Verdict: MY OWN MAGIC is a delightful story of sixth-grade self-discovery through reading and writing that will help any aspiring young writer get started, or improve their storytelling technique.
On a warm afternoon, on the first day of school, the new sixth-graders have gathered to hang out, “compliment, comment, and complain.” Morgan and her best friend Natasha notice a woman who doesn’t look quite like she belongs, “with her long leather skirt and a blouse with flowing, ruffled sleeves.” The next day this mysterious woman is introduced to the sixth grade class as their special writing teacher who will help prepare them to participate in NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. They will each have to write 6,000 words, about twenty to twenty-five pages. It seems like a lot.
Morgan isn’t particularly pleased. She doesn’t like to read, decides she doesn’t have any imagination, and can’t think of any ideas for a novel. Besides, she’s deeply suspicious of this new teacher and her motivation: “Why in the world would a famous author come to an elementary school and volunteer to teach us how to write novels?” Morgan asks her friends.
This may not seem like an obvious premise for a novel, but Kim Votry uses magic of her own to weave it into a charming tale. Votry has a keen eye for the telling detail and uses it to good effect to create Morgan’s world. We’re there with her as she walks home from school with her friends, fears that she will never be able to write a novel, withdraws in frustration, then finds her way back through the magic of reading.
MY OWN MAGIC is a delightful story of sixth-grade self-discovery through reading and writing would help any aspiring young (or even old) writer get started, or improve their storytelling technique. It also stands alone as a fine tale of family, friendship, and persistence.
Reviewed by Brid Nowlan for IndieReader.