Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 152
Themes: magic, competition, friendship
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2014
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
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Alex wants to enter the Silver Stage magic competition, but he needs a sponsor. Jack, a veteran card wizard, is willing to take on the role, but only if Alex agrees to team up with Zoe, another young magician—and Alex’s rival. Working with Jack and sharing the spotlight with Zoe, Alex comes to see that there are other ways to be a magician besides competing—and that magic is about entertaining people, not fooling them.

CM Magazine
"An important story of growing up and finding meaning in the profession you aspire to. Many teens will go through similar anxieties and uncertainties to those that Alex goes through during the magic competition...With its simple and easy to comprehend language, Forcing the Ace is suitable for reluctant teen readers...Highly Recommended."
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"Thomas has researched extensively, and magic becomes an effective backdrop for well-written characters and intriguing plotting. This novel is a convincing sleight of hand, with a carefully finessed reveal of meaningful life lessons."
"Told from an easy-to-engage, first-person perspective, allowing readers to make their own judgments of the storyteller's opinions and perceptions."
Library Media Connection
"Short sentences and chapters make this perfect for reluctant readers. Within that format, the author is able to create interesting characters and a convincing story. Eventually, Alex comes full circle, learning that performing magic is a way to bring joy to others rather than performing for the sake of winning. This book is a perfect addition to libraries needing hi/lo titles."
Nicki S, LibraryThing Early Reviewer
"Succeeds by showing the value of cooperation—joining forces—and how a mentor can help a teen boy discover what really matters."

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