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Magicalamity Paperback – 4 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (4 July 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1407137328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407137322
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Saunders is an English author, actress and journalist. She has worked for newspapers and magazines in the UK, including The Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Daily Telegraph, She and Cosmopolitan.
She has also been a regular contributor to radio and television, with appearances on the Radio 4 programmes Woman's Hour, Start the Week and Kaleidoscope.[4] She was, with Sandi Toksvig, a guest on the first episode of the long-running news quiz programme Have I Got News for You
Saunders has also written multiple books for children and for adults.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Kate Saunders plays wittily both with readers' expectations and with plenty of other specific fairy tale plots and characters 11 Jan. 2013
By KidsReads - Published on
Format: Hardcover
MAGICALAMITY, a gentle and humorous British fantasy, explores what happens when a boy finds out he's half fairy --- and when he discovers that fairies are nothing like what he'd ever imagined.

Eleven-year-old Tom Harding is never allowed to sleep until almost noon; when he wakes up at 11 o'clock on a weekday, that's his first clue that something out of the normal has occurred. His second is when he goes into the kitchen and finds a large, disheveled woman rummaging through his refrigerator. The woman, who's named Lorna Mustard, explains that she's one of Tom's three godmothers.

Not just any godmothers, either --- fairy godmothers, since Tom's father is a fairy. By falling in love, marrying and having a child with a mortal woman (Tom's mother), however, Tom's dad is now in big trouble, and he's gone into hiding deep in the fairy realm. As for his mom, she's been transformed into a most unlikely form in order to keep her safe from the threat of kidnapping.

Almost before he knows it, Tom is whisked away on a quest to rescue his father and clear his family name, a quest that will include several ill-tempered fairies, a flying carpet, a mountain hideaway, a long-lost (and sometimes troublesome) cousin and flying lessons, as Tom discovers what it means to be a "demisprite" and what it takes to make a family.

Discovering that one is only half mortal is certainly not a new trope in fantasy literature --- think Percy Jackson and the Olympians, among others --- but Kate Saunders plays wittily both with readers' expectations and with plenty of other specific fairy tale plots and characters. There are allusions to Snow White, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Peter Pan, among many others, and readers who are particularly familiar with fairy tale and fantasy will be especially delighted to see how the story creatively remixes these elements.

Saunders creates a suspenseful story, but one that's never really scary. There are dangers, to be sure, but of the delicious and not truly frightening variety. MAGICALAMITY is a lovely introduction to British fantasy for kids on the cusp of the Harry Potter series or the more irreverent fairy tales of Matt Haig. The fast-paced story, relatively short chapters and family-friendly humor (some of the toilet variety) make this a great bedtime read-aloud that will appeal to adults and to kids of a variety of ages.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fairies, Magic and Demisprites... Oh My! 20 Jan. 2013
By J.Prather - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's not every morning you wake up and find out your dad's a fairy, your mom has been imprisoned in a jar of sun dried tomatoes and that you have a fairy godmother who owns a junkyard. This is what happens to Tom in the first chapter of Magicalamity! This is a book that is sure to grab you from the first page and never slow down. Younger fans of Harry Potter will find much to enjoy in this magical adventure that's just chocked full of fantastic creatures. The action is non-stop, and if it seems violent on the surface, nothing very violent ever seems to actually happen. For all of the fairy godmother talk of killing things, they turn out to be actual softies.

The fairies that populate this tale are not the usual pink and frilly type. One fairy godmother has been married ten times and has turned all of her "ex-husbands" into personal servants. Her son is a fairy punk rock star whose current song "Old fairies suck" is number one on the fairy charts. There are literary allusions aplenty in this book, most of which will go over the heads of young readers. Youngsters will enjoy a snicker or two over the fairies' penchant for holding nude balls, and will be appropriately grossed out when Tom takes a journey through the sewers of London on a magic carpet - complete with genie.

There's not a lot of meaningful character development here, and some of the plot points end up being a bit rushed and contrived, but it certainly won't matter to young readers. They will be suitably dazzled by thoughts of flying, dragons, and magic. This is a charming story that provides an exciting, fast paced, exotic adventure for even the most reluctant of readers.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Imaginative story telling makes this a truly wonderful read! 5 Jun. 2013
By Judith Mary - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A wonderfully magical story written with charm and an abundance of imagination. Tom lives happily every after with his mum and dad in a flat above his parents' deli. There's never been anything remotely magical about his life, that is, until the day he wakes up to find his fairy godmother making bacon and eggs in the kitchen, his dad a magical fugitive gone into hiding, and his mum tucked away in a tomato tin for safe-keeping. Off Tom sets on an adventure of his own, which takes him from his fairy godmother's junkyard outside of Glasgow to the magical Realm of Fairy, where Tom and an assorted cast of characters go about clearing his father's name. This story is perfect for grade school kids looking for some light-hearted fun.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Fun, Lighthearted, Magical Romp for ALL Ages! 18 Mar. 2013
By M. Lee - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
As a mother who still tries to screen everything before her almost-14-year-old daughter gets her hands on them, I have to admit that I do such screening partly because some middle-grade books are just so much fun to read. "Magicalamity" by Kate Saunders is one of those books. I'd actually enjoyed "Beswitched" more, but the unexpected appeal of "Magicalamity" makes it probably a better-planned book. Kate Saunders' sense of humour is terrific: I had to laugh out loud at a number of places where the humour *could* be taken on both adult and child levels (funnier on the adult level). I really appreciate the clean telling of the story: nothing gross or rude, just smart. I absolutely recommend it for a class or family read, especially if you like Diana Wynne Jones or Jasper Fforde. Said daughter's review follows:

"'Magicalamity' by Kate Saunders is an awesome, fun read.

"I realize that m-a-y-b-e I'm a bit too old for children's books, but this book was *totally* worth the 'Aren't you a little old for that?' stares I got when I checked it out of the library.

"11-year-old Tom Harding always thought of himself as a normal, average boy. Sure, he is really good at math, and has been called "good-looking" in the past, but that's it really.

"Well, that was all before one of his fairy godmothers arrived to babysit him, because his dad is on the run from evil fairies and his mom has disappeared.

"Soon, with a new-found cousin and *three* fairy godmothers (one cranky headmistress of a criminal boarding school, one grandmotherly junkyard manager and one slightly evil lawyer) Tom finds himself going to the land of the fairies, so that maybe he can save his family and all of magickind, before it's too late.

"My favorite parts were all the times when Tom had to help his godmothers with her fairy-godmotherly business like flying and spell-casting. So really funny and sweet.

"I loved this book! I would totally give it five stars: two stars for the cute plot, two stars for the hilarious yet heroic characters, and one star for the awesome name."
A great boy book that’s a fun read. 21 Jun. 2014
By Deborah Sandford - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Well-written, good characterization, definitely British (some Americans may not get the particular humor; I didn’t find naked adult fairies to be amusing). There’s a lot of talk of ‘killing’ which was irksome. The cover is misleading, showing a dragon with the main character—the dragon doesn’t show up until the last gasp. There's a lot of description about eating and tea time; not sure how that fit in.
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