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Fortune's Magic Farm

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  541 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Suzanne Selfors is back with another a humorous light-fantasy adventure that is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever dared to dream.
This story takes place in the dark, dank village of Runny Cove. There, orphan Isabelle works her fingers to the bone at the Magnificently Supreme Umbrella Factory, struggling to support herself and her Grandma Maxine. That is, until Isabelle
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published February 6th 2009)
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Fortune's Magic Farm by Suzanne SelforsTurtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. HolmThe Shadows by Jacqueline WestThe Trouble With Chickens by Doreen CroninTuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Sunshine State Books 2012-2013
1st out of 31 books — 10 voters
Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle CuevasStory Thieves by James  RileyThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateGraceful by Wendy MassWonder by R.J. Palacio
Best Book for middle ages
68th out of 101 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,262)
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Jul 02, 2009 Bonnie rated it really liked it
This is a sweet story about finding one's place, about the power of magic to heal as well as to astonish--and the book packs a pretty powerful, but subtle, green punch, too.

Isabelle lives with her ailing grandmother in a town "the color of sadness" and spends her days working in an umbrella factory owned by the meanest megalomaniac this side of the Grinch.

Isabelle knows nothing of her (slowly revealed) magical origins, only that she was found on a doorstep as a baby. The woman who took her in, G
Feb 20, 2009 Betsy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
My eleven year old daughter insisted that I read this, her current favorite book. The story features Isabella, and orphan working in an umbrella factory in a town where it's constantly raining. After an encounter with a remarkable sea creature, Isabella comes to learn that there is more to life than drudgery. Secret after secret unfolds until she finds out her parentage and her destiny.

Like other coming-of-age novels featuring young women, the novel roots itself in images of fecundity. It's whim
I certainly hope this isn't how they treat the employees at all umbrella factories. I'd rather take to being soaked to the skin if this is the case.
May 15, 2015 Hestia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I loved it when I was younger.
Aug 15, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it
Good story line. Well done. Would keep elementary interest. Very funny in parts. Lots of discussion could come from this book.
Jennifer Wardrip
May 01, 2009 Jennifer Wardrip rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

Ten-year-old orphan Isabelle has never seen the sun.

Like nearly everyone else who lives in Runny Cove, where the rainfall never stops, she has to work at Runny Cove's Magnificently Supreme Umbrella Factory, the only business in town. Ever since Grandma Maxine fell sick, Isabelle has had to work double shifts to pay their rent at Mama Lu's boarding house, where residents are given two meager meals a day in exchange for leaky rooms and strict rules.
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Mar 06, 2012 IndyPL Kids Book Blog rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Isabelle is an orphan. She works in a factory to pay the rent and buy food for herself and the ailing elderly lady who adopted her. Her job? Sticking address labels on umbrella boxes…all…day…long. And she’s only ten! It rains all the time in her town. She doesn’t even know what sunshine feels like.

