The Key to Extraordinary

The Key to Extraordinary
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 23, 2016
ISBN
9780545552745
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Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.

For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down.

But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?

Editor review

1 review
You have to know your destiny before you can fulfill it!
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Emma, who has been told that every woman in her family has had a dream of her destiny, feels that she has no special qualities. She eventually dreams of a key, and thinks that she is getting closer to finding the answers to her magical destiny, but is struggling just to get through the day after the death of her mother. She lives with her grandmother and brother and helps with the bakery, The Boneyard Cafe, that her grandmother runs. She also gives tours of the local cemetery. A developer is trying to buy up the bakery, and Emma hopes that she will be able to stay in Blackbird Hollow, her magical, quirky Southern town. Is saving her town her destiny?
Good Points
Like Lloyd's A Snicker of Magic this is set in a town where magic is a part of everyday life. The magical flowers are particularly appealing, and magical baking is always fun. Since everyone has a bit of magic in them, there are unexpected twists all through the book, which makes

The characters are a bit quirky as well--the tattooed grandmother has an interesting past, although I wonder what sleeve tattoos really look like on 70 year old arms! Topher, Emma's brother, is also struggling with the death of the mother, but has an unexpected love interest show up in the town.

Readers who enjoy magical realism like Ingrid Law's Savvy, Littlewood's Bliss, or Shulman's The Grimm Legacy will enjoy accompanying Emma on her journey to find out who she is and what her magical gifts are. I do wish the recipe for peach-lavender muffins had been included!
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