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Abby Carnelia's One and Only Magical Power

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  476 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews

One day, Abby Carnelia, ordinary sixth grader, realizes she has a magical power. Okay, it's not a fancy one (she can make a hard-boiled egg spin by tugging on her ears). But it's the only one she has, and it's enough to launch her into an adventure where she meets a host of kids with similarly silly powers, becomes a potential guinea
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press (first published April 1st 2010)
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Thurston Hunger
Sep 05, 2010 Thurston Hunger rated it liked it
The boys seemed to like this one, and it planted an early seed of corporate distrust, assuming they did not take this as a pity party for Big Pharma and their struggles to make billions off pills.

Anyways, its hard to argue with the idea that all kids are special, and having it set loosely against a back drop of magic (I wouldn't read this strictly for a kid who is fascinated by magic, as that is a small part of the story). Pogue's humor got a few chortles out of the boys, but keep in mind they a
Colleen Venable
One of the sweetest, most thought provoking middlegrade novels I've read in a long time! The premise is that we all have some magic power however dumb and completely useless. Like saaaay spinning an egg with earlobe tugs or maybe even levitating a quarter of an inch, but ONLY if we are thinking about Bison....walking Most people never find their magical power...but this book is about a group of kids who do. A devouring read. Each chapter ended with a sentence ...more
Josh Newhouse
What a odd but nice little story... Reminded me in the second half of the limit... What a great message and what a great activity you could do with this book with an elementary class as a brainbreak... Maybe even as a science experiment...
Samma Lynne
Oct 16, 2014 Samma Lynne rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, magic
Actual rating: 3.5

Great concept. The ending and explanation of the framing device saved it from being a straight 3, but it still felt a bit flat in many places.
May 30, 2015 Josie rated it it was amazing
Actually really, really, really good. Very unpredictable. I liked it, totally recommend it. :)
Sierra Loertscher
Jan 07, 2016 Sierra Loertscher rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A great book about friendship. It isn't as dumb as you would think
Aug 24, 2014 Julia rated it liked it
Sep 03, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
This is a good story with some beginner writing problems, but I'm going to spend a few paragraphs saying what I just said. It'll be fun!

Now, first things first, let me, uh, disclaim that I have an advance reader's copy. It says right on the back that this is an "uncorrected proof" that "should not be quoted without comparison with the finished book". Fair enough. I don't *have* a copy of the finished book, so I'm going to just go ahead and quote from this one anyway. It's possible that everythin
Curtis Gibby
Dec 29, 2016 Curtis Gibby rated it it was ok
Better for its intended YA audience than for me.
Samantha Rayburn
Jan 13, 2017 Samantha Rayburn rated it liked it
I read it for my fourth-grader's book club. It was cute and a quick read.
Nov 14, 2014 Urs rated it liked it
Shelves: read-w-s-c
I have read several of David Pogue’s technology and computer books, as well as many of his articles. He is a good writer who provides useful information in a very readable and sometimes humorous format. Still, who knew that he could write a decent children’s book, too?

In this book, Abby Carnelia discovers that she has a special power, although a seemingly useless one. She goes to a ritzy magic camp to try to learn more about her power, and eventually ends up in a super camp with campers that hav
Maybe this review isn't entirely objective because I didn't finish the book. But since I am reviewing the audiobook version, I think it's only fair to warn potential listeners: good grief, is this insufferable. Pogue should never have performed this himself; it is read gratingly, in an overdramatic tone of voice, and it doesn't help that Pogue's natural speaking voice is a bit hard to listen to. Abby's father's voice and her camp counselor's in particular were brutal to listen to.

I took this aud
Mar 11, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
I listened to the audio book read by David Pogue himself and found it to be pretty enjoyable. He isn't the best reader I've come across but he does a pretty god job of doing voices and conveying the story in an interesting way.

