Missing MagicTitle: Missing Magic
Author: Emma Laybourn
ISBN: 9780803732193
Pages: 182 pages
Publisher/Date: Dial Books for Young Readers, c2006.

“Normally we wouldn’t have the means to admit a child who’s so. . .” She paused.
“Disabled,” said my mother flatly. Under the table, I pulled my hand away.
“That’s not a word we use,” Miss Ibbs said with reproof. “We’ve had pupils who are — magically challenged, shall we say; a little slow to develop. But I must admit I’ve never seen a child quite so . . .”
She glanced sidelong at me. My mother was silent.
“Quite so special,” said Miss Ibbs. “Quite so entirely power free.” (4)

Ned Truso has no magic. None. Not one drop. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that everyone else does have magic. They can conjure and fly and instantly pull homework answers out of thin air. So when rumors spread that kids are disappearing, Ned doesn’t want to believe them, since he’s the easiest target there is. But then disaster happens, and he and his classmates are kidnapped.

With a surprising change of events, Emma Laybourn presents a fast-paced story in Missing Magic. I was captivated by the story, and couldn’t put it down. I read the entire book in about two hours, which I think sets a new personal speed reading record. Ned is real, the pranks his classmates play on him are both hillarious and painful, depending on your point of view. The curve ball ending is one I didn’t see coming, although it did drag on just a teensy bit for only the last 10 or so pages.

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