Reviews for Fortune's Magic Farm

Booklist Reviews 2009 March #2
Isabelle lives in Runny Cove, a miserable town where it never stops raining. She works all day at the Magnificently Supreme Umbrella Factory just to get by and pay the rent. But Isabelle knows she is specialâ€"she was found on a doorstep as an infant, told she came from Nowhere. She dreams of finding this mysterious Nowhere, and when a strange sea creature sends her an appleâ€"an unheard of treatâ€"Isabelle begins a magical journey to Fortune’s Farm, her birthplace and a secret farm where magic grows. She learns she is the last of the “tenders,” and her help is needed to save the world from greed, darkness, and the loss of magic. Each chapter starts with black-and-white drawings that capture the mood of the story and provide hidden glimpses of things to come. While this might have a lot of the same elements of many fantasy adventures, the beautiful writing, quirky characters, and an imaginative plot that slowly unfolds make this a good choice, showing how one little girl can use her spirit to save the world. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 February #1
Abandoned as an infant, ten-year-old Isabelle lives in Runny Cove, a dreary town where everything is the color of sludge, residents suffer a perpetual cold and nothing grows there except the mushrooms between Isabelle's toes and the lichen in her hair. One evening Isabelle is given an apple by a friendly sea monster. This out-of-the-ordinary gift triggers a series of fantastical happenings that takes Isabelle far from Runny Cove, to her real family, who run Fortune's Magic Farm, the place where ingredients used in magic spells and potions are grown. Guided by her Great-Uncle Walnut, Isabelle learns she's the last tender. "Tenders are special"--they grow things. Tension builds slowly as Isabelle's family secrets come to light. Soon Isabelle confronts a momentous decision: whether to save Fortune's Farm or her friends in Runny Cove. Interspersed throughout this droll, plot-driven story are Isabelle's comical songs and Chien's spot illustrations. Despite a few threads left unresolved, newly confident readers will cozy up to the tale's quirky characters and enjoy the many twists and turns of this magical adventure. (illustrations not seen) (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 March

Gr 4-6--Ten-year-old Isabelle, who was found on a doorstep when she was a baby and adopted by an elderly woman, lives in a dreadful boardinghouse in a town in which it never stops raining. She works long hours at Mr. Supreme's Umbrella Factory labeling boxes to support herself and her ailing grandmother. One day she is told that Grandma has passed away, and she decides to escape from Runny Cove. Upon running away, she meets Sage, a 12-year-old boy who tells her that she is not an orphan, but rather a tender, a member of the family who lives in hiding in the last place on Earth where magic grows. Sage takes her on a journey across the ocean to Fortune's Farm. Isabelle finds her new home to be a sunny place filled with fruit trees and magical seeds that immediately change her pale, prunelike appearance into a healthy body. Isabelle is faced with some tough obstacles and challenges to her loyalty but ultimately she wins her grandfather's approval and is able to bring about change in Runny Cove. The story gets off to a slow start, but upon arrival at Fortune's Farm, the descriptions of this magical land make it worthwhile. Readers will cheer for Isabelle throughout the story and despise Mr. Supreme and Mama Lu, the despicable owner of the boardinghouse.--Sarah Polace, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH

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