Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Upside Down Magic book review

Nory has “wonky”magic. She does not fit neatly into a specific type of magic like many of the people she knows.  There are Flares, Fuzzies, Flickers, and Flyers, based on what kind of magic they can do.  Nory is a fluxer, who is supposed to turn herself into an animal.  However, when Nory tries to turn herself into animals, they are always mixes: like, a kitten and a beaver or a kitten and a dragon.  She also loses her Nory brain and her animal brain sometimes takes over her decisions.  Nory’s father is headmaster of an elite school that takes only people who are neatly labeled.  Because of Nory’s wonky magic, she has to go to a public school.  There she is enrolled in a special class for upside-down magic students.  They are not supposed to refer to themselves as wonky.  The teacher in the upside down magic class works really hard to show the students they are who they are supposed to be.  She helps them try to control their feelings, so they can control their magic.  
Younger readers will fall in love with Nory’s new friends: Elliott, Andres, Bax, Sebastian and Pepper.  They all have some form of upside down magic they struggle to accept.  It’s hard because they are made fun of by the other regular magic students.  The book is a great choice for upper elementary readers.  The dialogue will have them laughing out loud.  Younger readers may find themselves identifying with some of the characters.  While this is a magical, fantasy book the situations are the same faced by many students today.  It’s a perfect choice for those readers who sometimes feel a little different from their classmates.  It will give students empathy for some struggles their classmates might be going through.  However, the magic and the ability to transform into animals will really appeal to most elementary readers.
This is a good purchase for a upper elementary library.  The cover is is fun and cute.  The authors are well known and might introduce readers to their other stand alone books.  I had the pleasure of listening to Emily Jenkins discuss her collaboration with the authors and they just sound like they have a blast writing this series.  As an adult reader, I enjoyed the story.  The story has elements of comedy, realism, magic, fantasy and adventure.  It would be a good free-choice reading book.  A nice addition to a classroom library or school library.  The takeaway message from the story is very important for students today.  Believing in yourself and accepting differences is a part of a whole child education.

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