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THIS SIDE OF MAGIC by Debbie Dadey


Keyholders #1

by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones and illustrated by Adam Stower

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7653-5982-7
Publisher: Starscape/Tom Doherty

The authors of the Bailey School Kids set their new series in a small town that is unknowingly protected from the magical creatures just adjacent by a spellcast hedge of thorns and magic. The secret job of protecting that hedge falls to six “Keyholders,” paired off one Humdrum (the local term for Muggle) to one magical being. Fifth-grade buddies Penny and Luke, plus despised spoiled-rich-kid classmate Natalie, discover that they’ve been chosen to be the newest set of Keyholders when they meet and bond with, respectively, a snotty unicorn, a distinctly puppylike dragon and a nervous talking rat. That bonding, along with mounting evidence that the evil Queen of Boggarts is weakening the hedge in preparation for an outbreak, carries over into Keyholders #2: The Other Side of Magic (ISBN: 978-0-7653-5983-4). Magical attacks, lively characters from both sides of the hedge and slapstick set pieces compensate for the glacial pace in the early going. Considering the authors’ track record, the pace may never pick up, but the bright humor will attract and keep young pre-Potterites. (Fantasy. 9-11)