BooksForTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
The Great Fox Illusion is a captivating new story where secrets, illusions and magic tricks abound. Read on for a review of the book and a guest post by author Justyn Edwards about the true kind of magic in the story…
Book Title: The Great Fox Illusion (available here)
Author: Justyn Edwards & Flavia Sorrentino
Publication Date: April 2022
Most Suitable for: Years 4-6
The Great Fox Illusion is the first in an enthralling new series from debut author Justyn Edwards and illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino. Readers are challenged to help to solve the riddles posed by each magic trick, including that of the climactic finale.
Author Justyn Edwards successfully weaves a life-long love of magic through a story of heartbreak and slices of exciting action. The narrative continues to involve the reader throughout, not just emotionally (who wouldn’t want to help Flick and her teammate Charlie as their own struggles are revealed?) but also by drawing out the suspense of the big reveal for each illusion. Combine this with the fantasy backdrop of the Great Fox estate and you finish the book wanting more, while being tempted to start right at the beginning and read it again, just in case you missed any clues!
Great as a class read, this book could also start discussions about inclusion, teamwork, choice of language to portray a character, the subject of right and wrong (is there ever a right time to do a wrong thing?) and even an alternative research topic – the history of magic and illusion.
Reviewer: Jane Evans
by Justyn Edwards, author of The Great Fox Illusion
A Different Kind of Magic
Look around the children’s section of any bookshop, and you will find a lot of magic. The shelves are filled with protagonists with special powers, and characters who discover they are part of a hidden world filled with the supernatural. The Great Fox Illusion isn’t like that. There are no special powers in this book. No shortcuts to success. Flick is a girl with a prosthetic leg who cannot wave a wand to solve her problems. The Great Fox Illusion is about a different kind of magic.
In this story, Flick and Charlie have to enter a house that used to belong to the world-famous illusionist The Great Fox, and he’s left behind some very challenging puzzles for them to solve. They need to work out the method behind a series of magic tricks. All the answers are right in front of them, but the whole point of a magic trick is to hide the secret of how it works. It wouldn’t be much of a trick if it was obvious how it was done, would it?
So, Flick and Charlie are faced with what appear to be impossible challenges. Where do you start in working out how a trick is put together? There may be many elements to the performance, each hiding a different secret. As the story progresses, we watch them break the puzzles down, isolate the details they understand and then work from what they know to try and figure out what they don’t. They do not rely on casting a spell or using their powers as the ‘chosen ones’. They learn how to solve problems for themselves. More than that, they acquire skills in overcoming difficulties that seem impossible to surmount – as problems so often do. They gain an understanding that will help them cope with all sorts of everyday challenges. That method – break it down, isolate the details you understand and then work from what you know to try and figure out what you don’t – works everywhere.
I think it’s the kind of magic that we all need.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending us a review copy. Follow along with the other stops on the blog tour for more about the book.
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BooksForTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations The Great Fox Illusion is a captivating new story where secrets, illusions and magic…