Published February 13th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
But each wish comes with its own Pinocchio-esque side effects, and soon Megan finds herself coughing up hairballs as she makes bigger and bigger promises to her new friends. Now, if she can’t impress the school with the most spectacular kickoff event for Spirit Week they’ve ever seen—without using magic—her social life will be doomed and Megan may remain feline and friendless forever.
There are many things to love about Tomsic's book, beginning with the magical angle. After all, who hasn't dreamt about having access to magic, whenever we're experiencing challenges in life? I think the answer is all of us, and Tomsic reflects thoughtfully on that fact.
Because while magic does initially solve some of Megan's problems - the majority of of which center around being a new student in an unfamiliar environment,including being uncertain of new friends and dealing with familial changes - those solutions also come at a price. Tomsic does a solid job of showing there's a cost and an effect when you take shortcuts in life, and how those effects often result in situations which might even make the original problem even more complex.
This is especially true as Megan's gradual evolution as she comes to realize this fact, is rewarding, realistic and full of quirks that will make the book enjoyable for readers young and old. Without giving too many spoilers away, Tomsic tosses in several references to Kafka's Metamorphosis which help emphasize the importance of Megan's growth, and the sheer strength of will and character it takes for her to make that transition.
Megan's transition aside, the writing is enjoyable, the secondary characters are fun, and the magic involving the clock is beautifully realized. While Tomsic's overall story is ultimately centered around the idea that a person's own strength can be far more magical than actual magic, the story is a purely magical one from beginning to end.
About the author:
Kim Tomsic has been the new girl at eight different schools, where she earned a variety of conflicting labels. She kept one: the talker. Kim now lives in Colorado with her husband, two children, and two dogs; all five keep her laughing. This is her first middle grade novel. You can find Kim online at www.kimscritiquingcorner.blogspot.com.