Upside-Down Magic

co-authored by Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle.

It’s never easy when your magic goes wonky. 

For Nory, this means that instead of being able to turn into a dragon or a ktiten, she turns into both of them at the same time -- a dritten. 

For Elliott, the simple act of conjuring fire from his fingertips turns into a fully frozen failure. 

For Andres, wonky magic means he's always floating in the air, bouncing off the walls, or sitting on the ceiling. 

For Bax, a bad moment of magic will turn him into a ... actually, he'd rather not talk about that. 

Nory, Elliott, Andres, and Bax are just four of the students in Dunwiddle Magic School's Upside-Down Magic class. In their classroom, lessons are unconventional, students are unpredictable, and magic has a tendency to turn wonky at the worst possible moments.  

Because it's always amazing, the trouble a little wonky magic can cause...

 

 


Click here for a teachers' guide to Upside-Down Magic classroom activities. 

Visit Scholastic's Upside-Down Magic site for matching games, book trailers, quizzes and more.

 

 


What People Say about Upside-down Magic:

An enchanting celebration of every kid who has ever felt a little 'upside down' and the unique ways we all work our magic.     -- Michael Buckley, bestselling author of The Sisters Grimm and NERDS

An uplifting series launch that will charm young fantasy readers. Expect high demand.  -- Booklist

Magical shenanigans abound as the story celebrates individuality, self-acceptance and tolerance....Featuring short chapters and lively, funny dialogue, this novel should please kids who don't naturally find reading to be magical, as well as those who do.          -- Publishers Weekly


Read an Excerpt:

Nory Horace was trying to turn herself into a kitten.  

The kitten had to be a black kitten.

And it had to be completely kitten-shaped.  

It was the middle of summer. Nory was hiding in her family’s garage. 

Kitten, kitten, kitten, she thought. 

She was hiding in case something went wrong.  She didn’t want anyone to see.  Still, if something went really wrong, her brother and sister would be close enough to hear her yell for help. 

Or meow for help. 

Or roar. 

Nory decided not to think about that.  Hopefully, she wouldn’t need help. 

Kitten, kitten, kitten. She had to master kitten, because tomorrow was the Big Test. Tomorrow, after so many years of waiting, she would finally take the entrance exam for Sage Academy.

The school was very hard to get into. You wouldn’t be accepted with anything less than amazing talents. Nory’s friends weren’t even bothering to try. They were all taking tests for easier schools. If Nory passed the Big Test, she would start fifth grade at Sage Academy in the fall. If she failed the test . . . 

No. She couldn’t fail. She wasn’t taking tests for any other schools. Not only because Sage Academy was a very important, very fancy magic school, but also because her brother, Hawthorn, went there.  And her sister, Dalia did, too.  Plus, Nory’s father was kind of the headmaster.  Okay, not kind of. He was definitely the headmaster.  

Thinking about the Big Test made Nory queasy.  Her magic was strong. There was no doubt about that. But sometimes her magic went wonky. And Sage Academy did not want wonky.  

A black kitten was likely to be on the Big Test tomorrow. It was a beginner animal. Nory had turned herself into a black kitten loads of times, actually. The problem was what happened after. 

But Nory would not think about that. Instead, she took a deep breath and lifted her chin.  Kitten! Kitten! KITTEN!!!  

The world went blurry, and Nory’s heart beat faster. Her body stretched and shrank. There were popping sounds. Yay, kitten!

But wait.

Her mouth felt wrong.

Nory clacked her teeth together. Clack, clack, clack. Whoa. 

These weren’t normal teeth. These were long. These were sharp. These were powerful. Long, sharp,and powerful enough to chomp through wood!  

Hmm, Nory thought, feeling odd. Why would a kitten want to chomp wood?  

Nory looked over her shoulder. She saw a perfectblack kitten tail swishing in the air. Connected to the tail was a set of black kitten legs, with padded feet and sharp claws.  She looked down, expecting to see a matching set of front legs where her arms used to be. But . . .Her front legs weren’t kitten legs. The fur was brown and slick. Also, she seemed to have a fat, round tummy. And what was this nose?She couldn’t see it well, but it had nothing kittenish about it. It was more of a snout. 

A beaver nose.  Zamboozle! I’m half kitten and half beaver, Nory realized.  

Her magic.  

Had definitely.

Gone wonky.