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The key to extraordinary
2016
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Summary
Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.



For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down.



But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?



With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd's The Key to Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.



Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-6-Emma Casey, her brother Topher, and their Granny Blue call the Boneyard Café home. On weekends, Emma conducts tours of the haunted graveyard next door, while Topher warms visitors with his irresistible peach-lavender muffins and famous Boneyard Brew (aka hot chocolate). When their cozy haven is threatened by a greedy developer, Emma channels her late mother's promise that the women in their family are destined to be extraordinary. Since the late 1700s, the so-called Wildflowers have each had a "destiny dream" in a field of blue flowers to point the way to becoming a spy, teacher, trapeze artist, inventor, firefighter, or another exceptional path-all of which were recorded in the Book of Days. Armed with two friends-one old, the other brand-new-a flowery legacy, and a healthy dose of magic, Emma has quite the extraordinary undertaking ahead to save her family's future. VERDICT Kate Simses adds the perfect blend of sass and wonder to Lloyd's latest, making this a charming addition to any middle grade collection. ["This novel will be appreciated by younger middle grade readers who enjoy mysteries with an ample dose of magic and whimsy": SLJ 3/16 review of the Scholastic book.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Ghosts and magic weave through this warmly sentimental tale of small-town life. News that Granny Blue is thinking of selling the declining Boneyard Café to a developer is hard on 12-year-old force of nature Emma Pearl. Spurred to action, she searches the nearby cemetery for a fabled treasure said to be guarded by a ghost known as the Conductor. The plot plays second fiddle to a cast full of lovable, mildly eccentric locals, and to the setting itself: Blackbird Hollow is a Tennessee town where strange flowers bloom year round, ghosts exist, and Emma's ancestors have left her a strange legacy. Emma makes homey observations about friends and neighbors, longs to save the café, and yearns for the life-changing Destiny Dream that comes to all the women in her family, and the result is a narrative as rich and sweet as the café's own peach-lavender muffins. A climactic whirlwind leads to a triumphant close, but one character's observation that Everything wonderful is possible is the tale's true touchstone.--Peters, John Copyright 2016 Booklist
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