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Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou

A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic
by Lisa Papademetriou
October 6, 2015
Harper Collins
Bestseller and author of the popular middle grade series Confectionately Yours Lisa Papademetriou is back with a magical, page-turning adventure for readers of all ages—a touching tale about destiny and the invisible threads that link us all, ultimately, to one another.

Kai and Leila are both finally having an adventure. For Leila, that means a globe-crossing journey to visit family in Pakistan for the summer; for Kai, it means being stuck with her crazy great-aunt in Texas while her mom looks for a job. In each of their bedrooms, they discover a copy of a blank, old book called The Exquisite Corpse. Kai writes three words on the first page—and suddenly, they magically appear in Leila's copy on the other side of the planet. Kai's words are soon followed by line after line of the long-ago, romantic tale of Ralph T. Flabbergast and his forever-love, Edwina Pickle. As the two take turns writing, the tale unfolds, connecting both girls to each other, and to the past, in a way they never could have imagined.

A heartfelt, vividly told multicultural story about fate and how our stories shape it.


Two girls on opposite ends of the world find their fates and stories connected by one very magical and unusual book. Kai is spending the summer with her great-aunt in Texas, where she finds a copy of The Exquisite Corpse. Compelled by some force, Kai writes three words in the blank book. Across the globe in Pakistan, where Leila is visiting her uncle’s family, those three words show up in her copy of The Exquisite Corpse. Soon the two books begin to lay out the story of two long-ago lovers and the threads that connect them to both Kai and Leila.

Lisa Papademetriou’s A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic is a sweet and charming middle-grade read full of friendship, fate, and fun adventure. Papademetriou weaves a lovely and captivating tale within a tale- the long ago story of Ralph T. Flabbergast and his true love Edwina Pickle is wonderfully intertwined with both Kai and Leila’s modern misadventures. A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic takes readers on a multicultural, time-hopping ride from early 20th century Texas to modern day Pakistan, and from gorgeous moths, to coffins, goat saving, daring plans, and special vials, this book is certainly filled with all things highly unusual and magical. The copies of the mysterious The Exquisite Corpse make for a very clever and enthralling story device, allowing Kai, Leila, and Ralph and Edwina’s stories to connect naturally, yet in surprising ways.

While filled with humor, imagination, and excitement, A Tale Of Highly Unusual Magic is simply bursting with heart! Through witty Kai, thoughtful Leila, determined Ralph, and brave Edwina, Papademetriou deftly explores themes like family, grief, destiny, loneliness, and self-discovery. Young readers will relate to Kai and Leila’s yearning to find where they belong, and cling to the unforgettable and invaluable lessons taught by Ralph and Edwina’s love story.

my final thoughts: A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic is a delightful, heartwarming tale that will make readers believe in magic, fate, and in themselves.

4/5 cupcakes

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Papademetriou is the author of Middle School: Big, Fat Liar and Homeroom Diaries (both with James Patterson), the Confectionately Yours series, and many other novels for middle grade and young adult readers. Her books have appeared on the Bank Street Best Books of the Year list, the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, and the Texas Lone Star Reading List, among others. A former editor, Lisa has worked for Scholastic, HarperCollins, and Disney Press and is the founder of the humorous online grammar magazine, Visit Lisa at:

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