Friday, August 14, 2009

Black and Blue Magic

Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Aladdin, 1972

Awkward, accident-prone Harry Houdini Marco has a long, boring San Francisco summer to look forward to. He can't go on vacation because his mother has to stay and take care of the boarding house, and there's no money to send him to camp with his friends. Then, one day, Harry notices a strange little man who loses his suitcase on the bus. When Harry returns the suitcase the grateful man gives him a magic potion, a potion that gives Harry his own pair of giant, white-feathered wings!

It sounds like the ultimate wish fulfillment for a nearly twelve-year-old boy, but Harry gets bruises just trying to walk around. What's going to happen when he can fly?

This is my very favorite book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. She's got a way of describing people that makes them pop right off the page. This hilarious book has a bitter-sweet ending in which Harry discovers that what he's gained from his summer of flying will last long after the potion runs out.

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