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The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King and a Pickpocket Squirrel
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The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King and a Pickpocket Squirrel

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The twisty-turny journey of a girl searching for her heart’s desire—glimpsed in a magic mirror. Perfect for fans of Rump or Catherine, Called Birdy
A foundling girl with a crooked leg and a crutch doesn’t expect life to be easy. Indeed, Maggie’s dearest wish is to simply not feel so alone. So when she spies a man behind bars in a magic mirror said to show one’s truest de
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  287 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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What do you want from a fairy tale? Magic? Romance? Derring-do? Despicable villainy? Academics and scholars have puzzled and puzzed until their puzzlers were sore over what it is about the European fairy tale genre that so enthralls us. Recently fairy tale lovers have seen the entertainment industry discover that fairy tales are still a primo source of capital. On the book side of things, I’ve seen a distinct uptick in retellings of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and more in the last five y ...more
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this book to see if it would be suitable to read aloud with my kids. I was surprised by some of the adult content. While not overly graphic I think some of the aspects of this book would be disturbing or confusing to younger readers, while it was too immature for my taste. The ending wrapped up very neatly and I appreciated that all the various story lines were resolved, but it also felt very rushed at the conclusion. I won't be reading this one again, and I don't really think it would ho ...more
3.5 stars rounded up.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Margaret has walked with a limp for as long as she can remember, earning scorn and derision from the people in her village. One day, a kind peddler trades her a magic mirror for her sturdy crutch, and Margaret sets out on a quest to find the wild-eyed man she sees in the mirror's surface. As she travels, she meets a great many people and learns of the surprising ways their stories connect.

If you enjoy Karen Cushman's historical fiction, you will almost certainly enjoy this medieval tale. My only
Liz Friend
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it
The story: Margaret has always been the orphan girl with a crippled foot. Her future isn't exactly rosy, but it takes a turn for the worse on the day her caregiver, Minka, makes a deal to marry her off to the local hunchback. But that's also the day Margaret trades her crutch for a magic mirror and gets far more than she bargained for: what she sees in the mirror sends her on a journey that helps her find adventure, love, and even a most unexpected family--as well as a squirrel that picks pocket ...more
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This one requires a bit more mental prowess than I anticipated... there are many hidden connections between characters (most you can figure out if you pay attention!) that are important in the story's conclusion.
Richard Corbett
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While Maggie who is lame and a foundling is the central heroine, there are so many other wonderful characters in this tale that weave in and out each with their own stories. It will make you laugh, touch your heart and enthrall you with it unexpected twist and turns. An absolutely wonderful novel.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg
A delightful, rollicking tale of magic, adventure, mixed up identity, with heroes, heroines, villains, minstrels, beggars, princesses and of course, the magic mirror.
Anne Beardsley
The publisher done this author WRONG.

The cover, title, and quotes all promise a fun little story, funny, perky and quirky in a fairy-tale setting.

Page 59 was the first time I cracked a small smile. By then I was tired of living in a dirty, dingy, unfair 'medievalish' world where hearts are made to be broken, dreams all die, and only the bad guy succeeds at anything (although he lives in his own private hell), and a plot driven by desperation.

But it ends....better. Some measure of inner p
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A light, delightful reading. The title goes "The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King and a Pickpocket Squirrel". It should also mention a one-legged traveling salesman, a bagpipe-player, a monk pilgrim, a mad magic mirror maker and a sour (sort of)widow, whose life have all been connected because of the mirror. When the mirror falls into the hands of the orphan cripple Margaret, it sets her on a quest which will make all their paths converge again and ex ...more
Maybe with some better balancing, the book could have stood out a little more. As it is, I think it's a little on the dull side for older teens and adults, and while younger children may take to the story more, some of the themes and overall archaic tone of the book are a little mature for them and will likely go over their heads. The last 1/5 in general feels a little lazy, trying to cram in too much to tie everything up, leading to a lot of telling, not showing.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Lonestar 2017-2018/Name That Book 2017-2018. I think some of my problem with this book was that I started it and then didn't have a lot of reading time, so when I came back, I had trouble keeping track of the characters and the plot. Even with review, I found the story overly complicated. It also wasn't funny; the title made it seem like it would be humorous.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has so many fun elements: some magic and fantasy, a likable protagonist readers will cheer for, memorable and engaging secondary characters, a twisty-turny plot that though set in a medieval-feeling time and place feels contemporary in emotions, plenty of adventure. In short, an engaging romp for young readers.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I finished this book but just barley. I don’t usually like fairytale fantasy type things so I should have known j wouldn’t really like it though. I love the characters as it centers on an orphan who has to use crutches to walk. The storyline is also pretty cool but overall I just found it kind of boring.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
The author's idea, characters, and plot are amazing, but the story itself is quite boring. In fact, I chose to skip many paragraphs and part of the way through the book I became so bored that I set it down and chose another. If your looking for a book to keep you on the edge of your seat, read Swindle by Gordan Korman instead.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
It was a really good book and there were a lot of surprising twists too. Though, the ending felt rushed. Maybe the author should've made it into a double or something, though that would be a problem for me.
Taressa Anderson
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice historical fiction story with lots of twists and turns! Well developed plot, colorful characters, with a map In front that helps to keep track of the multiple quests. The unexpected ending helps tie up the whole story. Fun read for middle graders!
Jamie Dacyczyn
A cute fairy tale quest story for middle readers. There are some interesting twists and silly humor, but not as good as some other whimsical books for middle readers that I've read. Kids will enjoy this more, but I can quite give it my "adults will love this too!" stamp of approval.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lone-star
3.6 Stars
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story plotting genius

So enjoyable following each of the characters, watching them change, and working through the very twisty plot line. Recommend for 5-8 grade readers.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this but there is a major plot hole - how come Margaret looks just like Petra and how come Urchin does not?! ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A cute story with some mostly predictable twists. There are definitely some "absurdities", but I think overall that kids would enjoy it and them.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
Abby Turner
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, fantasy, ya
Complex plot and great characters, this is a delightful read. Fun fairytale setting adds spice and surprise to the middle grade novel.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun book that had some great moments and some eh moments. All in all, a good middle-grade read that adults may find a little slow at moments.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lonestar-list
Really 3.5 A solid medieval morality play, and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy the Sisters Grimm.
I picked this up at the library for Lily to read, but she wasn't interested (because it came from me). I enjoyed it, though.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From beginning to end this story swept me along. I love fairytales and this one had a clever yet simple plot in addition to being beautifully told.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Review written for SLJ:
Grades 3-8
A magic mirror, traded for Margaret’s crutch, sets off a merry fugue of medieval travels. Although the focus continually returns to crippled Margaret, the lives of a delightful cast of characters including her sullen mistress, a wily peddler, a boy with bagpipes, a monk, a beggar, a lonely and frightened princess, and even the wild-eyed man whose face appears to Margaret in the mirror are gradually untangled and rewoven together. The sense of anticipation as conn
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Susan Hill Long, graduate of Bowdoin College, resident of Portland, Ore., is the author of many children's books.

She is also published as Susan Hill and Frances Ann Ladd.