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The Wrong Side of Magic

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The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away! Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte. Hudson discovers that Logos is a land rul The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away! Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte. Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart. Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse--but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return.


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The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away! Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte. Hudson discovers that Logos is a land rul The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away! Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte. Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart. Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse--but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return.

30 review for The Wrong Side of Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janette

    It was a magical book. Meaning that it was about magic, and not that it magically wrote itself. I can assure you that it didn't write itself even though I kept encouraging it to. It was a magical book. Meaning that it was about magic, and not that it magically wrote itself. I can assure you that it didn't write itself even though I kept encouraging it to.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Janette Rallison's dedication got me all fired up, with a shout out for one of my favorite books of all time (The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster) and to her fifth grade teacher who read it to her class. This book has a similar theme, updated for more modern times, and funny word play; however, the "kids-travel-to-a-magical-land-and-save-it-from-evil" plot is overused, the big reveal was obvious to me about half way through, and there were no pen sketches. An eighth grade boy (Hudson) tries t Janette Rallison's dedication got me all fired up, with a shout out for one of my favorite books of all time (The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster) and to her fifth grade teacher who read it to her class. This book has a similar theme, updated for more modern times, and funny word play; however, the "kids-travel-to-a-magical-land-and-save-it-from-evil" plot is overused, the big reveal was obvious to me about half way through, and there were no pen sketches. An eighth grade boy (Hudson) tries to help his little sister cure her sick cat by finding a plant in the magical land of Logos, but some evil trolls give him a nasty surprise. His weird classmate, Charlotte, who hails from Logos, goes back to help him rid himself of the surprise, which requires rescue of the missing princess. Meh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    A.L. Sowards

    I read this one aloud to my 7-year-old twins. They loved it so much that they’ve been pretending to go to Logos (the magical land in the book). Honestly, they probably didn’t get all the clever word play in the book, because they were hearing it instead of reading it, but they enjoyed the adventure aspects (and so did I). I picked out the big plot twist about 100 pages before it happened, but that didn’t ruin the story for me. It was a fun read—a princess, a bad king, unicorns, mermaids, fairies I read this one aloud to my 7-year-old twins. They loved it so much that they’ve been pretending to go to Logos (the magical land in the book). Honestly, they probably didn’t get all the clever word play in the book, because they were hearing it instead of reading it, but they enjoyed the adventure aspects (and so did I). I picked out the big plot twist about 100 pages before it happened, but that didn’t ruin the story for me. It was a fun read—a princess, a bad king, unicorns, mermaids, fairies, and troll curses. Recommended for readers who like middle grade fantasy stories. The kids wanted to give the book 500 stars, but I guess we'll have to settle for 5.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karlene Browning

    If you have a Middle Grader that likes fantasy adventures, GET THEM THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! Seriously. It is awesome. It's going in my permanent library. Remember The Phantom Tollbooth? I didn't read it until 8th grade because I thought it was about ghosts (I don't like ghosts). But when I finally read it, I was blown away. This book? EVEN BETTER!! (Yes, imagine me screaming when I use caps. And jumping up and down like a crazy person.) This story is so clever and well-written. The plot line is pr If you have a Middle Grader that likes fantasy adventures, GET THEM THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! Seriously. It is awesome. It's going in my permanent library. Remember The Phantom Tollbooth? I didn't read it until 8th grade because I thought it was about ghosts (I don't like ghosts). But when I finally read it, I was blown away. This book? EVEN BETTER!! (Yes, imagine me screaming when I use caps. And jumping up and down like a crazy person.) This story is so clever and well-written. The plot line is pretty good, and the characters are funny. But the wordplay is so awesome. I laughed through the whole thing. I gave it to my 6 year old grandson for Christmas, and it might be just a bit old for him to get all the jokes. But it works as a read-aloud. It's probably best for 5th grade level readers. Fun. Funny. Amazing writing. Get it. NOW!!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a book that I would read to students or use for a literature study because it has positive messages, grammar references, humor, action & it will appeal to both boys and girls. Hudson, a boy from our world, and Charlotte, a girl from a magical world called Logos, set off on a quest to find the Logosian Princess and free her. Along the way Hudson learns about the power of words and friendship and how both can be magical. As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, plot, wordplay and w This is a book that I would read to students or use for a literature study because it has positive messages, grammar references, humor, action & it will appeal to both boys and girls. Hudson, a boy from our world, and Charlotte, a girl from a magical world called Logos, set off on a quest to find the Logosian Princess and free her. Along the way Hudson learns about the power of words and friendship and how both can be magical. As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, plot, wordplay and wit of this book. I recommend it for kids, teens, and adults.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Tanner

