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A Snicker of Magic

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  10,036 Ratings  ·  1,663 Reviews
Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing.

Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nom
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Hardcover, 311 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Kathy Love it, I don't want to do anything else, but finish it, life is getting in the way!
QLC I have read it like five times and it never gets boring

Community Reviews

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Joe
Nov 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
In which I become the Grinch Who Pooh-Poohs All Things Magical.

This book is currently #1 on Goodreads' Mock Newbery page. Friends, I just don't get it. I must have read a different book. Or my definition of 'distinguished' is waaaaaay different than that of the hoi polloi.

I've been a children's and young adult librarian for seven years now, and there are a few tiresome tropes that have been sneaking their way into kiddie lit over the past few years. In what is a feat of unimaginable magnitude, N
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Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
This book kept calling to me so much that I just had to read it. I read it in one sitting and found myself wanting to underline whole paragraphs on various pages to share later. If I had been with someone at the time, I likely would have read them aloud.

A Snicker of Magic is Natalie Lloyd's debut novel and she has created a story that grabs readers and won't let go. The language is beautiful and pitch perfect for the story. I need to note that I heard Lloyd speak and I kept hearing her voice thr
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Carmen
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Book Store
Felicity Pickle has lived in 6 different states even though she's only in the 6th grade. She's tired of travelling the country with her mama, Holly, and her little 6-year-old sister, Frannie Jo.

Maybe people can't grow roots the same as trees do, but we both needed a place to dig in and grow some good memories. And so did Mama.

The only problem is that Mama has a wandering heart. She's always been this way - restless, ready to leave town at the slightest provocation. She can't stay still and she c
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Donalyn
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When you read a lot, you're looking for new books that surprise and delight you. A Snicker of Magic is charming and extraordinary because Natalie Lloyd's personality shines through every page.

I don't think the book is perfect--the plot threatens to spiral out of control and I could barely keep track of the staggering cast of characters, but Ms. Lloyd brings it together at the end for a satisfying conclusion.

Look for more from this debut author. She's the real deal. A remarkable fresh talent.
Destinee Sutton
This book straight-up annoyed me. Thoughts I had while reading this:

1. This author is trying too hard and it shows. Instead of telling a story she's stringing together pretty words.

2. This book is so sweet. Now it's saccharine. Now it's cloying.

3. How long has Felicity known Jonah? Less than a month? And she's saying he "always" does this or "never" does that. Really?

4. I'd rather be reading Savvy.

5. I can't take another "What the hayseed?" or "Spindiddly!"

5. I'd rather be reading anything
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Niki (Daydream Reader)
Please read this spindiddly book. Here is what is so factofabulous about it.....The enchanting characters in this book made my heart sing out. Yes. Yes. yes! I adore this book. I hope you will read it and feel the same way. I truly believe it is magical.
Cyndi
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is such a visual book. Throughout the story I kept imagining what a wonderful movie it would be.
This remote town is filled with eclectic characters. Each of them have a bit if magic in their lineage. Our heroine sees words. When someone is talking the words they don’t say will escape from their ears or float around their heads.
This is a lovely YA novel that is safe for children to read. No violence or hints of sex. Just a sweet story of home, friendship, family and just a touch of magic
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Laura
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing

”Your words matter more than you know.”

A Snicker of Magic won my heart. I mean my whole beating reading heart! This story has word magic like I have never seen or heard before. It blew me away! And to add shock on top of awe—this is Natalie Lloyd’s debut! I’m in jaw-dropping, gasping awe over here! Okay, okay let me try to reel in my tongue, string a few words together and try to make sense out of all the love in my head and heart right now.

This is a tale about the magic of words and stories. An
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Franki Sibberson
LOVE! It is going to be harder to find a book I love more than this one. Absolutely perfect. So many lines I want to reread and keep.
Erica
Hi, I'm Erica and I'm a dissenter.

Everyone else, "Hi, Erica..."

I did not love this book.
I should have loved this book. It's a primer to magical realism, getting young readers ready for Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, Suzanne Palmieri, and the like.
It's got sisters, magic, funky aunts, a nifty little town, quirky characters, an ice cream factory, a mysterious benefactor, a curse, a dog, the love of words and all the other things that go together to create a fun, magical, wonderful story.

