Even and Odd Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on June 15, 2021
Source: Review copy
Genres: Animals, Family, Fantasy & Magic, Siblings, Young Adult
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A half-magic girl learns about heroism and taking action when she and her sister confront a wizard who endangers others for her own gain.
Even and Odd are sisters who share magic. Lately, though, it seems like that's the only thing they have in common. Odd doesn't like magic, and Even practices it every chance she gets, dreaming of the day she'll be ready to be a hero.
When the hidden border between the mundane world the sisters live in and the magical land they were born in shuts abruptly, the girls are trapped, unable to return home. With the help of a unicorn named Jeremy, they discover a wizard is diverting magic from the border to bolster her own power. Families are cut off from each other on both sides of the border, and an ecological disaster is brewing. But the wizard cares nothing for the calamitous effects her appropriation of magic is having. Someone has to do something to stop her, and Even realizes she can no longer wait until she's ready: she needs to be a hero now.
Two sisters named Emma and Olivia, fondly nicknamed Even and Odd, have the quirk of sharing magic. Even gets to use magic on even day, and Olivia gets magic on odd days. Even is obsessed with being the best with magic so she can one day be one of The Academy of Magic hero’s and be able to go on quests and save the world. Odd is content to work with animals and use her magic every once in a while. However, when magic goes haywire on an even day, and Emma can’t switch back, she is determined to figure out what is going wrong. The girls make friends with several creatures, one of which is a unicorn named Jermey (not his unicorn name). Middle-grade novels that I read are always some fundamental truth to be found in the pages. In this one, the truth is you don’t have to wait to grow up to be a hero. Young children, young adults, adults, and older adults can make a difference globally in small and big ways without a special medallion or a fancy degree. Even and Odd is an excellent stand, along with a middle-grade novel that is a perfect quick weekend read.