    A super fun magical adventure! This one had lots of similarities to the Phantom Tollbooth, so if you like that play on words kind of thing, this one is definitely for you, but this one also had a great princess rescue plot to it as well. Kids are going to love this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    I simply adore this book! A must-read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne Beardsley

    It was a delightful, funny, charming fantasy novel about rollicking adventures in a downright peculiar magical kingdom. The author tries to channel Phantom Tollbooth. The book is most charming when it's least like Phantom Tollbooth (granted, it's a lot of charm at any given point.) If I were her editor, I would have axed the whole edible words thing at the get go. Everything else in the story is just lovely. It's pleasant, interesting, exciting, funny, and a good story. This is a book with Many Help It was a delightful, funny, charming fantasy novel about rollicking adventures in a downright peculiar magical kingdom. The author tries to channel Phantom Tollbooth. The book is most charming when it's least like Phantom Tollbooth (granted, it's a lot of charm at any given point.) If I were her editor, I would have axed the whole edible words thing at the get go. Everything else in the story is just lovely. It's pleasant, interesting, exciting, funny, and a good story. This is a book with Many Helpful Lessons...that honestly, I didn't mind too much. If a book is going to teach you Improving Lessons about things like gratitude and not judging by appearances, it's really nice if it tells outright what it is doing and manages to keep the outraged, puritanical tone out of its voice as it does so. This book has a sheepish grin and a twinkle in its eye, and it can get away with lots. It nearly got five whole stars. I had a blast reading it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    This was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. The characters were fun and the plot was engaging. This is the kind of novel I'd choose to read to a class at school as a read-aloud and know they'd love it! There were some great twists in the story that made for an exciting conclusion to the story. This was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. The characters were fun and the plot was engaging. This is the kind of novel I'd choose to read to a class at school as a read-aloud and know they'd love it! There were some great twists in the story that made for an exciting conclusion to the story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mikala Charron

    This was such a fun, cute read. I loved all the word play and the creativity. I always like when I’m happily surprised to enjoy a middle grade novel so well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This story reminded me of a Wrinkle in Time and Wizard of Oz and a lot like the Wicked Dorothy series, but not so graphic. Lots of magic and creative twists and turns. I figured out the mystery pretty early on but I think middle readers will love it. A boy trying to help his sister take care of her sick cat gets tricked into going into a magical world in search of a missing princess. His partner is a young girl whose father has been hiding from the cruel king in the Land of Banishment (aka our w This story reminded me of a Wrinkle in Time and Wizard of Oz and a lot like the Wicked Dorothy series, but not so graphic. Lots of magic and creative twists and turns. I figured out the mystery pretty early on but I think middle readers will love it. A boy trying to help his sister take care of her sick cat gets tricked into going into a magical world in search of a missing princess. His partner is a young girl whose father has been hiding from the cruel king in the Land of Banishment (aka our world) She wants to find the princess and return her to power so she and her father can return. The boy was kind of slow to catch on to things in the start but he had a true hero's heart. the girl is brave but needed confidence. The journey they take together helps them both to grow.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    Think The Phatom Tollbooth re-written...and better. What a fun magical adventure! The ending wasn’t a surprise but the road to get there was so enjoyable. For anyone who loves words, or plays on words, I think you will like this book. I love the emphasis on friendship and doing what’s right and honorable. I loved this line, in reference to the fruit you could eat that gives a person compliments. “The compliment fruit tasted great but it wasn’t filling.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    I hate when I forget to write a short review for a book I loved. This one was so good and everything I want when I read a book by Janette Rallison!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    I loved this book! It was hilarious and brilliant. There were so many details in this fantastical world that kept it interesting and fresh all the way through, and the pacing was remarkable.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chantele Sedgwick

