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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A gentle book of family, friends, and forgiveness completes Adrian Fogelin's Tallahassee middle grades series.

Some Kind of Magic by Adrian Fogelin, set for April publication, follows the lives of characters we met earlier in Adrian's series. Now, those young characters are spending their last summer together before high school. They know changes are coming. Some welcome the approaching changes, others do not.

As the book opens, we see the core group of friends, Cass, Jemmie, Ben, and Justin, shooting hoops on this second day of summer break. The personalities of the characters tell us that the friends are approaching this summer with different interests and feelings. Can they stay together for one last summer before the approaching year of change?

They can, and they do, but with one big difference. Shooting hoops and spending time at each other's houses suddenly are not the all encompassing activities. Change, expected in the fall, arrives in early summer from unexpected sources---a kid brother, a missing uncle, a secret hideout in the nearby woods, and a hat. A magic hat?

Ben's kid brother Cody wants desperately to hang out with his brother's friends for he has often been on the fringes of their activities and feels they are his friends as well as Ben's friends. They tolerate him, sometimes more so than others, but will he really fit in in any way during this special summer?

Yes, he will for it is Cody who find's Uncle Paul's old hat, a hat that he immediately proclaims is magic. Is it? Well, Cody certainly thinks so, and through him and the hat the group experiences a summer that helps them grow and learn; that helps them understand the past and see, for a moment,  the magic.

And was it the magic of the hat that brought Uncle Paul, with his haunting memory, home after so many years? Perhaps. Whatever the reason, he is back and with him a mystery and some personal demons that have had him running for years.

Uncle Paul and the group of friends must come to terms with events from Paul's past and must turn and face the future. Doing so becomes a challenge for all of them, but it must be done for them to move forward. Can they do it? Can they bury the past, literally?

Read this gentle yet compelling book of childhood's last summer, growth toward acceptance of things that cannot be changed, and sustained friendship. It is a fitting end to the series that began with the award winning Crossing Jordon. Check out all the books in the series and get to know these young friends as they face life's problems during their growing years. The series is generally aimed at grades 5-8, or late elementary and middle grades.

Adrian Fogelin lives and writes in Tallahassee, Fl. She encourages the children in her neighborhood to find the joy in reading and in life through her Front Porch Library. Read about Adrian's project at

Published by Peachtree Publishing. Available on line and at major outlets.

1 comment:

  1. Faye, thanks so much for your wonderful overview of the book and for featuring it on your fabulous book blog--Adrian