Books on the Blog: The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
by Jen Greene
Natalie Lloyd has a lyrically brilliant writing style that draws readers into an alternate universe where magic does exist and anything is possible. Her sentences are carefully crafted together to weave a story that leaves you changed upon completion. Her first book, A Snicker of Magic, is a masterpiece that I try to put in the hands of every student in my classroom. Her second novel, The Key to Extraordinary is just as magical and transformative, sure to quickly become a favorite among students in the upper elementary grades.
The main character, Emma, is waiting for a dream that will reveal her destiny. All the women in her family have had such a dream, carefully preserved in a book, detailing the extraordinary life that awaited them. Emma cannot wait for her own dream, especially since she’s still mourning the death of her mother. As it turns out, Emma’s destiny might be a tad challenging to fulfill. Emma is destined for greatness if she can unlock a mystery and find a legendary treasure, the whereabouts of which have eluded the town for centuries. A mighty tall order, but Emma is a strong girl with grit and determination. She knows that she’s not alone, for she will enlist the help of her endearingly quirky family members and friends to solve the mystery and save her family’s land.
Lloyd is a master at character at creating unique characters who are both charming and relatable. The characters teach the reader about the importance of kindness and helping others- a lesson that is not often prominent in today’s world. Students (and teachers) will love journeying to the small town community and working alongside Emma to find the treasure and help goodness prevail.