An appealing animal tale with a touch of magic.

Each day leading up to the April 16 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature 2011 Young People’s Literature finalist:

Hamster Magic
Lynne Jonell
Random House Children’s Books/Random House, Inc.
Category Sponsor: Sit Investment Associates


An excerpt from Hamster Magic:

There was a swoosh in the room, and a swirling of grit like blowing desert sand, and the children shut their eyes.  When they opened them again, Celia had become big.

She had also become a hamster.

Celia Willow is the baby of the family, and she’s sick of it. So when Celia’s hamster surprises her with his wish-granting powers, she blurts out her deepest desire. But, Celia didn’t exactly wish to be furry. Avoiding her parents, her siblings must work together in one night to reverse the hamster magic.


Lynne Jonell is the author of Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat which was honored with a Minnesota Book Award, a Booklist Editor’s Choice and as one of School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year.


“It’s an unusual premise, to be sure, but there is something both appealing and remarkably nostalgic in this furry tale of cooperation among siblings and magical animals interacting with the human world.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A couple of steps up from an easy reader, Jonell’s latest book will appeal to those who prefer their fantasy stories furry and friendly.” – Booklist

“This is a short and breezy fantasy a la Edward Eager, perfect for kids who have just learned to read with confidence and want a “real” chapter book.” – Eva’s Book Addiction blog

“Lovely story. Engaging and sweet.” – MN Book Awards preliminary judge


Lynne Jonell visited KARE-11 television in March. She talked about another of her books, The Secret of Zoom, and discussed her unique style of “method writing.”


Award winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.

Have you read Hamster Magic? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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One comment on “An appealing animal tale with a touch of magic.
  1. amazinganimalbooks says:

    This book seems great. Kids will surely love this book. Hope I could purchase one soon.

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