Like a Charm

­Random. Oct. 2023. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593649138.
Gr 5 Up–A title that will draw readers into a magical world where disability, family, and community take on all new meanings. Ramya Knox, a 12-year-old with dyspraxia, finds herself feeling quite alone. Her mum and dad are always busy with their jobs as news anchors, and she isn’t close to her extended family, several of whom are a little strange. The one person who seemed to care, her grandfather, has passed away, leaving her with the seemingly impossible task of finding and documenting the lives of the Hidden Folk. As it turns out, Ramya has rare magical skills that may put her in jeopardy if she doesn’t learn to rely on the community of misfits that thrive unseen in the city of Edinburgh. This book will keep readers turning pages to find out what happens next. McNicoll blends discussions of neurodivergence seamlessly into the plot, slowly building Ramya’s social circle as she meets vampires, kelpies, fairies, and witches. Ramya sees into hidden worlds in a way that recalls fantasies that have come before, from the “Chronicles of Narnia” to the TV series Grimm.
VERDICT An engaging fantasy/adventure story ideal for anyone experiencing social alienation; it’s especially deft in its handling of the topics of neurodivergence and disability.

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