The Wrong Side of Magic

Posted on September 19, 2016

by Tim L

I found a charming magic in a new book, a magic that leaps off the page with humor and heart in Janette Rallison’s latest novel The Wrong Side of Magic. The story begins with 8th grade student, Hudson Brown, (not a believer in magic) who arrives in the magical land of Logos. His goal is to find an herbal medicine for his little sister’s cat. Hudson’s classmate and neighbor, Charlotte, a dorky but mysterious young lady, eventually agrees to help him, and yes, of course, it’s way more complicated than that. The land of Logos encompasses such places as Scriptoria, Troll Village, Mermaid Lakes, Forest of Possibilities and Grammaria. It’s filled with fairies who run a sort of Uber service where you surrender a memory for fare. There are also unicorns that help ‘the pure of heart’ and bakers who bake bread into the shape and flavor of words—way fun!

At the rousing conclusion of the story, Rallison successfully allows a parent into the action. Including a parent or caretaker into the secrets of a story helps young readers remember that they too have people that can help them with their own problems. Fans of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster will relish this new magical ride. Teachers might consider introducing The Wrong Side of Magic to their students before reading The Phantom Tollbooth. The Wrong Side of Magic has more story for children to latch onto and is less didactic in the word play, making it a friendly opening volley into the world of Norton Juster. This novel’s worth a top rating.


Featured Image Credit: Book Magic (Pixabay Image 1012275, Creative Commons License).

Looking for more related content?

Here are a few selections just for you!

  • Celebrate the late Tim Sale with some of his greatest comics.

  • I’ve curated a little selection of books you might want to add to your beach bag when you feel like skipping town. Isolate yourself in a hammock and get reading!

  • The Breaking Bad saga is wrapping up with the final season of Better Call Saul. If you're looking to recapture the edge of your seat twists and turns that show provides, these are the books for you.