More Than Magic

224p. ebook available. Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553498912; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780553498929.
Gr 4–6—Lasky, best-selling author of the "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" series, introduces 11-year-old Ryder in this new fantasy. Ryder's mother created a cartoon television show called Super-Rory-Us, featuring Rory, a character based on Ryder. The popular TV series is about to be turned into a feature-length film. Rory is all Ryder has left of her mom, who passed away several years ago. Now her dad has starting dating the horrible Bernice, who takes over the movie production and proposes tons of terrible changes, such as making Rory a princess who loves clothes instead of a girl who fights crime and loves adventure. Ryder can't understand what her father sees in Bernice. The girl soon learns that she can enter the television world, and she teams up with Rory, best friend Eli, and Connie (Bernice's daughter). The group must traverse Ecalpon, the fictional cartoon universe, in a race to save the show that Ryder's mom created. This is a quick and entertaining middle grade read, and kids will cheer on Ryder and her friends as they battle the witch of Ecalpon and Bernice.
VERDICT Fans of light fantasy-adventure will enjoy this; a solid purchase for larger middle grade collections.

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