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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Hopeful MG Novel Provides Boost for Kids With Messy Life Situations

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Everything in Kate Mitchell's life falls apart when her dad, who's suffering from severe depression, moves out.  The 11-year-old hasn't heard from him in months.  Before he took off, the family loved to make music together—Kate would sing while she and her father both played the guitar and her mother tickled the ivories.  Now, the music is gone.  Although Kate has tried to sing and strum, she just can't.  Not anymore.  

At least Kate has her BFF to help her through.  Now that Sofia is hanging out with another girl, though, Kate feels more alone than ever before.  Add to that the fact that her paternal grandma, whose dementia is getting worse every day, has moved in with Kate and her mom, and her life feels like it's spiraling way, way out of control.  When her grandma tries to help by spilling the secret of everyday magic, Kate is skeptical.  As she puts the principles into practice, however, amazing things do start to happen.  Can Kate hocus pocus her life back together?  Can she bring her dad and Sofia back?  Anything is possible with a sprinkle of everyday magic, right?  
The Three Rules of Everyday Magic, a debut novel by Amanda Rawson Hill, is a sweet, hopeful story about forgiveness, kindness, and finding one's inner strength.  The tale doesn't come to a neat, tidy end (spoiler alert!), which helps the book stay authentic.  Still, it's an empowering novel that will give children with difficult challenges and messy life situations a bit of a lift.  While its plot seems a little meandering and unfocused, overall I enjoyed The Three Rules of Everyday Magic.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of lots of novels, but no specific titles are coming to mind.  Help!)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for difficult subject matter (parental abandonment, depression, etc.)

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-copy of The Three Rules of Everyday Magic from the generous folks at Boyds Mills Press via those on The Whitney Awards Committee to facilitate contest judging.  Thank you!


  1. This sounds really cute! I'm actually glad this one doesn't have a neat ending, because I don't think that'd go with the theme. I'll have to check it out. Great review!

  2. An uplifting MG book is a good thing; it seems like there are so many more depressing or "too realistic" books from which to choose.

  3. I really do love that more and more we are seeing books like this!

  4. This sounds wonderful! (And I love so much that you always note when the author is LDS!)


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