The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd | SLJ AUDIO Review

redstarLLOYD, Natalie. . ­­4 CDs. 5:15 hrs. Scholastic. Feb. 2016. $29.99. ISBN 9780545910316. digital download. The Key to Extraordinary

Gr 3-6 –Emma Casey, her brother Topher, and their Granny Blue call the Boneyard Café home. On weekends, Emma conducts tours of the haunted graveyard next door, while Topher warms visitors with his irresistible peach-lavender muffins and famous Boneyard Brew (aka hot chocolate). When their cozy haven is threatened by a greedy developer, Emma channels her late mother’s promise that the women in their family are destined to be extraordinary. Since the late 1700s, the so-called Wildflowers have each had a “destiny dream” in a field of blue flowers to point the way to becoming a spy, teacher, trapeze artist, inventor, firefighter, or another exceptional path—all of which were recorded in the Book of Days. Armed with two friends—one old, the other brand-new—a flowery legacy, and a healthy dose of magic, Emma has quite the extraordinary undertaking ahead to save her family’s future. VERDICT Kate Simses adds the perfect blend of sass and wonder to Lloyd’s latest, making this a charming addition to any middle grade collection. [“This novel will be appreciated by younger middle grade readers who enjoy mysteries with an ample dose of magic and whimsy”: SLJ 3/16 review of the Scholastic book.]–Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2016 issue.

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