All the Colors of Magic

Chicken House/Scholastic/. Dec. 2019. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338540611.
Gr 4-6–This imaginative middle grade fantasy, a German import, introduces 10-year-old Penelope who lives with her mom and grandma in “a little village, right next to a swamp forest.” She discovers that her unusual abilities are rooted in her hair, which has been gray since she was born—until the day she wakes up and it’s a boisterous red. It turns out her magic is inherited from her long-absent father. Angry when she learns the truth of his abandonment, she resolves to find and confront him, leading her on an adventure in which she must rescue him from villainous captors instead. She does this with the help of her cat, an invisibility device, and her own ingenuity. The tidy ending satisfies.
VERDICT This standalone fantasy is perfect for fans of Cornelia Funke and those not yet ready for hefty, multivolume series.

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