Even though this life sounds miserable, Isabelle is sure that one day, something special will happen to her and one day, something special does! Isabelle unexpectedly receives a perfect red apple from
Dec 13, 2008 Carmine rated it really liked it
Isabelle, abandoned in infancy, toils at vile Mr. Magnificent Supreme's umbrella factory and bunks at a terrible boarding house run by a greedy landlady in a grey, dreary town called Runny Cove where it rains 24/7. She seems doomed to continue this existence 'til the end of her days until one afternoon, while walking along the shore, a sea monster delivers her an apple. This sets in motion big changes in Isabelle's life- it turns out the sea monster was actually an elephant seal and even better ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Aramis rated it it was ok
I hated this book so much that I can't fathom what other people enjoyed about it. I am rarely a hater in reviews, but I will just say that this book was definitely NOT for me. I'm a children's librarian and I've read many books in genres that I usually do not read for pleasure so I pride myself on being somewhat objective and being able to understand what is good about a book even if it is not to my particular taste. I just hated this book so much. So much! Argh. My primary issue was that the pa ...more
Vicki Jaeger
Dec 09, 2015 Vicki Jaeger rated it really liked it
Really cute. The author has a great touch with magic, humor, and quirky whimsy. The beginning (and miserable surroundings) feel a bit like Roald Dahl to me.
Jan 31, 2016 Mamatufy rated it it was amazing
really cool imaginative story about magic & family & being true to yourself. kids are going to love it.
Jun 14, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
This was such a pleasant little story. I love the feeling of her getting away and going some where magical.
Madison Goeser
May 17, 2014 Madison Goeser rated it it was amazing
Back in 3rd grade this was my favorite book! This is excellent fiction!
Apr 17, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it
It has been awhile since I last read this. I loved it.
Jan 16, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
MT Reader Selector 2010-2011
Mar 24, 2015 Zainab rated it it was amazing
I cried ;)
Kim Patton
Aug 22, 2011 Kim Patton rated it it was ok
A fantasy about a girl that lives in a sad little place where she was left on a doorstep as a baby. It rains all the time, so the community survives by working at the local umbrella factory, though most of the workers are not so fortunate as to actually own an umbrella. When the girl's world seems to fall apart, she is whisked away on a seal by a strange man who has been lingering around town. He takes her to learn about where she came from and find what her future could be.
Nov 24, 2013 Sydney rated it it was amazing
it's about a little girl who is a tender and she doesn't even know day she runs from her horrid home,but she gets sleepy and falls a sleep.she finds her self in a cabin where a boy named Sage lives.Sage takes her to Fortune's magic farm where magic plants grow.she meets this guy named Walnut who helps her.then she misses her home and wants to help her town from Mr.Supreme and the rain so she takes magical seeds and helps her town get rid of the rain,and get rid of Mr.Supreme.
Jul 20, 2012 Jill rated it liked it
the first chapter is very depressing. it doesn't get a lot better until midway through, and then the author yanks the rug out from under the reader, back on the bum again. but in typical suzanne selfors fashion, there's a pattern woven throughout that the reader can appreciate, one of hardship but endurance, pain but determination to overcome, despair and then ultimately triumph. my kids (ages 7, 9, 11) loved it and laughed all through the last three chapters.
Dec 15, 2009 Phoebe rated it really liked it
A sweet, well-written tale about a little orphan girl who lives in Runny Cove, where it rains 24/7 and life is miserable, made so not only by the weather, but also the umbrella factory owner and the appalling boardinghouse landladies. But on the day that a strange sea creature dumps a big red apple in her lap, hope dawns, and Isabelle finds the courage to escape from her horrendous existence. An enjoyable eco-fantasy that kids will find interesting.
May 30, 2015 Jennifer added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Tristan
I'm an adult who was reading this book along with my 3rd grade son. I have to admit I really got into this story! It has a very sad and depressing beginning and i was briefly worried the wrong book found its way into this lighthearted cover. The story gave us some parent/child topics to talk about. This is a long way from the diary of a wimpy kid and 39 clues series he's accustomed to but who doesn't like a fun fantasy with magic and humor thrown in?
Mar 29, 2011 Carrieuoregon rated it really liked it
I'm giving this a happy good review, because this author is coming to my children's school (at my behest), and luckily, it turns out she's good! Northwesterners will especially appreciate the setting of Runny Cove, a town where the rain never stops and the mold grows on the people and everyone has a cough. Inventive, wry, lighthearted and just poignant enough, this book would be enjoyed by both boys and girls in upper elementary grades.
Aug 08, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
This book was a little depressing at times but I loved it. Selfors does a great job of building a world in which children and adults alike have to think and imagine it in their head. Everything is so vivid I was forming pictures of everything.

Although I wasn't a fan of most of the characters, I think the language is what pulled me into this book and kept me reading. Good writing can sometimes trump characters that I don't like so much :)
Apr 10, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
This was a fun little read - a little young, but still interesting.

It is a silly story that shows the value of belonging, family, hope, a positive attitude, and honesty - being true to your heart AND keeping your promises. I think too often we find the message of being true to your heart supercededs the importance of keeping promises and I was pleased that this book included both.
Mar 10, 2013 Paige rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2
I loved this book because of it's adventure and love. Isabelle has grown up in runny cove for as long as she can remember. She was taken in to runny cove on a doorstep. No one knows where she came from. The only family she knows of is her grandma Maxine. One terrible day grandma dies, or so she thinks! She is taken away to her real family. Will she ever fix runny cove?
Cathy Hall
Aug 10, 2009 Cathy Hall rated it really liked it
I didn't think I'd like this story since this beginning is so gloomy and steeped in hopelessness. All that rain was making me feel a little SAD-ly. But the story picked up (and so did the weather) when the group headed to the Magic farm. Richly woven characters and an unusual story kept me reading, and ultimately really enjoying this author's voice and story.
Oct 01, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
This story is alot like drizzle and if you like Elephant seals and girls who believe in themselves read this
The Library Lady
Mar 30, 2009 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Fresh and funny. I loved it and my guess is that my 9 year old will enjoy it too. A nice pick for the sort of kids who like Eva Ibbotsen's fantasies.

3/29 I brought it home for my daughter and she not only decided to read it, she's read 5 chapters. This from the kid who tends to read books one chapter per day makes me feel triumphant!
Jan 05, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
I read this book because Mason is reading it and I wanted to be able to discuss it with him. He is a strong reader and it can be hard to find material that is both age appropriate and challenging for him, but this fit the bill. A very cute story that is suitable for an 8 year old who likes to learn new words.
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Suzanne Selfors lives on an island near Seattle where it rains all the time, which is why she tends to write about cloudy, moss-covered, green places.
She's married, has two kids, and writes full time.
Her favorite writers are Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, and most especially, Roald Dahl.

Please visit her at to learn more about her books.

More about Suzanne Selfors...

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'You do know what magic is, don't you?'

Magic's when you close your eyes, make a wish, and it comes true.'

'No, that's coincidence.'

Magic's when a princess kisses a frog and it turns into a prince.'

'No, that's evolution.'

Isabelle scratched her neck. 'Well, then, what is magic?”
“I cant help but notice that you are not wearing a wedding ring, dear lady. Are you, by any chance, looking for a husband?' He smiled eagerly, his drenched hat clinging to his round head.

Looking for a husband? Why?' Grandma Maxine asked. 'Did I lose one?”
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