In her kitchen, while helping her mother make a salad, Abby Carnelia discovers her one and only magical power. Her power isn't something exciting or useful and she really can't believe that she has it. After a few days, she comes to terms with her new found "power" but fee
Mar 23, 2010 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Abby Carnelia is a special kid. While helping her mother make lunch one day, she discovers she can make a hard-boiled egg spin simply by tugging on her ears. In support of this new talent, her parents send her to the prestigious Camp Cadabra to learn more about magic. Once there, she meets other kids just like her. But it soon becomes clear that something at the camp is not quite right. Abby and her new friends need to figure out exactly what is going on... before it's too late!

This book is tota
First Second Books
One of the sweetest, most thought provoking middlegrade novels I've read in a long time! The premise is that we all have some magic power however dumb and completely useless. Like saaaay spinning an egg with earlobe tugs or maybe even levitating a quarter of an inch, but ONLY if we are thinking about Bison....walking Most people never find their magical power...but this book is about a group of kids who do. A devouring read. Each chapter ended with a sentence ...more
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Abby Carnelia wasn't looking for magic. It appeared before with a simple tug of an earlobe. After tugging her earlobe, a hard boiled egg spun around. It's different, it's freaky. Did other kids have such powers?

Abby's journey is amusing. If readers enjoy everyday magic, this would be an excellent read to pass along. If readers are more into fantasy magic, this selection would be easy to pass up. The best part of the book would be the author's notes at the end of the story. I wish his notes would
Things I Liked:
This book was a lot of fun to read. Abby was a regular girl, until she discovers her power. But, she still felt very much like your average tween looking to figure stuff out. The magical aspect of the book will appeal to fans of Savvy and The Girl Who Could Fly and the humor and fun will appeal to everyone else. A sweet and silly book that will have kids wishing they could figure out what their odd power is.

Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, the book seemed pretty forgettable (
Jul 03, 2010 Fanny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Girl discovers she has a useless power mainly she can make only hard boiled eggs spin by pulling back her earlobes. She attends a magic camp to find people like her with useless powers, she gets noticed by one of the workers there when she performs in front of the camp. She and her friend Ben who helped her with the trick get sent away to a special camp for kids just like them, luxurious yet there's something off about it. Naturally there are guards, doors that unlock only from the outside, and ...more
Aug 23, 2010 John rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Ages 10+.

A fun and "safe" read for kids. Abby Carnelia discovers that she has a magical ability, unfortunately it's not a terribly impressive one. She can make a hard boiled egg spin if she pulls on both her earlobes.

She soon finds out she's not alone, there are other kids out there with magical abilities but they all seem to be as unspectacular as her own.

There are bad guys, challenges and finally a big finish that proves that no matter how small you think your abilities are they can make a dif
Reading Vacation
Mar 09, 2011 Reading Vacation rated it it was amazing
I loved the idea of kids having magical powers. In fact, it makes me wonder if everyone has some sort of magical power inside of them just waiting to be found. Abby had to tug on her ears while looking at a hard-boiled egg to make the egg spin. The funniest one was a girl who had to think of a bison walking backwards in a diaper to make her power appear. All of the powers were pretty useless, but that is part of what made the story so fun to read.
The story turned more serious when the drug comp
Sep 12, 2013 Tracy rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, bocd
This was a harmless story with an odd ending. Abby, an 11 year old girl, accidentally discovers she can make a hard boiled egg spin when she looks at it while tugging on her earlobes. And...that's pretty much it. She wants to figure out why she can do this, so she goes to magic camp. The magic camp is normal at first, but when camp counselors notice Abby's special power, things start to get weird.

