Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1536
Magical Ball Caps
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Zach comes from a magical family, and his relatives all have objects they use to channel their magic. Zach's father has a pocket watch, but Zach can't seem to find an object of his own. His parents are worried that the magic has "skipped" him, so they decide to enroll him in public school instead of homeschooling him, so that he can learn to deal with regular people. He's lucky to make a friend in Aaron right away, but he also makes an enemy of popular girl and bully Tricia. When Zach finds himself behind the glass in a vending machine (without his clothes on!), he's embarrassed, but also hopeful that he has some magic in him. Aaron loves to make videos, so he and Zach try to figure out what Zach's magic item is, finally settling on two baseball caps (snapbacks). Zach can use these to transport himself and objects, which is very helpful. After Tricia is mean to him again, he fills her locker with chocolate pudding, which explodes all over her. When Zach and Aaron accidentally transport an alligator, with disastrous results, they realize that Zach needs to learn to harness his magic more effectively. Perhaps he will in the next book in this series, Zach King: The Magical Mix-Up, which is due to be published on May 1, 2018.
Good Points
This book has a lot of colorful interior illustrations on nice, heavy paper, but since it is a jacketed hardback, I think it will hold up better than some similar books in paperback. There are full color descriptions of all of the characters at the beginning of the book, and occasional comic strip style panels throughout the story.

It's easy to believe that Zach's family is magic, and the story doesn't belabor his lack of magic, but rather gives him lots of opportunities to discover what his talents and his objects are. He runs into some predictable trouble, but it's nice to see him work through the process with the help of a good friend.

Zach King is apparently an internet phenomenon, and there is a free app that accompanies this book available at www.zachkingmagic.com. I have to admit that I didn't look at any of the videos or investigate the app, but young readers might find both of these things of interest.

Magic is always an appealing subject to young readers. Fans of King's internet exploits or books like Callaghan's Just Add Magic, Osborne's Magic Treehouse books, Geronimo Stiltoon's illustrated exploits, or older titles like Edward Eager's books will find My Magical Life to be a pleasant diversion.
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