    Such a fun and clever book! Loved it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna Weaver

    WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte. Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart. Not understanding the many rules of Logos, H WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte. Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart. Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse--but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return. MY TAKE This was not the kind of Janette Rallison story I'm used to--clever witty YA. It was still clever and witty, but written for MG. Hudson's a typical guy in many ways, but he does have a good heart. He turns out to be a better friends than he thought too, to Charlotte. The magical world Rallison creates is funny and interesting. There's a fun twist at the end. 4 1/2 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lorie

    The trouble with magic begins when Hudson’s little sister Bonnie finds a sick kitten that she insists on doing everything to heal. When their odd neighbor Charlotte gives Bonnie a magic compass to travel to the Kingdom of Logos to find the plant that will heal the kitten, Hudson declares it too dangerous for her and he goes instead. His simple task turns into rescue operation with Charlotte to find the imprisoned princess and rid Logos of the evil King holding her prisoner. Rallison builds the wo The trouble with magic begins when Hudson’s little sister Bonnie finds a sick kitten that she insists on doing everything to heal. When their odd neighbor Charlotte gives Bonnie a magic compass to travel to the Kingdom of Logos to find the plant that will heal the kitten, Hudson declares it too dangerous for her and he goes instead. His simple task turns into rescue operation with Charlotte to find the imprisoned princess and rid Logos of the evil King holding her prisoner. Rallison builds the world of Logos as a place where words matter and are the key to Hudson and Charlotte succeeding on their task. Middle grade fantasy readers will find themselves enchanted with Logos. I would recommend this book for purchase by any school or public library. This book was provided by the publisher for professional review by SWON Libraries.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ikmalina Mohd Naim

    Ahhh I'm utterly head over heels with this book. I randomly pick it up at a book fair, intrigued by the synopsis given. I've always been a sucker for fantasy genre and where one is swept to another magical land. And yes, this book did not disappoint! It was such a fun, interesting and quirky read. I love the word-play so much. It's so creative and at the same time we are learning from it. I believe middle school kids will enjoy this a lot. Ahhh I'm utterly head over heels with this book. I randomly pick it up at a book fair, intrigued by the synopsis given. I've always been a sucker for fantasy genre and where one is swept to another magical land. And yes, this book did not disappoint! It was such a fun, interesting and quirky read. I love the word-play so much. It's so creative and at the same time we are learning from it. I believe middle school kids will enjoy this a lot.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jason Ravara

    I had fun with this one. The story was sort of light and I know it was made for children but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was kinda simple and predictable but it's exciting and adorable in its own way. Plus, there's a lot of lessons to be learned here. This is a story about an adventure a boy and a girl took to accomplish each of their goals: one, to free himself from the curse, and two, to free the realm from a tyrant by rescuing the princess. Lessons to learn: •Words have power •Sometimes, t I had fun with this one. The story was sort of light and I know it was made for children but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was kinda simple and predictable but it's exciting and adorable in its own way. Plus, there's a lot of lessons to be learned here. This is a story about an adventure a boy and a girl took to accomplish each of their goals: one, to free himself from the curse, and two, to free the realm from a tyrant by rescuing the princess. Lessons to learn: •Words have power •Sometimes, the things we seek are closer than we think. • A lot more, but I'm lazy so let's leave it at this. :D

