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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.
In the year since his mom died, Harrison has gotten really good at magic tricks. No one can guess how he guesses their card–and of course he never does the same trick twice. But the bit of magic Harrison most wishes he could perform would be to convince his dad not to go back on tour. It’s the first gig he’s taking since Harrison’s mom died, and they’ll be apart for a whole year. And as Harrison heads off to Utah to stay with his aunt, he’s desperate to find a way to get his dad to stay in Utah, too.
When Harrison arrives, he discovers that his aunt’s town has its own kind of magic–real magic, from a muse in a canyon that inspires local artists. At the annual art show, if the muse shows up, the winner gets a wish. Harrison knows what his wish would be. Though he hasn’t been feeling artistic since his mom died–especially not feeling like singing, which always reminds him of her–Harrison decides to enter the art contest, hoping that the muse will be powerful enough to bring his dad back home.
TIPS FOR MAGICIANS is a heart-warming middle grade story about the healing power of art and community. Throughout the story, Harrison remembers and misses his mother, but the true journey is toward restoring the relationship with his father that was damaged by loss. Ultimately, they are able to find a way to keep Harrison’s mother present in their lives while still moving forward as a family. I’d recommend this one to all fans of middle grade contemporary novels, including younger middle grade readers.