CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 41. . . .June 22, 2016
Sticks & Stones. (Upside Down Magic #2).
Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle & Emily Jenkins.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2016.
193 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.
Review by Janet Beauchamp.
The Kids in the Upside-Down Magic class are kids just like you, Lacey. We eat the same tacos, we drink the same chocolate milk, we have friends, we do homework, we play sports.... Flares have flaring accidents, and Flickers have flickering accidents, and Fluxers learning carnivores can be scary, too… We call a teacher, or use a fire extinguisher, and then we go on with our day.
This novel is a new twist on an old tale. It centers around the main character, a young lady named Nory, and her group of friends who are in the new upside down magic (UDM) class at school. The kids in the UDM class are a little different than everyone else as their magic doesn’t quite work like it should. When some strange things start to happen at school, Lacey, the popular girl, starts a campaign to get the UDM program removed from the school as CLEARLY Nory and her band of misfits are to be blamed.
The novel is a little difficult to get into at first because it starts with a tale about Nory as a koat. What’s a koat? Well it is a kitten/goat. The reader quickly learns about all of the different types of magic power held by the residents of this community. From fluxers like Nory who can turn their human selves into animals to Flickers who can become invisible, there is something new happening at every turn. With a school full of fluxers, flickers, flyers, flares and fuzzies and some problems possibly connected to the UDM class, the reader experiences the age-old battle between two rival groups.
Sticks & Stones will be enjoyed by those who like a little fantasy and innovation in their stories. I was a little surprised to find myself unable to put the book down as I wanted to find out how Nory and her friends were going to outsmart Lacey. Now that we know what all of the magic powers involve, my daughter and I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment of “Upside Down Magic”.
Janet Beauchamp, a high school teacher and teacher-librarian, is the mother of three girls and lives in L’Amable, ON.
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