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|Abby Carnelia's one & only magical power|
Author: Pogue, David
After 11-year-old Abby discovers she has a completely useless magical power, she attends a magic camp where she finds others like herself, but a sinister plot comes to light.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 136862
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 64095
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/10)
School Library Journal (05/01/10)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (06/10)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2010 Gr 4–6— While preparing a salad one afternoon, sixth-grader Abby Carnelia makes the astonishing discovery that when she tugs on her earlobes, she can make a hardboiled egg spin. The library and Internet research give her no insight into this seemingly useless power. Then her dad suggests that she attend a summer magic camp. Abby hopes that it might help her find out why she is able to cause this strange phenomenon. Pogue's first novel for children has an original enough concept to keep readers entertained. Short chapters and plenty of dialogue move the story along, and Abby is a protagonist many readers can relate to as she tries to discover if there is something more sinister going on at Camp Cadabra. Marred only by a slightly schmaltzy ending, this book will please fans of Bruce Coville's "Magic Shop" series (Harcourt) or other readers looking for a little magic.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2010 New York Times columnist Pogue’s debut novel is a youth fantasy about magic and, eventually, a shifty pharmaceutical company. Abby Carnelia discovers that she is endowed with magic when she makes a hard-boiled egg spin after tugging on her ears. Her power is specific, inexplicable, and thoroughly useless, and her attempt to find an explanation leads her to Camp Cadabra, where she meets other children just like her. The story progresses at a leisurely pace, kept buoyant by the snappy dialogue between kids, until the last third of the book, when Camp Cadabra’s hidden agenda is revealed. Abby’s emergence as a leader among her peers is not entirely convincing, and the intrusive narrator, who we later discover is Pogue himself, is at times jolting. Still, the premise that every child is magical is clearly expressed without ever being heavy-handed. Abby’s triumphant finale will have young readers contemplating how they, too, are special. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2010 The preparation of a chef salad is not normally considered a spectacular magical occurrence, but it is just such a mundane event that leads eleven-year-old Abby Carnelia to discover her singular supernatural ability: with just a simple tug on her earlobes, Abby can make hard-boiled eggs spin on their own. Sure, it’s not the most amazing feat ever, but it certainly makes average Abby feel a bit more special and spurs her interest in magic much so that her parents decide to send her to a summer camp for budding magicians. Unfortunately, the camp isn’t at all what it seems to be, and when Abby reveals the supernatural power behind her simple egg trick, she finds herself and several of her similarly gifted campmates pawns in a pharmaceutical company’s quest for genetic dominance. This generally playful and cheery tale comes with an understated feel-good message: we all have gifts, and no matter how humdrum they may seem to us, they make each and every one of us special. A sweet notion, to be sure, but not necessarily a strong enough premise to carry two-hundred-plus pages and maintain the interest of a target audience used to theatrical wizarding battles and mythic extravaganzas. Even readers looking for a quieter story about magic may find themselves thrown off by the evil machinations of the villainous drug company and the book’s abrupt and somewhat illogical conclusion. Nonetheless, Abby is an admirably pragmatic lead, and her peculiarly gifted friends make for plenty of laughs in an overall wholesome tale about the value of oddness. KQG - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.