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A Snicker of Magic



Last updated Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Author: Natalie Lloyd
Date of Publication: 2014
ISBN: 0545552702
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2016

Synopsis: 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 nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster. Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

Note to readers:
•  The book is long and you will not finish. Try to read to page 35.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think "snicker" means? (to make a short, quiet laugh in a way that shows disrespect)
•  What do you think "A Snicker of Magic" is about?
•  Do you believe in magic?
•  What is your favorite word? (see inside cover for examples)

Vocabulary

swooshed--to move with or make a rushing sound; clutching--to hold tightly with your hand; nomads--a person who does not stay long in the same place; billowing--a moving cloud or mass of smoke, steam; knack--an ability, talent or special skill needed to do something; nuzzled--to gently push or rub your nose or face against someone or something; infinity--never ending; tromped--to step hard; commemorate--celebrate a person or event by doing something; enchantments--a magic spell; moped--dejected

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do words come to mind when you are doing something? For example, when you are riding a rollercoaster or sliding down a slide; when you are eating your favorite dessert; watching your favorite movie; your first day of school or the beginning of a test.
•  Can you name three of your favorite things? Notice how saying or thinking about your favorite things makes you smile.
•  Can you think of three of your least favorite things? How do they make you feel when you think or say them?
•  What is your magical word, the word that makes you feel happy? (mine is Serendipity which means good fortune/luck or happy occurrence by accident)

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of something that makes you happy and Draw your favorite words in the picture. Alternatively, draw a picture that makes you scared or frightened and draw your scary words.
•  Write a poem using your favorite words.
•  Draw a scary pumpkin for Halloween to hang in your home.
•  See examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/october-2016-crafts/

Special activities:
•  Have kids complete the word search that will be provided at the reading clubs

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!