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Like Magic

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  132 reviews
"An endlessly endearing story of three girls’ pursuit of friendship and the beauty and challenge of what it means to be 10.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Like Magic is truly a treasure.” —Liz Garton Scanlon, author of The Great Good Summer

“Debut novelist Vickers has created three appealing, diverse characters with distinct talents and voices. A sweet story of friendshi
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  435 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Though I generally enjoy almost everything I read, it’s been some time since I’ve found a book that has made me audibly sigh in joy, upon reading the last page.

(And yes, T did give me a weird look when I did that - hah.)

But such was the case with the gorgeous, all-encompassing Like Magic, by Elaine Vickers. In her debut novel, Vickers shares the fears and thoughts of three young girls, who are all at certain crossroads in their lives.

Grace is recovering from her sole friend moving away, while
Abby Cooper
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! Each character is so wonderful and well-developed. I love the emphasis on music, art, writing, and LIBRARIES! A lot of the book takes place at what sounds like an incredible public library, and each girl is impacted by the help of the thoughtful librarian. Definitely get this book for every middle grade reader you know, but also get it for anyone who doesn't understand why libraries are so important. After reading this, they'll get it. ...more
Jenn Bishop
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a touching, gentle middle grade novel, three ten year old girls grapple with big changes as they get ready for the new school year. Shy, anxious Grace, misses her best friend, the first girl her own age she made a strong connection with, who moved across the country to Boston. Jada, along with her dad, makes a big move to Salt Lake City, leaving the East Coast behind for an unfamiliar city. And Malia adjusts to her new role as a big sister, with her mom in the hospital on bed rest. What bring ...more
Wendy MacKnight
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
I received an Advanced Readers Copy in return for an honest review, which I am more than happy to give!

I loved this book about friendship so much! Not since my beloved Betsy, Tacy, and Tib have I loved watching the fates weave a friendship together. Thanks to children's librarian, Hazel, and a wonderful treasure box, Grace, Malia, and Jada are brought together just when they need each other most.

Elaine Vickers creates moving and true characters. You feel their pain, their excitement, their fear
Elly Swartz
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like Magic is a story about heart, friendship, and overcoming the challenges we all face. Grace, Jada, and Malia, are three girls looking to belong. Each yearning to fill a unique void. In their search for connection, Vickers does a great job showing each girl's strength and inner beauty. The story is filled with the arts in all its forms, and lovingly shows the strength, and sometimes shortcomings, of family. In the end, Grace, Jada, and Malia, find their voice, their spirit, their purpose, and ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this heartwarming tale, three girls who are each searching for something embark upon separate quests. As their paths collide, the girls learn more about themselves and their situations, and are rewarded with an unlikely friendship. Elaine Vickers does a fantastic job intertwining the three stories in a way that will tug at your own heart. I highly recommend this for middle-grade enthusiasts (and their parents too!)
Sarah Levy
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story about three young girls trying to find their way through many of life's troubles. With a wonderful mix of art, music, and poetry throughout, this story shows everyone is going through something and sometimes all you need is hope to push through. ...more
Tasha Seegmiller
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This is an incredibly charming book. The nuances of the girls, the complications they face, and the processes of working through them will appeal to both kids and their parents. Loved it.
Kate Willis
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m always on the lookout for good middle-grade books, and the adorable cover and premise of this one drew me in right away.

I was a little astounded by how much I related to each character (despite being more than twice their age), and I applaud the author for how well-developed each girl’s character was. The struggles of growing up and navigating life were similar for each of them, but they were also each very unique in their lives and hobbies and dreams.

Malia (yeah, we’re going left to right)
Dee Dee G
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Sweet story.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book is absolutely beautiful. I loved each of the characters and how they all had their own unique interests, talents, family life, and culture. The way the author weaves the girls' stories together is so seamless and makes this book stand out in a wonderful way.

The hint of magic added an extra touch that made it fun to read and wonder what (if any) was magical or cosmic. Every time I put it down, I couldn't wait until I could read more and see how it all tied together.

I Definitely recommen
J.S. Jaeger
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book has become my ten-year-old daughter's favorite book. The characters are fun, and the story is uplifting. ...more
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this book, along with the other members of my Twitter #BookRelays group. I really enjoyed this book, and will definitely purchase a copy (or 2 or 3) for my classroom library. The characters are very relatable for the students I teach. Ten-year-olds in desperate need of friendship, they each turn to the gentle help of a librarian at the Salt Lake City Library who provides them with a treasure chest from her lost-and-found drawer. Grace is painfully shy and ...more
Victoria Coe
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, LIKE MAGIC is totally like magic! Or maybe it IS magic! I love how Elaine Vickers weaves together the stories of three absolutely lovable girls as their lives are each touched by a treasure box. Each one was sweet and poignant on its own but as the stories began to intersect, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough because I wanted so desperately for them all to come together.

