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"More Than Magic": Girl Power Rocks in a Magical and Empowering Story of Strength and Friendship

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Girl Power Saves the Day for Friends

Girls like to have their own cartoon heroines that go along with the male adventure characters. Saturday morning cartoons now have many more heroines than in the past. Kathryn Lasky's new book, "More Than Magic: Secret Friends to the Rescue" is a fun read for ages 9-12 who are fans of girl heroines. Readers will relate to the problems that Ryder Holmsby encounters after her mom passes away and her dad begins dating a woman with two daughters. The inevitable personality differences with the three girls bring on clashes and Ryder turns to the cartoon character that her parents created when they worked as animators.

Rory, the cartoon heroine, comes to life with her own problem. The television series wants to turn her into a princess instead of a girl who wields a slingshot. Neither Ryder nor Rory are the type of girl that is into fashion and makeup at this stage in their life, and they join forces to solve the problems that each faces. Hilarious adventures become a part of the story as they seek to help each other navigate the problems of helping Ryder gain self-esteem to face the stuck-up girls and Rory's fight to remain the character that she was created to be.

Lasky writes with the humor that young readers will appreciate. Her cartoon characters are appealing and can easily join the other cartoon heroes and heroines that appear on television. Ricardo Tercio contributes his illustrator's talent with magical black and white drawings. This chapter book is an easy read for young readers. Chapter books are popular with children in the middle grades in that they can read for a short period of time and pick up the book at a later time after each chapter. "More Than Magic: Secret Friends to the Rescue" was published by Wendy Lamb Books, a division of Random House Children's Books, and has an ISBN of 978-0-553-49891-2. It is a great read for building self-esteem in girls.

Great Read for Fans of Cartoon Heroines and Heros

Great read for children in the middle grades

Great read for children in the middle grades

Magical cartoon-like black and white illustrations

Magical cartoon-like black and white illustrations


Get Acquainted with Author Kathryn Lasky

Kathryn Laskyis is best known for her bestselling "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" series, which became a major animated movie, and was listed as one of the top ten most beautiful animated movies of all time by Cinefix. She is the recipient of the Newberry Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and the National Jewish Book Award for several books. You may visit her website at

Author Kathryn Lasky


Magical Quiz about "More Than Magic"

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Why was Ryder lonely?
    • Her mom passed away
    • She lost her best friend
  2. Where did Rory come from?
    • Out of the television as a character invented by Ryder's parents
    • From Venus
  3. How did the tv producers want to change Rory?
    • They wanted to make her a princess
    • They wanted to make her a pirate
  4. Who is TD?
    • A Jewish prince as a cartoon character
    • A frog
  5. What fairy tale resembles the ending of "More Than Magic"?
    • Cinderella
    • The Frog and the Prince

Answer Key

  1. Her mom passed away
  2. Out of the television as a character invented by Ryder's parents
  3. They wanted to make her a princess
  4. A Jewish prince as a cartoon character
  5. Cinderella

Appealing Book with Cartoon Heroine Helps with Self-Esteem for Girls

The middle grades for girls can be difficult. Lansky's "More Than Magic: Secret Friends to the Rescue" is a great tool for young readers to learn about self-esteem. By the time children are in the 3rd and 4th grade, power and social struggles are present. Friendships become important and all readers will relate to the "mean girl" idea that is present between Ryder and her dad's new relationship with a woman who has two daughters. Competition and cliques are part of these years. The media also play an important part in the lives of children in the middle grades. Cartoon character heroines can be a great tool for building self-esteem. "More Than Magic" has all of these elements that will appeal to young readers and the story contains a life lesson in growing self-esteem.

Children Who Relate to Cartoon Heroines

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