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The Wrong Side of Magic

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  71 reviews
The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away!

Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte.

Hudson discovers that Logos is a land rul
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
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Janette I planned it as a standalone. My publisher may want to do another book though if the book sells really well.

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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  164 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It was a magical book. Meaning that it was about magic, and not that it magically wrote itself. I can assure you that it didn't write itself even though I kept encouraging it to.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Janette Rallison's dedication got me all fired up, with a shout out for one of my favorite books of all time (The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster) and to her fifth grade teacher who read it to her class. This book has a similar theme, updated for more modern times, and funny word play; however, the "kids-travel-to-a-magical-land-and-save-it-from-evil" plot is overused, the big reveal was obvious to me about half way through, and there were no pen sketches. An eighth grade boy (Hudson) tries t ...more
A. L. Sowards
I read this one aloud to my 7-year-old twins. They loved it so much that they’ve been pretending to go to Logos (the magical land in the book). Honestly, they probably didn’t get all the clever word play in the book, because they were hearing it instead of reading it, but they enjoyed the adventure aspects (and so did I). I picked out the big plot twist about 100 pages before it happened, but that didn’t ruin the story for me. It was a fun read—a princess, a bad king, unicorns, mermaids, fairies ...more
Karlene Browning
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you have a Middle Grader that likes fantasy adventures, GET THEM THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! Seriously. It is awesome. It's going in my permanent library.

Remember The Phantom Tollbooth? I didn't read it until 8th grade because I thought it was about ghosts (I don't like ghosts). But when I finally read it, I was blown away. This book? EVEN BETTER!! (Yes, imagine me screaming when I use caps. And jumping up and down like a crazy person.)

This story is so clever and well-written. The plot line is pr
This is a book that I would read to students or use for a literature study because it has positive messages, grammar references, humor, action & it will appeal to both boys and girls. Hudson, a boy from our world, and Charlotte, a girl from a magical world called Logos, set off on a quest to find the Logosian Princess and free her. Along the way Hudson learns about the power of words and friendship and how both can be magical.

As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, plot, wordplay and w
Debbie Tanner
A super fun magical adventure! This one had lots of similarities to the Phantom Tollbooth, so if you like that play on words kind of thing, this one is definitely for you, but this one also had a great princess rescue plot to it as well. Kids are going to love this one.
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I simply adore this book! A must-read!
Anne Beardsley
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a delightful, funny, charming fantasy novel about rollicking adventures in a downright peculiar magical kingdom.

The author tries to channel Phantom Tollbooth.
The book is most charming when it's least like Phantom Tollbooth (granted, it's a lot of charm at any given point.)
If I were her editor, I would have axed the whole edible words thing at the get go.

Everything else in the story is just lovely. It's pleasant, interesting, exciting, funny, and a good story.

This is a book with Many Help
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. The characters were fun
and the plot was engaging. This is the kind of novel I'd choose to read
to a class at school as a read-aloud and know they'd love it! There were some great
twists in the story that made for an exciting conclusion to the story.
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun, cute read. I loved all the word play and the creativity. I always like when I’m happily surprised to enjoy a middle grade novel so well.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth
This story reminded me of a Wrinkle in Time and Wizard of Oz and a lot like the Wicked Dorothy series, but not so graphic. Lots of magic and creative twists and turns. I figured out the mystery pretty early on but I think middle readers will love it.
A boy trying to help his sister take care of her sick cat gets tricked into going into a magical world in search of a missing princess. His partner is a young girl whose father has been hiding from the cruel king in the Land of Banishment (aka our w
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Think The Phatom Tollbooth re-written...and better. What a fun magical adventure! The ending wasn’t a surprise but the road to get there was so enjoyable. For anyone who loves words, or plays on words, I think you will like this book.

I love the emphasis on friendship and doing what’s right and honorable.

I loved this line, in reference to the fruit you could eat that gives a person compliments. “The compliment fruit tasted great but it wasn’t filling.”
Stella Wenny
Jan 12, 2016 marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I hate when I forget to write a short review for a book I loved. This one was so good and everything I want when I read a book by Janette Rallison!
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, mg
I loved this book! It was hilarious and brilliant. There were so many details in this fantastical world that kept it interesting and fresh all the way through, and the pacing was remarkable.
Chantele Sedgwick
Mar 22, 2017 added it
Shelves: own
Such a fun and clever book! Loved it.
Donna Weaver
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte.

Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart.

Not understanding the many rules of Logos, H
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
The trouble with magic begins when Hudson’s little sister Bonnie finds a sick kitten that she insists on doing everything to heal. When their odd neighbor Charlotte gives Bonnie a magic compass to travel to the Kingdom of Logos to find the plant that will heal the kitten, Hudson declares it too dangerous for her and he goes instead. His simple task turns into rescue operation with Charlotte to find the imprisoned princess and rid Logos of the evil King holding her prisoner.

Rallison builds the wo
Ikmalina Mohd Naim
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ahhh I'm utterly head over heels with this book. I randomly pick it up at a book fair, intrigued by the synopsis given. I've always been a sucker for fantasy genre and where one is swept to another magical land. And yes, this book did not disappoint!

It was such a fun, interesting and quirky read. I love the word-play so much. It's so creative and at the same time we are learning from it. I believe middle school kids will enjoy this a lot. The Wrong Side of Magic by Janette Rallison
Jason Ravara
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had fun with this one. The story was sort of light and I know it was made for children but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was kinda simple and predictable but it's exciting and adorable in its own way. Plus, there's a lot of lessons to be learned here.

This is a story about an adventure a boy and a girl took to accomplish each of their goals: one, to free himself from the curse, and two, to free the realm from a tyrant by rescuing the princess.

Lessons to learn:
•Words have power
•Sometimes, t
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderfully written book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lovers of The Phantom Tolebooth and similar books will absolutely love this one! Grammaria is a land in trouble. The princess has been spirited away by her power hungry uncle who has taken control, and only a boy from Earth and a girl from Grammaria are able to do anything about it! Follow Hudson and Charlotte as they face off with trolls who are more devious than they expect, fruit that flatters you but doesn't fill you, and a power ...more
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a great book! First off, I love this author. Most of what I've read of hers are YA novels, more teenage girl genre, but I've enjoyed all of them. This book was more of a tween audience, appealing to both boys and girls. In fact, my 12 year old son read this first and recommended that I read it! I wish she'd write more of this type of book, my son was said he wished it had a sequel! This would be thoroughly delightful for all ages, even read aloud to younger elementary kids and up.
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a charming, whimsical book that reminded me of "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" or "The Phantom Tollbooth." The world of Logos is unique and magical, with magical rules that make sense but are always surprising. Hudson's character was the most interesting part for me, as he grew and developed into a cool, heroic character throughout the story. If you like whimsical magical worlds with fairy tale feel, this is a great read.
Leah Feltner
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun book. I was worried it might be too much of a kids story, and even though I'm sure kids would love it, I thoroughly enjoyed it as well.
I don't want to give anything away by saying too much about the story line, but the characters are likable, the story moves along at a good pace, and it's very entertaining. You really can't go wrong with a Janette Rallison book. :)
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My son loved this book so much! He has read it over and over since we finished and now everyone in the house has read it as well. The imagination and clever word play is so much fun and now I need to find a way to visit Logos soon. I hope there will be a companion book since I need more of this imaginative writing in my life.
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. It is great for children who want to start readings chapter books with no pictures because it is super easy to understand. You will not want a refund when you get this book! Just get it!!
Elizabeth Reid
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-reviews
Fun book my middle grader loved. Review for the Deseret News here: ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, childrens, humor
This book is in the vein of The Phantom Tollbooth, wherein it uses puns and plays on words to build scenarios. It is written for children, and those with a quick wit and clever mind will read it with gusto.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
The main character whose name I already forgot is a bloody dimwit and also selfish to add to it. Charlotte gives a luna lovegood vibe but not necessarily intelligent either. But despite all of it, this was still a relaxing read. Logos reminded me of Phantom Tollbooth a lot.
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
i liked it a lot, but some parts were weird and it was also a lot like the phantom tollbooth- too much!
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