The new book Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins is a hilarious twist and turn adventure of action and fun. This book is in a world where everyone has powers, neatly divided into categories. Anybody else is considered “wonky” and are shunned from almost all schools.
Nory’s dad is the headmaster of one such school, and when Nory flunks the entrance exam with her out of control shapeshifting, her dad is so disgraced by her different magic he sends her away to wacky Aunt Margo and a public school with an “Upside Down Magic” program for the quirky kids who have different abilities. At her new school, her big challenge is to find her place in this daunting place, which is hard because nobody there will talk to her because of a skunkephant incident in the cafeteria. This, while embarrassing for Nory, is spectacularly funny.
I definitely enjoyed the fact that the message is clear, and that the message is deeply inspiring. When everybody else is the same, it is still fine, maybe even important, to express your differences to the world and show what makes you special. Also, the authors did a good job of making the characters relatable. For example, one character has friends that make fun of him, but he wants to be friends anyways. Another thing I liked about this book is that there is a lot of humor, and when there is something sad happening there is always comic relief. Each of the authors has written at least 40 books previously, and this series has three books in it, this being book 1 of a series of three.
These are very experienced authors, and they knew just how to hit the spot with this amazing novel. I liked their perspective, too. I know some authors that can’t write like a kid and always end up sounding like an adult in a kid’s body. This is not the case with Upside Down Magic. This is the One Book One Denver 2017 Youth Pick, which means a lot of kids will be reading it. I think this book would be fun to discuss with other kids, especially the theme.This book is meant for kids eight and up. Be sure to read it before summer so you can meet the authors in late July, and because there will be other activities related to the book.