Kylie the Magnificent

Orca. (Orca Currents). Aug. 2021. 128p. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459828070.
Gr 3-5–Kylie wants a spot in the magic club’s talent show. She’s good at magic, but she excels in comedic timing and stage presence. Unfortunately, the director thinks that girls work best as lovely assistants. Kylie’s best friend, Min, is an amazing magician, but due to worries about his Korean accent, he struggles at the showmanship required for a great performance. Kylie hopes that if they work on an act together, she can show the director that girls are more than just a prop. Unfortunately, in her drive to prove she’s a star, Kylie fails to listen to Min and to what he wants out of the show, causing him to withdraw at the last moment. Chan deftly turns the everyday tensions of friendship issues and the magic show into a fast-moving plot without veering into melodrama. Kylie’s strong and relatable narrative voice does a lot to drive the story, showing readers how she steamrolls over Min’s feelings and comfort levels. Kylie is of Chinese descent.
VERDICT A strong choice for reluctant readers who are looking for an accessible, realistic read about friendship and working through differences.

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