I highly recommend LIKE MAGIC for
Rosalyn Eves
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This really is a magical story of three girls, each feeling lost in her own way: shy, poetic Grace who misses her best friend who has just moved; artistic Jada who is new to Salt Lake City and feels she doesn't fit in; and musical Malia whose family is so caught up in the imminent arrival of her baby sister that they don't seem to see her. Vickers does a wonderful job pulling the threads of three different lives together in moving and unexpected ways. A lovely meditation on friendship and the st ...more
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful friendship story about discovering who you are and finding your people. You will love Grace, Jada and Malia and cheer as they find each other with the help of a kind librarian and a mysterious box that holds all kinds of treasures. But the greatest treasure of all, they discover, is friendship. A gentle and lovely book, I think that this will appeal to all kinds of kids who may be inspired to share their own treasures with each other, too.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this sweet and thoughtful MG. Woven with intelligence, heart, and care, the stories of these three girls came together in a meaningful and powerful way. I teared up twice, and that is not common for me. I'm one who looks for meaning and symbolism everywhere, especially in books. And I was happy to find many innocent gems in this book. Loved each character and the librarian (she was perfect).

Highly recommended.
This is a sweet little book--there's not many other ways to describe it. Three girls who each need a friend find each other through a treasure box from the library lost and found. Cute, enjoyable, and some nice insights into the characters, who are diverse and well drawn. (My only quibble is the librarian character--she wouldn't be shelving books, and also seems to be the only person who works in this place, but whatever. Even I could look past that ;) ...more
Gabrielle Schwabauer
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
A really sweet story, well woven together. I don't think it will stand out in my memory amidst the many other middle grade novels I'm reading this summer, but it was a worthwhile story, and I'd definitely recommend it to lonely elementary/JH students, especially girls. I really appreciated that the story didn't shy away from issues like severe anxiety, maternal abandonment, and the upheaval an unexpected sibling can create, but also never wallowed in despair or cruelty. A solid read. ...more
Rosalyn Eves
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. I was lucky enough to read an early version of this story, and the characters have stayed with me: quiet Grace, loving Malia, artistic Jada. Each girl is struggling with something that seems huge in her life, and each feels alone. A kind librarian and a treasure box help the girls connect to each other, and the resulting story is a beautiful, textured tribute to friendship.
Scott Fillner
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story on how 3 girls come to find friendship, themselves, and overcome obstacles all in a beautifully intertwined story. Not only did I enjoy the unique strengths that each girl had, but how they utilized those unique strengths to grow and overcome obstacles.

I would highly recommend this story for someone that needs a warm story, where characters are developed and meet over time.
Erin Shakespear
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a total and complete delight! I loved, loved, loved how the treasure box helped the three girls, each struggling in a their own way, find one other. And it makes me wish I'd stumbled across a treasure box in my library when I was that age.

This sweet tale of new friendship is a fantastic read for girls and boys of all ages.
Nicole Otting
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a sweet story about three girls whose lives are connected through a mysterious box from the lost and found in the library. Jada, Grace, and Malia are intertwined in ways they'd never expect but they all have one thing in common, they need a friend. I really enjoyed this story. ...more
Tompkins County Public Library Youth Services
This is the first book I read in 2017 and it was a great way to start another year of reading! Three lonely girls find friendship and learn to navigate new challenges in their lives through a little library magic. I love how this book takes an honest look at being 10 without being overly dark. It was heartening to see these three different girls overcome their fears and find strength within themselves. I also liked the role of artistic expression in the book – Grace, Jada and Malia process a lot ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly charming story of three young girls and how their unique challenges work magic in their lives. Great story for readers of all ages! Written with humor, suspense, and tenderness--loved it!
Sarah N
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-on-kindle
(3 1/2 STARS) A sweet, enjoyable read about friendship. There were a few more “conveniences” than I might have preferred, but I think the book’s intended audience of middle-graders would absolutely love this.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The concept was very nice. Three young girls dealing with individual hang ups and losses. One special treasure box brought them all together. Such a wonderful tale about true friendship.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet, endearing MG novel about friendship that's told from multiple POVs. While I enjoyed all three main characters, I felt Malia's chapters were a little underdeveloped compared to Grace's and Jada's? Like I didn't know Malia as well? But either way, still a great read that I would definitely recommend to my students! ...more
Emily Montjoy
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! Three young girls trying to navigate their way-which leads to each other! This book will be loved by many children because so many will be able to relate. Discovering who you are and finding your place can be difficult. I loved these girls found each other through a mysterious treasure box left in the library. Vickers' writing was equally superb. Add this to your libraries, you won't be disappointed! ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book! I loved the bit of mystery,love, and friendship! All because of an old librarian and an treasure book/box! I loved all 3 of the characters malhia,jada,and grace,. Personal my favorite was malhia but they were all great characters. This book kept me interested and made me want to always be reading stories like this. Elaine vickers did a great job with
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Elaine Vickers lives with her husband and three kids in Southern Utah, where she writes books and teaches college chemistry. She always wanted to be a writer and a teacher, except when she wanted to be an architect, an artist, a pediatrician, a judge, or a famous actress. Visit her at

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“I lost my voice and my best friend too
On swift, fierce winds and wings of blue,
The cold rain fell where beams had shone,
So I wrapped up tight and safe. Alone.

But I missed my friend, I missed my voice,
And my heart still whispered of another choice
To break out of my binding, safe, and warm,
And see what the world looked like after the storm.

So I struggled free and was greeted by
Colorful brushstrokes across the sky,
The melody of the summer breeze
And blue wings like mine in hazel trees.

On the soft, sweet air of the mountain glade,
We gathered together in cool, green shade,
And told our stories, beginnings to ends,
And found our song in the hearts of new friends.”
“Take this treasure,
Leave one of your own,
And remember this truth:
You are not alone.”
More quotes…