In a magical world, 12-year-old Hex Allen is used to being Undeveloped, or someone without magic.
Her family accepts and supports her, especially her 6-year-old brother, Spanner, who loves the stories she tells about No Magic Girl that include descriptions of her clever inventions. But Hex knows that she can never really be independent without magic—and her only chance to gain magical abilities is to visit the Wishing Wyrm, a volcano-dwelling dragon who lives in the middle of the Great Barren, a desert enveloped in a perpetual sandstorm. Approximately once a century, the storm ceases, offering people the chance to receive a single wish from the dragon. Fortunately, the timing is right, and the sandstorm clears. On her journey to find the Wishing Wyrm, Hex joins Fuse and Cam, two fellow Undevelopeds who teach her about clank, their name for nonmagical laws of nature—in other words, science. The Clanksmiths show her that there’s a lot more to the world than casting spells, and Hex wonders if wishing to be magical is really the right choice. Florentine’s STEM-positive debut is a delight. The story drives home the fact that science is all around us, and we only have to use some imagination, trial, and error to apply it to reality. Hex and Cam read as Black; Fuse has olive skin and turquoise hair.
A beautiful story of discovering science and self.(map, Hex’s sketchbook with science project instructions) (Adventure. 8-12)