Review/ The Key to Extraordinary

Review/ The Key to ExtraordinaryThe Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Published by Scholastic Press on April 25, 2017
Pages: 240

Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.
For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down.
But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd's The Key to Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.

I was not disappointed with reading a second novel by Natalie Lloyd called “The Key to Extraordinary.”  Her writing is consistent, engaging, and meaningful.   Her characters are entertaining, and the descriptions of the surroundings are so vivid, I could picture myself there.  In fact, I keep reading Natalie’s books because of how I can imagine myself in these places and befriending these characters.

Dreams tell a lot.  For Emma and her family, a special dream determines your extraordinary destiny.  For most of Emma’s ancestor’s, their destiny is more or else clear.  However, for Emma, this in not the case.  Emma must untangle the clues of her dream, find a hidden treasure, and confront a ghost that is possibly protecting the mystery underlying Emma’s dream.

I felt an immediate connection to the main character, Emma.  She would offer tours of the graveyard to locals and visitors.  My Dad sold monuments for a living, so walking in a graveyard and reading tombstone inscriptions was a natural part of my childhood.  I smile to myself to think that Natalie captured something like this in a book.

The beloved journal with all the dreams safely recorded leaves a soft spot upon my heart.  Emma has a deep connection with her ancestors.  She can read about their dreams and learn what their extraordinary destiny was in life.  Written on journal pages of their own, the reader can share in the journal entries.  This opens questions about her own mother and herself.  The treasure hunt that will follow will not only fulfill her own destiny…

The names of each character are as extraordinary as this novel.  I will not divulge any in order not to ruin the fun.  They are flowery and musical in perfect harmony.  The secondary characters help Emma emotionally and physically which makes them family.

The mystery and intrigue surrounding the treasure hunt is what makes this novel a page tuner.  Readers ages eleven and up will be running alongside Emma and her friends as they run away from ghosts and treasure robbers.

A novel just as wonderful as her first one entitled, “A Snicker of Magic”.  (click on book title to read that review) I’m also pleased to announce that Natalie Lloyd has started a new series called, “The Problim Children” which I can’t wait to get my hands on. (I did not make a spelling error 😊

The Problim Children