Not sure if this is a spoiler, but her magic is never explained, other than the author saying "ther
Honey Asher
Nov 18, 2014 Honey Asher rated it it was amazing
This is the most AMAZING BOOK EVER!
Like I read this book 2 years ago and I forgot the title..
I searched for 4 hours straight looking for it because yes it's seriously that AWESOME!
This book is perfect for everyone!
To unleash your powers you have to do the most unusual -est thing like Pull on both your earlobes
(Can't say anything else because I don't want to spoil anything)
Just trust me on this one..
If it's a rainy day and you so happen to have the book...
Then you a
Addison Children
Feb 10, 2014 Addison Children rated it liked it
Shelves: chapter-books
Abby isn't very interested in magic, but when she accidentally discovers she can make a hard-boiled egg spin by tugging on her earlobes, she thinks perhaps she should sign up for magic camp to see if she can get some explanations. She doesn't get any explanations, but she does get selected for super magic camp along with a girl who can levitate a � inch by thinking of buffalo running backwards wearing diapers, and a boy who can fog glass by counting in Spanish by twos while inhaling. When they a ...more
Minerva King
Aug 08, 2014 Minerva King rated it really liked it
Abby considers herself an average middle schooler until the day she discovers that she has a magical power. It seems insignificant and a little silly, but no one else can do it. She can spin an egg just by touching her earlobes and focusing on the egg. She finds out about a summer camp for kids who want to learn to do magic and decides to go because it might help her find out more about her power and maybe meet other kids with powers, too. She finds out that the camp is not exactly what she was ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Adriana rated it liked it
Shelves: new-in-2010
I was expecting something cute and fluffy when I picked up this book. It's not cute and fluffy. I was, in fact, horrified. This is not a children's book like The Penderwicks is a children's book. It's more like Harry Potter is a children's book, Harry Potter references not withstanding.
NewFranklin School
Nov 15, 2010 NewFranklin School rated it really liked it
Shelves: ms-patterson
I thought this was a really fun book with an interesting idea - what if you had one single magical power? Ok, maybe it is a totally useless power, like being able to spin a hard boiled egg when and only when you tug on both earlobes at the same time, but what if? That is what happens to Abby, and her adventures after give me a lot to think about! My only complaint with this book is that it didn't need to be as long as it was. There are just some parts where the author could have edited his work ...more
Aug 19, 2010 Robin rated it it was ok
I was surprised to see a children's book by NYT tech writer David Pogue, but I recalled that he'd written at least one interesting blog entry about Harry Potter [he's a fan:], so thought I'd take a chance. I actually listened to the audiobook, about which my main complaint was the reader...until I found out that the author was doing the actual reading, so I guess his accents were forgivable if not entirely appealing.

Not a bad story, but not a great one as kids' books go. I do think I'll stick w/
Sarah Tilatitsky
Mar 29, 2011 Sarah Tilatitsky rated it liked it
First of all, it is 3 3/4 stars. This book isn't so bad, but it seems too...harmless. It doesn't really have that kind of malice in it. I even just read for the sake of reading in the second grade with those books. They seemed fun, but BORING!!! It was boring because there was little to no emphasis on the danger. The danger is the imagination. The only part I liked was when the children spilled their secrets. ☺
Debbie Tanner
This is one of our Sunshine State Young reader books this year and I did not love it. It's about a girl who discovers she has a completely useless magical power. She wants to figure out if she's the only person on the planet with a skill like hers so she goes to a magic camp where she's sent to a second magic camp for people with talents like hers. However, it turns out the camp isn't all it's supposed to be. I liked the premise but I thought it was badly written.
Dan Rogers
This book was quite different from most that I read and I found it to be a bit odd. I listened to the audio version in my car as I drove to and from work. It was a hard choice to make to stick with the story rather listening to Christmas music. In fact, I think that if I had been read rather than listening I very well may have given up on it somewhere in the middle. I don't see many, if any at all, of my 5th graders picking this one up.
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David Pogue, Yale '85, is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News. His funny tech videos appear weekly on CNBC. And with 3 million books in print, he is also one of the world's bestselling how- to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "For Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music)

More about David Pogue...

Share This Book

“If you really want to be totally accurate about it, the day that really changed Abby's life wasn't the day she discovered her power.
It was the day Ben sang to her in the Telekinesis lab.”
“I actually prefer Abby," she said.
"I'm sorry?"
"Nobody calls me Abigail unless it's my mom and she's mad.”
More quotes…