Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Tags: middle grade, fantasy, family, magic


On Abby Hale’s twelfth birthday, she tests as an “Ord”—a person who has no magical abilities at all. In Abby’s world, to be without magic is almost unheard of, and Abby’s newfound status as an Ord makes life quite difficult for her and her family.

Fortunately, Abby hears about a school for Ords like hers. At school, she continues her general education but also learns how to survive in the world of magic as an Ord. King Stephen’s recent proclamations offer more protection for Ords, but there are always people who prize Ords’ imperviousness to magic, and would do practically anything to get their hands on an Ord…


Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. “Charming” doesn’t even begin to cover the magical delight that is ORDINARY MAGIC. From a fascinating magical world to laugh-out-loud character interactions, there is nothing ordinary about this book at all!

ORDINARY MAGIC is as good as a Pixar movie in terms of having both kid and adult appeal. Young readers will be fascinated by the colorful, yet familiar, world that Rubino-Bradway creates, replete with magic carpets, boarding schools, and kickass family members.

What makes ORDINARY MAGIC truly extraordinary, however, is its rare quality of appealing to a wide age range of readers. The story zips back and forth with witty banter, and it is the more experienced reader that will be delighted with how Rubino-Bradway mashes together so many almost stereotypical features of magical worlds to create one that is unique and not at all stereotypical. There are a whole bunch of cute romantic undercurrents throughout the story that will make you squeel with suppressed glee.

Readers will surely get a heck of an experience out of ORDINARY MAGIC. This is truly one of the most memorable middle-grade novels I’ve read in recent years.

Similar Authors
Stephanie Burgis
Lindsay Eland

Cover discussion: A delightful, colorful, and approachable cover to match the book's content!

Bloomsbury / May 8, 2012 / Hardcover / 288pp. / $16.99

e-galley received from NetGalley and publisher.


  1. Sounds good! Must admit I had a blip reading the summary and wondered what Stephen King was doing deciding the rules in someone else's novel . . .

  2. Charming, colorful, magical, laugh-out-loud characters? Yay! Sounds like a great middle-grade book! And I really like the cover. :)

  3. Ooh sounds like a fun one. I'm invested in trying to read more MG. I've found some good ones, but it's an age level I don't get too a lot...mostly YA and adult for me these days. I like funny characters though and it sounds like a fun story.


  4. Sounds exactly like my kind of read! I'm adding this one to my tbr pile right now. Thanks for the heads up on this one, Steph, I hadn't heard of it before. :)

  5. This sounds like a great read - I haven't heard of the book before either, but I will definitely be giving it a try!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  6. What a great review. I love how you compare it to a Pixar movie. Perfect!


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