  20. 5 out of 5

    Loralee

    This was a wonderfully written book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lovers of The Phantom Tolebooth and similar books will absolutely love this one! Grammaria is a land in trouble. The princess has been spirited away by her power hungry uncle who has taken control, and only a boy from Earth and a girl from Grammaria are able to do anything about it! Follow Hudson and Charlotte as they face off with trolls who are more devious than they expect, fruit that flatters you but doesn't fill you, and a power This was a wonderfully written book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lovers of The Phantom Tolebooth and similar books will absolutely love this one! Grammaria is a land in trouble. The princess has been spirited away by her power hungry uncle who has taken control, and only a boy from Earth and a girl from Grammaria are able to do anything about it! Follow Hudson and Charlotte as they face off with trolls who are more devious than they expect, fruit that flatters you but doesn't fill you, and a power hungry king who will do anything to stop them! It's also awesome that the book subtly teaches youngsters about grammar, word usage, and how it's very NAUGHTY to split an infinitive, and all in a playful, non-pushy way. I highly recommend this book to readers old and young who enjoy stories of kids journeying to fantasy lands to have adventures!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    What a great book! First off, I love this author. Most of what I've read of hers are YA novels, more teenage girl genre, but I've enjoyed all of them. This book was more of a tween audience, appealing to both boys and girls. In fact, my 12 year old son read this first and recommended that I read it! I wish she'd write more of this type of book, my son was said he wished it had a sequel! This would be thoroughly delightful for all ages, even read aloud to younger elementary kids and up. What a great book! First off, I love this author. Most of what I've read of hers are YA novels, more teenage girl genre, but I've enjoyed all of them. This book was more of a tween audience, appealing to both boys and girls. In fact, my 12 year old son read this first and recommended that I read it! I wish she'd write more of this type of book, my son was said he wished it had a sequel! This would be thoroughly delightful for all ages, even read aloud to younger elementary kids and up.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This was a charming, whimsical book that reminded me of "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" or "The Phantom Tollbooth." The world of Logos is unique and magical, with magical rules that make sense but are always surprising. Hudson's character was the most interesting part for me, as he grew and developed into a cool, heroic character throughout the story. If you like whimsical magical worlds with fairy tale feel, this is a great read. This was a charming, whimsical book that reminded me of "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" or "The Phantom Tollbooth." The world of Logos is unique and magical, with magical rules that make sense but are always surprising. Hudson's character was the most interesting part for me, as he grew and developed into a cool, heroic character throughout the story. If you like whimsical magical worlds with fairy tale feel, this is a great read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This was a fun book. I was worried it might be too much of a kids story, and even though I'm sure kids would love it, I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I don't want to give anything away by saying too much about the story line, but the characters are likable, the story moves along at a good pace, and it's very entertaining. You really can't go wrong with a Janette Rallison book. :) This was a fun book. I was worried it might be too much of a kids story, and even though I'm sure kids would love it, I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I don't want to give anything away by saying too much about the story line, but the characters are likable, the story moves along at a good pace, and it's very entertaining. You really can't go wrong with a Janette Rallison book. :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    My son loved this book so much! He has read it over and over since we finished and now everyone in the house has read it as well. The imagination and clever word play is so much fun and now I need to find a way to visit Logos soon. I hope there will be a companion book since I need more of this imaginative writing in my life.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joaquin

    This book is awesome. It is great for children who want to start readings chapter books with no pictures because it is super easy to understand. You will not want a refund when you get this book! Just get it!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Reid

    Fun book my middle grader loved. Review for the Deseret News here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/86... Fun book my middle grader loved. Review for the Deseret News here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/86...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Doris

    This book is in the vein of The Phantom Tollbooth, wherein it uses puns and plays on words to build scenarios. It is written for children, and those with a quick wit and clever mind will read it with gusto.

  28. 4 out of 5

    P

    The main character whose name I already forgot is a bloody dimwit and also selfish to add to it. Charlotte gives a luna lovegood vibe but not necessarily intelligent either. But despite all of it, this was still a relaxing read. Logos reminded me of Phantom Tollbooth a lot.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Serein

    i really loved this book. The plot is great, the story is great. I love how the author wrote this, simple and clear. I will read this again and again. This is literally one of my favorite book. ✨ it is heart-warming and will surely touch your heart. This book made me feel like a child again.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    This was adorable. Somewhat predictable, but such a fun and creative ride. It could have been edited slightly, to make it a bit more even-handed on the clever word play and the action but I still hope it turns into a series.

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