The librarian at my son's school selected A Snicker of Magic for their fourth and fifth grade book club. Both the parent and child had to read the book. We then attended a discussion with other students, parents, and teachers. I thought it was a great opportunity for my son, so I signed us up.
The book had a nice message, but it was a very slow read. There were a couple of main characters, Felicity and Jonah, who traveled around town and met several additional characters. Jonah shared magical ice cream with the people they met, which caused them to remember stories from their past. This led to the introduction of even more characters. It was difficult for an adult to keep track of all of the characters and next to impossible for my nine year old son.
Felicity Pickle comes from a wandering family. Her mother is constantly moveing her two daughters from one town to the next. The girls never have a chance to develop friendships or get used to a school. One day, they arrive in Midnight Gulch. The town used to be filled with magic, but the magic left a long time ago. It is believed that two local musicians known as the Weatherly brothers took part in a duel years ago. The person who lost the duel was destined to have a wandering spirit and could not return to Midnight Gulch. Without the Weatherly's music the town lost its magic. There is still a "snicker of magic" left, but not enough to entice anyone to stay in this mountain town. It becomes Felicity's mission to solve the riddle and restore the magic to Midnight Gulch.
The book never really captured either of our attention. We probably would have stopped reading altogether if it weren't for the book club. The only portion that Preston seemed to enjoy was the reenactment of the duel at the end of the book. He also enjoyed the unusual words Felicity invented, such as spindiddly. The words were fun to say and added some originality to the story. I just wish there was more to the plot and the pace was a lot faster.