Fortune’s Magic Farm by Suzanne Selfors

SUZANNE SELFORS

Suzanne Selfors lives in an old farmhouse on Bainbridge Island, Washington with her husband and two kids. Her first middle grade book, To Catch a Mermaid, is now out in paperback and Kindle, and her first Young Adult novel, Saving Juliet, has recently been optioned for film. You can visit her at www.suzanneselfors.com.

Suzanne’s most recent book: Fortune’s Magic Farm

Little, Brown Publishers, March 1st, 2009

Middle Grade Fantasy, ages 8-12

272 pages, $15.99

Illustrated by Catia Chien

Selected by the Junior Library Guild as a Premiere Selection

Description: Suzanne Selfors is back with another humorous light-fantasy adventure that is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever dared to dream.

This story takes place in the dark, dank village of Runny Cove. There, orphan Isabelle works her fingers to the bone at the Magnificently Supreme Umbrella Factory, struggling to support herself and her Grandma Maxine. That is, until Isabelle discovers that she has inherited Fortune’s Farm, the last place on earth where magic grows. Now Isabelle must use the magic to save the people of Runny Cove without spilling the secret of Fortune’s Farm to the world.

Woven throughout this story is the theme of destiny and the meaning of family, and that at everyone’s core is the desire to belong.

Special appeal to: newly confident readers

REVIEW:

Children’s Literature:

Ten-year-old Isabelle lives in Runny Cove, a town where it never stops raining. Isabelle is an orphan who works long hours at Mr. Supreme’s Umbrella Factory in order to pay the rent at the awful boarding house where she lives with her adopted grandmother.

Isabelle’s very dreary life seems all laid out for her until an apparent tragedy occurs and she is told that her grandmother is dead. Shortly after that, Isabelle runs away from the factory and is rescued by a strange 12-year-old boy named Sage. She learns from Sage that she is not quite an orphan after all.

It turns out that Isabelle has a long-lost family whose job it is to manage the farm where the world’s magic grows. Sage’s job is to protect Isabelle’s family, the Tenders of the Magic. Isabelle must overcome some fierce obstacles to save the declining farm and the friends she left behind. Also helping on her journey are Neptune, an elephant seal who makes deliveries through his trunk, a raven named Rolo, and a cat named Eve.

This is a great new fantasy title, Isabelle is a very likeable character, and readers will cheer for her success. The villains of the piece, Mr. Supreme and boardinghouse owner Mama Lu, are deliciously villainous, and readers will delight in their downfalls.

This is a great follow up for readers who loved Lemony Snicket, but this time, they might actually get a happy ending. A great addition to all collections. Reviewer: Sharon Oliver

Kirkus:

Interspersed throughout this droll, plot-driven story are Isabelle’s comical songs and Chien’s spot illustrations. Newly confident readers will cozy up to the tale’s quirky characters and enjoy the many twists and turns of this magical adventure.

Suzanne’s other books:

Coffeehouse Angel, July, 2009

Saving Juliet, 2008

To Catch a Mermaid, 2007

For more information about Jim, please see www.jimwhiting.com. To inquire about availability of specific titles or to send a comment, write him at jimruns3@gmail.com.

JIM WHITING

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