Even and Odd

Clarion. Jun. 2021. 288p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780358350385.
Gr 3-5–Sisters Emma and Olivia may live in the most ordinary town in Connecticut, Stony Haven, but the town sits on the border between the mundane and magical worlds. Although they are the children of magical parents, the sisters must share their magical ability; each girl is able to work magic on alternating days, hence their nicknames Even and Odd. Twelve-year-old Even fully embraces her magical heritage, but Odd, one year younger, is a more reluctant spellcaster. One day Even is practicing transformation, turning herself into a skunk, when she becomes stuck, unable to revert. The sisters discover magic is malfunctioning, causing the gateway between Stony Haven and Firoth, the magic world, to fade in and out. Investigating the phenomenon, Odd, Even, and their new friend Jeremy the Unicorn become trapped in Firoth, a community now in chaos due to diminishing magic. When the trio uncover the individual responsible for siphoning off the magic, they work together to rescue Firoth and find their way home. This novel highlights the tension between the sisters over the use of magic and the eventual resolution of conflict. During their time in Firoth, Even and Odd learn of their parents’ past, and Even faces a decision that could change her life. In a world populated by unicorns, elves, fairies, and goblins, the sisters’ ethnicity is not defined beyond human.
VERDICT A cozy mystery for unicorn and magic lovers. Firoth and its denizens will delight fantasy fans, and the light suspense peppered with humor is sure to keep young readers engrossed until the happy ending. Purchase where easy fantasy is in demand.

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