Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wrong Side of Magic” as Want to Read:
The Wrong Side of Magic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wrong Side of Magic

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  64 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wrong Side of Magic, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Janette I planned it as a standalone. My publisher may want to do another book though if the book sells really well.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  64 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
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.
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 a
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.
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!
Chantele Sedgwick
Mar 22, 2017 added it
Shelves: own
Such a fun and clever book! Loved it.
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.
Stella Wenny
Jan 12, 2016 marked it as to-read
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
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
Breakfast and Books
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hudson Brown doesn’t believe in magic and thinks his neighbor/classmate, Charlotte, is peculiar. However, everything changes for Hudson when Bonnie’s (Hudson’s younger sister) cat falls ill. Through pure accident, Hudson discovers the land of Logos while trying to get a cure of Bonnie’s cat. During this accidental discovery, Hudson is tricked by trolls into receiving a curse and must rely on Charlotte to break the curse. What ensues is a magical adventure for Hudson and Charlotte in the land of ...more
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
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.”
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.
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. :)
Elizabeth Reid
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-reviews
Fun book my middle grader loved. Review for the Deseret News here:
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!!
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!
Leslie Angel
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
Homage to the Phantom Tollbooth. Fun.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
i got b a r s
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a cute story full of adventure. If you are looking for a fun chapter book to read out loud to your kids I would recommend this book.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Rallison's plot is a "throw back" to classic fantasy adventures. She
uses puns and word play, like: The Phantom Tollbooth.
There are also elements similar to: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Steve Grimmary
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's awesome! It's practically the only words to say. I love it!
No rating because it's a Whitney Awards finalist.

Inventive world-building that goes beyond your standard portal fantasy; kids may love the epilogue, but it didn't land for me.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids
  • The First Dragon (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #7)
  • Stars, Stockings, and Shepherds: Discover the Meaning of Christmas Symbols
  • Adventure Time with Finn & Jake (Issue #5)
  • The Wishbone Wish (Judy Moody & Stink #4)
  • Letters to My Future Husband
  • Well, Really Mr Twiddle! (Happy Days)
  • The Afterlife Academy
  • Death's Academy
  • The Sign of the Cat
  • Gertrude and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man (Gertrude and Toby #2)
  • Bridal Bedlam (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, #23)
  • Hansel & Gretel
  • Stars So Sweet (All Four Stars, #3)
  • Scarabian Nights (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, #24)
  • How to Be a Hero
  • Prince Ribbit
See similar books…
Check out my awesome book trailers!
My Unfair Godmother:
My Fair Godmother:
Just One Wish:
My Double Life

Janette Rallison has five children who keep her well supplied with plot ideas, sometimes even making cameo appearances in her novels. She
“Rude behavior may get you nowhere in life, but crazy behavior will take you all sorts of places. Most people prefer you go there alone.” 1 likes
More quotes…