Parents' Guide to

Upside-Down Magic

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Laughs, life lessons in magical-misfit series start.

Upside-Down Magic Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 6+

Fun and funny! Non preachy inclusivity at its best.

There's a positive messages all over this but my child just enjoys it because he loves the story. One child has a hearing aid in the story and like everything else in the books its just there in the story. It's not clunky, it's just fab and funny.
age 6+

Encourages kids to accept themselves for who they are.

This is a story about a young girl who deals with being "different" than her peers. There are some sad moments regarding the girls family and their refusal to accept her for who she truly is, and the mother died when she was young, but it is not written to be overwhelmingly sad. My very sensitive daughter was fine and did not cry through this sadness. Most of the book is about her having a hard time accepting her abilities that do not fit in the "box" in the normal magic world, and learning how to accept and even appreciate herself for being different. With her family basically ignoring her she learns to find a new family with her friends, who are also different, and her aunt, who loves her for who she is. There is no violence except for a short moment when a girl is being super mean to the Upside Down Magic (the special class for unique magic) kids. This is not an action packed book. It stays pretty mellow but is interesting enough to want to read the second book.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Best-selling authors Mlynowski, Myracle, and Jenkins deliver crowd-pleasing elements like slapstick humor and heartfelt emotions in a tale of middle schoolers whose powers are a bit different. Nory's hilarious misadventures (let's just say drittens, bittens, skunkephants, and other creatures have a lot of fun making a big mess, which Nory then has to deal with), her struggles to fit in, and her discovery of new possibilities will keep the pages turning and will resonate with just about every kid whose life isn't 100 percent perfect. With a sequel already in the works, there's more to look forward to.

Upside-Down Magic also gets points for its matter-of-fact, non-preachy handling of diversity: The characters' ethnicities are as varied as their magical powers, which is mentioned briefly and not belabored. "Why are you black when your aunt's white?" Nory's new friend asks. "My dad's black. My mom was white," she says, and that's pretty much the end of it as they get on with the story.

Book Details

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