And y
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Sara Grochowski
Felicity Pickle travels the country with her mother and little sister, never staying in one place for long. Her mother is cursed with a wandering heart, but the girls are used to it. Felicity is always on the watch for signs that her mother's read to head somewhere new and her sister carries a suitcase filled with her most precious possessions everywhere she goes. As the Pickle women roll into Midnight Gulch, the town where Felicity's mama grew up, Felicity considers the stories she's heard abou ...more
Sherwood Smith
May 21, 2015 added it
Shelves: fantasy
I suspect this is one of those books that can fall sharply either side of the divide between actual young readers and young teens, the latter of whom often cross that invisible line into skepticism and wariness, even scorn. In fact, I could see myself at thirteen thinking, what boy would ever say "Spindiddly" out loud, except in sarcasm? But at age ten? I would have thought it absolutely wonderful.

At age ten I would have adored Felicity Pickle for her weirdnesses, her anxieties battling her desi
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Sps
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
See Three Times Lucky. See The Higher Power of Lucky. See most books by Polly Horvath. See anything in this genre for further examples of charming small towns, quaint and overly decorative language, earnest blabbering about Love and Family and Hopes and Wishes and Dreams, and main characters who aren't really young people, they are how some writerly adults imagine and wish young people would be.

See me gagging.

So OK clearly this genre is like wintergreen to me. I can see that Lloyd is not-awful
...more
Beth
Alright. I've staked my claim. This is the book I'll be rooting for to win the 2015 Newbery Award. Newbery or not, A SNICKER OF MAGIC is likely to land in the canon of beloved children's classics.

Read my full review on Nerdy Book Club.
jv poore
Felicity is an intense happiness, a particular kind of joy….a wondrous joy, and the most fitting name for the charismatic main character of this happy, hopeful little tale. Having accepted the gypsy life-style as her mural-painting mom carries her and her young sister Frannie across the country; Felicity was surprised by the tug she felt entering Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, “A Proper Place to Call Home”. Granted, she knew this was her mother’s home and that they’d be bunking with her mother’s sib ...more
Lizzie
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The language in this story is so rich and the tone really matches the uplifting message. I love the use of imagery and similes. I really liked the stories within in a story told from the secondary characters. That takes some skill as writer to switch voices and not interrupt the flow at all. I really think young tweens will walk away seeing words in their world and looking for the snickers of magic in their everyday lives.
Wendy
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I disliked this so thoroughly that there's probably not any point in going on about it. It must be a good book for the right reader, because it's getting glowing reviews and stars. For me, you might say, if someone took every element I dislike in a children's book and stirred it together, you'd come up with this. Usually I can at least somewhat get past the "not the book for me" element and appreciate good writing, but I couldn't here. A struggle to finish.
Michelle Haseltine
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't often stop to write reviews, but I must for A Snicker of Magic. I loved every single syllable of this book. I can't keep track of my favorite lines in this book. I adore Felicity Juniper Pickle. She's perfect. I love Jonah and the entire cast of characters who reside in Midnight Gulch. After reading this book...I believe that a snicker of magic really is everywhere. Read it NOW!!!
Pamela
An entertaining, warmhearted and quirky good story celebrating the magic and uniqueness of families, friendship, disabilities-as-super abilities, with Appalachian storytelling and mystic as the undercurrent. I didn't enjoy it as much as Lloyd's second book, The Key to Extraordinary. As an adult reader, it just didn't tickle my funny bone and snarky sinew like the Key did. Still though, a good summertime read.

THREE *** Magical Fun, Children's Anecdotal Fiction *** STARS
Kathryn
3.5 STARS

I really wanted to love this book. I'd heard all the buzz and had been meaning to read it for years. Alas, it just didn't strike a chord with me the way it did for some readers. It has some good qualities. It's a book about the power of words and love and family and hope. It features a loving family relationship (nice to see compared to so many middle grade books where the kids either despise the mom/dad/sibling or the kids are orphans or away at boarding school). The idea of the Beedle
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Brooks Benjamin
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Words are incredible little things.

You string the right ones together and you can make people laugh, cry, or think. With just a few carefully chosen ones you can thaw the edges of even the iciest heart. Heck, you can even transport a reader into a whole other city, a whole other time, a whole other world.

