July 2016


A Snicker of Magi­c

by  Natalie Lloyd

Midnight Gulch, Tennessee used to be a magical place. It was a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity Pickle knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when they arrive in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck is about to change. Being a "word collector," Felicity has always seen words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." In order to be able to stay in Midnight Gulch, Felicity will need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town and her mother's broken heart.

A Note from the First Lady:

Dear Read20 Book Club families,

I hope you are having a terrific summer! This is a fun time to read, and it’s also critical for success. Over a number of years, children who do not read over the summer can have a serious achievement gap from their peers who do. Just twenty minutes of daily reading can help keep students stay on track for success! Don’t forget that your local public library is a great resource for books! They also offer summer reading programs to help students be ready for upcoming school year.

This month, we are excited to feature as the book of the month A Snicker of Magic written by Natalie Lloyd, a local Tennessee author who lives in Chattanooga. A Snicker of Magic is a unique story about self-expression and the magic that lives in one's heart and mind. Families will love this whimsical, creative, and bewitching book that is actually set in a mythical Tennessee city called Midnight Gulch!

Keep up the great reading,

Crissy Haslam
First Lady of Tennessee


Family Activities

What makes a home? Follow along in the book as Felicity searches for the answer and record the words she associates with home. After finishing the book, what do you think Felicity’s definition of home may be? Is your definition of home similar or different?

Felicity Pickle is highly observant, especially when it comes to people. The words she sees flitting around not only make great collectibles, they also give her a peek into who a person really is. As you read, write down each character’s words. What can you infer about each person from the words that surround him or her?

Do you know somebody who is so special or interesting that you think they should be a character in a book? Or maybe you would like to be a character yourself? Think about what words you would use to describe your own book character. Remember to choose words that define the character’s appearance, as well as their story, personality, thoughts and emotions.

Felicity knows many magnificent words, but her favorites are words that can’t be found in a regular dictionary. As you read, write down five of Felicity’s own special words and the definitions she invented. Next, make up a word of your very own and write down its name and definition.

Just like her mother, Felicity has a knack for art, and she creates pictures of people, places, and things. But Felicity uses words instead of paint! Find a blank piece of paper and write down all of your favorite words. Arrange the words however you like to create your own word art!