This pick began as an odd choice for me. Mainly because The Curse of Addy McMahon is 288 pages long. When you hold it in your hand, it’s kinda heavy. And as unfair as it is, for many a reluctant reader, size matters.
BUT! Katie Davis’ latest offering (you may recognize her for the toddler fave Who Hops?) has some key elements that make it ripe for both the voracious and reluctant readership: large-ish text, funny comic-style graphics, short chapters, a relatable main character, and a sweet, realistic story that keeps the reader hooked until the final resolution.
Addy McMahon is cursed. Or, at least that’s what she’ll tell you. It all started way back when her granfather chopped down a tree in Ireland. According to the locals, the tree was a well-known fairy hangout and the faeries were none too pleased to have their home destroyed. Poor gramps was immediately killed as the tree fell and bad luck followed all of his descendants from that day forward.
Cut to present day, when 12-year-old Addy is struggling to deal with the recent death of her father. To make matters worse, her mom has begun dating a g-ross guy named Jonathan who is temporarily moving into their house while he apartment hunts. If you don’t think this proves that Addy has inherited the fairy curse, wait until you find out about how her very best friend turns into her number one enemy, the entire school wants nothing to do with her, and she is forced to give up her greatest passion: writing.
The parental loss is treated with a light touch, respectfully, and never weighs the story down or becomes melancholy. Addy is a modern day Harriet the Spy. She is a talented writer and illustrator whose snark and stubborn streak land her in some fine messes.
Because of her unique take on journaling (Addy creates an “autobiogra-strip”; a graphic novel-style diary), fans of graphic novels and the Wimpy Kid series will enjoy Addy’s comic stylings. Young writers and artists will connect with Addy’s passion for the craft.
I’d say this pick would be ideal for a reluctant girl reader- most likely in the 5th or 6th grade range. (There are several scenes involving an embarassing shopping trip for a training bra. )
Overall, a fun read with sequel written all over it.