INTERFERENCE POWDER by Jean Hanff Korelitz


Age Range: 8 - 12
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A powder with magical properties changes a fifth-grade girl’s life in unexpected ways. Nina Zabin, who is talented in art and music, longs to take singing lessons, but her mother won’t allow it until her grades improve. After getting a dismal 62 on a social studies test, Nina draws a picture of her fantasy, her mother proudly beaming at her daughter’s 100. To enhance her drawing, Nina sprinkles it with some shimmering powder in art class, and later discovers that her test score has inexplicably changed. But instead of being thrilled, Nina is horrified as it means that she now has the highest mark in her class and is compelled to be in a grade-wide history contest. Worse, her closest friend, who is academically competitive, shuns her. Nina tries to use the powder again, but it works in ways she hasn’t anticipated, which deepens her various dilemmas. Some touching moments and a lightly humorous first-person voice helps the life lessons go down easy in this neatly structured, if somewhat familiar, story. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7614-5139-0
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2003