A Bit of Magic
Sometimes what a story needs is just a little bit of magic to give things a push in the right direction. These stories are all set in a world that looks a lot like the one we know, but there is a little something extra to set it apart from our world. Middle schoolers and upper elementary students looking for a slightly fantastic story should try these:
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay is “tall” in more ways than you might think. First, Bernado is literally tall. He suffers from gigantism, and he towers over everyone at eight feet tall. This story explores the magic that surrounds Bernado in his village in the Philippines, where he is viewed as the reincarnation of a folk-hero giant, and how that magic seems to follow him to London where he is reunited with his family. This is a sweet story about sports and siblings with a bit of magic thrown in for an almost-tall-tale.
Lillie’s father was fighting for his family’s freedom in Freedom Stone. When he heard that slaves who fought for the Confederate Army would be granted freedom for themselves and their families, he joined up. But when he is killed in battle, Lillie’s family is denied the freedom they were promised. Soon they are in danger of being separated, and Lillie is determined not to let that happen. There is history, drama, and a little magic from an unexpected source in this appealing novel.
Fairies aren’t real. In Small Persons With Wings, Mellie knows this all too well after she told everyone in her kindergarten class about the fairy that lives in her room–only to have him disappear that same day. Embarrassing! But things change when her family moves to her grandfather’s inn, because it happens to be infested with fairies. Or, excuse me, small persons with wings. They hate being called fairies. This is a fun and fast-paced fantasy that begins with a girl trying to discern what is real from what is imaginary and ends with everything turned upside-down.
Freedom Stone by Jeffrey Kluger. 2011
Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem. 2011.
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay. 2011.