More Than Magic by Kathryn Lasky
Age Range: 8 – 12 years | Grade Level: 3 – 7 | Hardcover: 224 pages | Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (September 27, 2016)
About More Than Magic
Girls who enjoy spunky heroines such as Merida from Brave (Disney/Pixar) and Ella from Ella Enchanted will want to join Rory and Ryder in their adventures in our world—and the world beyond the TV. An exciting new middle-grade fantasy from Kathryn Lasky, bestselling author of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series.
Ryder Holmsby is the same age as Rory, the popular TV cartoon character her animator parents created. Ryder and Rory are alike—bold and brave! But Ryder is a bit lonely: Mom passed away a couple of years ago, and Dad is dating a woman with snooty teenage daughters. Ryder doesn’t fit in with them at all.
And then: Shazam! Rory jumps out of the TV into Ryder’s bedroom to tell her that the TV studio behind her parents’ show is trying to turn Rory into a dopey princess—no more adventures. She needs Ryder’s help! The two girls team up with a crew of animated and real-life friends to save the day in both worlds.
Kathryn Lasky, bestselling author of the Guardians of Ga’hoole series, the Wolves of the Beyond series, and the Horses of the Dawn series, delivers a whimsical tale in which inner strength is the greatest form of magic.
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My Thoughts on More Than Magic
I’m going to be honest, this wasn’t my favorite book. I’ve read other books by this author (Guardians of Ga’hoole, Horses of the Dawn) that I enjoyed quite a bit, but this one was confusing. I didn’t really understand how the kids kept going back and forth between Ecalpon (the TV world) and the real world. The concept of being in wireframe and having a soul and heart didn’t make much sense and the parts about coding were hard to follow. My kids kept saying the story was confusing, and they didn’t understand how it worked.
On the upside, my kids liked the story in spite of their confusion over the particulars. The idea that your favorite cartoon characters could climb right out of your TV and exist in real life is fun. My kids particularly liked the Witch of Wenham and her lizard butler. I really liked the girl-power theme. I liked how the characters fought against the maturing of the cartoon characters and wanted the tv show to stay focused on a girl who isn’t a princess.
I think it was a great idea, but it needed more development. The characters needed rounding out and some of the concepts needed a better explanation. It has potential. I don’t know if this will be a series or not, but I’d be interested to see what happens next.
Content: A few instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain.
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