Thursday, October 10, 2013
Waiting for the Magic
Waiting for the Magic
by Patricia MacLachlan
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011
2014 Bluestem Nominee
Audience: Elementary School
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
One day, Williams and Elinor's father just leaves. Not like he's left in the past for just a short while, but really leaves. Upset, their mother decides to get a dog and all three hop in the car. Only four dogs are at the shelter and instead of leaving any behind, William's family takes the lot, and a cat named Lula. Elinor, who is only four, can somehow communicate with the dogs Grace, Bitty, Bryn, and Neo. Their grandmother can as well, and she says that only the very young, very old, and very brave can feel the magic. William wants to feel the magic, but with so much going on in his family, he's having a hard time. This is a truly special book with magic to spare and it will delight young readers.
As a dog owner, I loved this book. The very idea of dog's talking, not outloud, but silently, magically, was very appealing. There are many books that give the impression that the young are open to magic, but this book allows for magic to be felt by everyone-the young, the old, and the brave. It is just as surprising to the reader that the dogs can talk as it is to William. That first chapter when the dogs each have their say caught me off guard, but was a nice addition.
The dogs are characters of their own. Each one has it's own personality and is very protective of their family, shown very well when William's father returns. But the dogs provide just want he was searching for, and now this family can be together again.
I like this as a Bluestem. It's simple, short, has appeal for both boys and girls and I think even a fifth grader would pick it up. Who wouldn't walk a talk that can talk to you? I also think that this is a great book to read to younger kids too. All those little magical Elinor's out there will love this book, even though they can't read it by themselves, yet. Wonderful for everyone-beginning readers, seasoned readers, and non-readers.
This book made me feel warm and fuzzy. I hope you feel the same way.