All with just the right words.

Felicity Pickle is no stranger to words. She sees more in a single day than most people will see in a lifetime. Felicity is a "word collector" and can spot the litt
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Bookstorequeer
I wish I had been keeping track of all my favourite lines but, then again, that would probably be the vast majority of the book copied and pasted. I really love Lloyd's writing style. There's a certain kind of world-weary, innocent magic in it. Everything has a colour or a shape and a sound. Felicity has a unique way of seeing the world that that comes through in every sentence.

On top of that, the pacing is well-done, the story is strong and interesting without being complicated or overwhelming.
...more
Becky B
Felicity Pickle is not like most other kids. For one thing, she collects words. They appear all over the place for her, hovering over people, in the falling rain, and she snatches them up to be savored. She shares the words with her little sister in poems sometimes, but whenever she tries to share them with bigger crowds her tongue shuts down. Felicity also is different because she's never lived anywhere longer than a year. Her Mama is a wandering soul, and the Pickles regularly relocate. Seeing ...more
Lesa
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Natalie Lloyd's debut juvenile novel makes my heart sing. In fact, A Snicker of Magic is just "splendiferous". So, thank you to friend and author Kaye Wilkinson Barley for recommending this magical novel. For those of us who love Sarah Addison Allen, Ellery Adams, and, yes, Kaye Wilson Barley as authors, this is an exciting, enchanting debut.

Once upon a time, Midnight Gulch, Tennessee was a place where magic lived. "The people who lived there had magic in their veins." There used to be magic in
...more
Tasha
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Felicity’s mother loves to move to new places, so Felicity has lived all over the country. But when her mother returns to the small town of Midnight Gulch, Felicity quickly realizes she has never lived in any place quite like this one. Midnight Gulch had once been full of magic of all sorts, but then a curse took the magic away and drove two brothers apart as well. But there is magic left in town, if you know where to look. It’s not big magic, just little pieces that were left behind. Felicity h ...more
Tricia Douglas
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was July's choice for the Goodread's children's fiction book club. A Snicker of Magic was a very sweet story telling how families, friends, and towns are filled with the magic of love. You just need to know how to find it because sometimes it's hidden or even missing. Natalie Lloyd has written a great book with words that actually do weave a magically story. When Felicity Pickle returns to the town her mother used to called home, she grows in love with Midnight Gulch when she finds her firs ...more
Brandy Painter
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
I may have found this book more charming and less annoying if it had not immediately followed my reading The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. Sometimes reading order makes a difference, but I don't think it would have changed my mind too much. I have very little tolerance for the small southern town full of quirky novel, and this small fictional southern town happens to be near the southern city I live in. The plot is slow and not very much happens. It involves a lot of individual old stories coming to ...more
Whitney
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been seeing more magical realism for middle grade readers and this book fits the bill. I like that the magic is everywhere but it isn't so intense that it becomes improbable. This book is a little fun, a little adorable, and a really solid read. I will definitely be buying it for my library and I will definitely shove it into the hands of children if it doesn't fly off the shelf on its own (but with colorful ice cream on the cover, I'm not too worried).
Kendall 2/3
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pretty good, pretty short little story. About 4.idk stars. There's really nothing wrong with it, I wish there was a 4.5 because it doesn't really deserve a 4 or a 5. The main character, Felicity, is a little like me, and I just enjoyed the story with all the different twists and interesting characters. RTC, or maybe not, because I've gotten really lazy about reviewing lately.....
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Henrico Youth Boo...: A Snicker of Magic 3 11 Oct 28, 2014 03:06PM  
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“The way he said her name made my heart cramp. In all my years of word collecting, I've learned this to be a tried and true fact: I can very often tell how much a person loves another person by the way they say their name. I think that's one of the best feelings in the world, when you know your name is safe in another person's mouth. When you know they'll never shout it out like a cuss word, but say it or whisper it like a once-upon-a-time.” 58 likes
“Stories aren't peaceful things. Stories don't care how shy you are. They don't care how insecure you are, either. Stories find their way out eventually. All you gotta do is turn 'em loose.” 38 likes
More quotes…