Monday, April 24, 2017

MMGM: Magic in the City by Heather Dyer


Brothers Jake and Simon Grubb are not happy they have to leave their home in Canada to move in with their cousin Hannah and her family in England. But things get interesting for the boys when, on the way there, they encounter a retiring magician at a highway rest stop who presents them with three gifts he claims have magical properties: a carpet, a camera and a stopwatch. Unfortunately, the magician doesn't provide them with any instructions. So when the boys and Hannah find themselves being swept away on a wild adventure fueled by the magic in these curious objects, they have to learn as they go. But who cares when it's this exciting! Flying over London, traveling through time, meeting the queen --- what could possibly top this? Little do they know, there's something soon to come that will!

Award-winning author Heather Dyer weaves an enchanting spell with this well-crafted early chapter book. The point of view in the story shifts among all three children, allowing readers to get to know each of the likable characters well. The captivating idea of ordinary children being given the opportunity to use magic to create their own fun experience, particularly flying above London on a magic carpet, will be irresistible to children. With one suspenseful, action-packed scene after another, this is a quick-moving and gently humorous adventure story that's just right for beginning chapter book readers.


With fantasy becoming such a dominate genre in the last 20 years (Thanks Harry Potter!) there have been many books published in that genre with more coming out every year.  It also seems though that as more fantasy books have been published they have also gotten longer with many fantasy books becoming series.  Now I have nothing against series, in fact, I love series, they allow me to meet favorite characters again.  But for younger readers who aren't ready for big, long fantasy series there is a lot less to choose from.  That is why I'm delighted to highlight Magic in the City.  Not only is a stand alone novel, but it's an easy read with lots of action and interesting things going on.  This is a fantasy to hand to a reluctant reader.

The story focuses on Jake and Simon Grubb who have left their home in Canada to come stay with their cousin Hannah.  But neither of them is happy about leaving their home, father, and friends behind.  Things take a turn for the more interesting however when they meet a magician getting rid of his magical equipment.  They end up with a stopwatch, a camera, and a carpet, all of which the magician claims are magical.  When the claims turn out to be true, Jake, Simon, and Hannah end up on the adventure of a lifetime involving flying over the city of London, visiting Buckingham Palace, and traveling through time.  Unfortunately, like most adventures, things go wrong from the beginning and the children must find a way back to where they started before it's too late.

There is much here to enjoy as Hannah tries desperately to stop her cousins from getting into trouble (she fails).  The variety of adventures and the twist at the end make for an entertaining and quick read.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! I just checked this out from the library. The interior illustrations are not very good. Might be a bit young for most of my readers.


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