she investigates to discover its history and the uniqueness of the town. Her new best friend is a boy (with a physical disability briefly mentioned) that has the biggest secret talent in the city. He encourages her to participate in the town's talent show and helps her to believe in herself. A *really* good read that pulls all the clues together for a satifying conclusion. The pacing is well done, the only drawback is that it takes more than halfways thru book for her to figure out her family tree. By that time you're screaming at the book: "It's you! They are talking about you! You have magic!!!" (its on page 158 if you want the reveal lol) However, the rest of the book is a great mix of action and storytelling.


Add Age Suitability
Aug 06, 2019

BookStack25 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 20, 2017

FreakingOutIsMyOK thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Sep 03, 2015

indigo_bird_105 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Oct 19, 2014

trishchristina thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 07, 2014

joycemas thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Jun 20, 2014

violet_dolphin_211 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jun 10, 2014

DSaetveit thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 14


Add a Summary
Jul 07, 2014

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.


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