One Jar of Magic

HarperCollins/Katherine ­Tegen. Feb. 2021. 352p. Tr $16.99. IS­BN 9780062689856.
Gr 4-7–Expectation runs high for 12-year-old Rose Anders, whose father, Wendell, is the most successful magic-catcher in Belling Bright. His jars of trapped magic fill every closet. Rose, described as having blue eyes and brown curly hair, awaits her first magic-catching day with rising dread. Her friends Maddy, with blonde braids, and Ginger, whose appearance is not described, seem to be tiring of Rose’s incessant proclamations of her heir apparent status, while at home her father’s dodgy advice becomes overbearing, even as her brother Lyle and passive mother try to still its contentious waves. Magic-catching day does not go as planned for Rose, and she suffers an embarrassing letdown. Meeting a family who is “Not Meant for Magic” and dealing with her father’s ominous mood swings, Rose confronts the effect magic has on her family and community. Haydu’s work of magical realism evokes fraught emotions boiling just below the surface of Rose’s “perfect” life. Her first-person narration begins with a confident arrogance that slowly dissipates along with her father’s public geniality. The quirky joys a jar of magic can provide, like pink hair, rainbows, and bad weather, delicately balance against Rose’s descent from popularity into a near pariah. Rose’s visceral pain and her hard-earned agency will be deeply felt. While age appropriate, the story does contain possible triggers for domestic abuse survivors.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy everyday magic, friendship stories, and family drama will be enchanted by this magic jar of a book.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing