This Side of Magic by Debbie Dadey is a quick entertaining read for kids of all ages. The book is based in a small town and the story revolves around the lives of two kids: Luke and his best friend Penny. When they offer to watch their old neighbor Mr. Leery's cat, Mo, they discover that more lies in the woods behind the neighborhood houses than they anticipated. Not only are strange things happening in the woods, but Mo himself seems to be talking to Penny and Luke. When Mr. Leery returns and is told of the unusual events and informed by the kids that they understand Mo, he tells them a secret that will change their lives. Mr. Leery informs Penny and Luke that they are two of three key holders who hold the power to go into another world when they go into the woods. He tells them this is an important power and that he has been watching them their entire lives to ensure they are ready for this challenge. Penny and Luke are amazed at the power they now hold and it is up to them whether to take on the responsibility of being key holders.
This Side of Magic was an intriguing book with a plot that makes it an easy read and will have kids turning the pages until they are done. Debbie Dadey's style of writing is extremely clear and easy to understand. Penny and Luke are likable characters who seem very real. For instance, when Luke is at school he enjoys playing basketball and Penny loves jewelry of any type. This book is the first of a series and the ending is set up for a sequel. When kids finish this book they will want to go right out and by the next one because the story leaves you wanting to find out the next part of Penny and Luke's journey. This book is appropriate for children anywhere from five up to twelve. It is great for kids who like adventure books or for those who enjoy a touch of fantasy.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Westerville , OH USA