The Three Rules of Everyday Magic
The Three Rules of Everyday Magic
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Annotation: Kate copes with the changes from her father leaving home, her grandmother, who has dementia, moving in, and her best friend, Sofia, becoming more distant, by trying her grandmother's rules for "everyday magic"--believe, give, and trust.
Catalog Number: #172644
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 192 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-629-79940-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-629-79940-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018934188
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Kate stopped playing music when her depressed father walked out on them; meanwhile, Grammy, who has Alzheimer's, has moved in with Kate and her mom, and Kate's best friend has abandoned her. The "magic" of the title is simply the importance of giving without expectations. Despite a contrived plot, the realistic depiction of a parent with severe depression fills a gap in middle-grade shelves.
Kirkus Reviews
Life is always changing but not necessarily in the ways we expect.Kate Mitchell needs some magic. Her father, who has depression, left four months ago, and no one knows where he is; her best friend, Sofia, has broken their promise to be best friends forever; and her grandmother, who moves in with Kate and her mom, suffers from dementia. Grammy, whose good days include knitting and baking cookies, tells Kate about Everyday Magic and its three rules: Believe in magic or it won't work, give magic to people you love, and trust the magic to work. If skeptical Kate can believe, maybe magic will bring Dad home and help her win Sofia back. Perhaps it will make Kate, who hasn't played music since Dad left, feel like singing again. Narrated in Kate's quiet first-person voice, the book is divided into three parts, one for each rule, and is punctuated with Kate's unsent letters to Dad. Although depression is referred to as a sickness, it's also oversimplified as mere sadness that may be susceptible to cookies and magic knitted hats. Certainly this could be an 11-year-old's understanding of depression, but debut author Hill misses the chance to challenge this damaging belief. Whiteness is assumed for those characters whose skin color isn't called out. Important supporting characters include Chinese-American and Spanish-speaking classmates.Reading cultivates empathy. This should do the trick. (Fiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 46 Kate has been hit with a triple dose of bad luck. First, her father has been gone for close to five months, his whereabouts a mystery. Secondly, her Grammy has dementia and must come to live with Kate and her mom. She loves her grandmother but is disconcerted about one more disruption in her life. Finally, her best friend Sofia is drifting away, forming a new friendship that Kate can't accept. When Kate and her Grammy see her disheveled, downtrodden dad at the market, they follow him to a run-down apartment. Kate tries desperately to salvage both her relationship with her dad and her friend, but both continue to unravel. While familiar unions are falling apart, other surprising connections are blossoming. Her Grammy's lucid moments yield secrets about something she calls "everyday magic." As Kate struggles to untangle the truth and find her power, she discovers new friendships and the enduring love of her family. The theme of loss is heartrending, the story line fast-paced and compelling. VERDICT A fine addition to middle grade collections in need of character-driven family stories. Diane McCabe, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (8/1/18)
Word Count: 43,859
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 503694 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q77798
Lexile: 570L
Guided Reading Level: W
Fountas & Pinnell: W

Magic doesn't work the way you think it will, but it's what Kate needs as she confronts friendship trouble, her parents' divorce, and Grammy's dementia in this lyrical middle-grade coming-of-age novel for fans of Half a Chance and The Same Stuff as Stars.

Kate has trouble believing in magic, especially since the people she loves keep leaving her. But when Grammy tells her the three rules of everyday magic--believe, give, and trust--Kate can't resist believing, at least a little. Following Grammy's advice, she tries to bring her father, her best friend, and even Grammy herself back to her. Nothing turns out as Kate expects, yet the magic of giving--of trusting that if you love and give, good things will happen, even if you don't see them happen--will change Kate and her family forever.

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