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Fortune's Magic Farm    by Suzanne Selfors order for
Fortune's Magic Farm
by Suzanne Selfors
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Suzanne Selfors has an imaginative way of writing children's fantasies that harkens back to the days of C. S. Lewis and E. Nesbit. Her newest novel, Fortune's Magic Farm, will pull middle readers into the story immediately and have them believing that magic is possible!

Isabelle has always lived in cloudy Runny Cove, and ever since she can remember, the rain never stops and the sun never shines. Even though she is only ten, she spends her days labeling boxes in the Supreme Umbrella Factory to help pay the rent at Mama Lu's Boardinghouse where she lives with her bedridden Grandma Maxine. Maxine is not her real grandmother, but rather is the kind older woman who has raised Isabelle since she was found on the doorstep.

Isabelle knows this makes her special, along with her ability to grow things; however, she does not understand how special she really is until a sea monster gives her an apple a fruit unheard of in Runny Cove. From that day on, her life turns topsy-turvy when her grandmother dies and Mama Lu finds her secret garden and accuses Isabelle of stealing. On the run for her life, Isabelle meets a hidden stranger who tells her who she really is: the heir to Fortune's Farm, a magical place where all sorts of wonders grow. Isabelle is excited about her new life, but can she leave her past in Runny Cove behind?

Fortune's Magic Farm is a fun, upbeat fantasy speckled with humor. Isabelle is a cute protagonist who immediately inspires the reader to cheer for her. The rest of Selfors' characters are larger than life, which keeps the story light. Despite all of this lightheartedness, Fortune's Magic Farm carries a good message about caring, from which all readers can benefit.

For a nice, light fantasy reminiscent of classics from the past century, I highly recommend Fortune's Magic Farm by Suzanne Selfors. Just turn a few pages, and you will fall in love with her creative writing and clever characters.

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