Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Today's read... The Incredibly Amazing and Magical Flying Chair by Bob Schumaker and Nancy Machlis Rechtman


by Nancy Machlis Rechtman
and Bob Schumaker
Middle Grade Contemporary
104 pages
ages 8 to 12


Noah Gibson comes from a family that has magic in their blood. He is also an overly imaginative seventh grader whose magician father has mysteriously disappeared. The only clue Noah has to his father’s sudden departure is a magical reading chair in the attic. Noah believes the chair has the power to transport the person sitting in it anywhere they wish, but he has trouble convincing his friends and family. When a little white lie told to his teacher and classmates grows into increasingly fantastical stories about his summer vacation, Noah must find out once and for all whether the reading chair is truly magical, or if his imagination has consumed him. If it’s true, then Noah might just have a chance at finding his father and bringing him home safely.


Magic and humor create a fun character, while difficult themes flow in the background.

Noah's father disappeared, and Noah is sure he can find him again...if he can figure out the magic behind the mysterious chair in the attic, that is. Noah's father was a magician and promised that they have magic in their blood. Noah is determined to figure out how this magic works, but normal life holds enough problems of its own to keep him busy. To make things easier, he tells a small lie, but like magic, it transforms into something bigger. Soon, Noah's faced with more problems than he knows how to handle.

Noah is quite the character. His life centers around magic, and he dreams of having his own magic show with comedy, too. His enthusiasm and determination are inspiring as he truly works to fulfill his goal. His active imagination makes him easy to like and sympathize with, while his mistakes make him that much more realistic. 

The disappearance of the father has obviously left it's mark. While it's inviting to think that this might be connected to the chair, little remarks here and there (especially from the mother) lay ground to a slightly harsher reality. Luckily, there's a side character, Leo, who gives wholesome support. When the lies start, readers will already know that things can't run well, and it's this realization (while watching the situation unfold) which makes Noah's troubles hit home. And all of that with the sugar coating of humor to keep it from weighing down.

At just a little more than 100 pages, it's a quick read. The dialogue pushes the story along, but then, there's never a boring moment, anyway. It also opens up the door to discussions and a little food for thought, which makes it a lovely read for classroom settings as well.

And here they are...

Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had stories published in a number of children’s magazines, most notably several times in Highlights Magazine for Children. She has had several children's plays and musicals both produced and published. She is a member of SCBWI. Nancy has had numerous stories and poems published in various literary journals and she has also had poetry, essays, and plays published in several anthologies. Nancy worked for years as a tutor for elementary-school-age children, focusing mostly on reading and writing skills.

Facebook Author page is Nancy Machlis Rechtman, Author.

And her passion project which is a music video for children on YouTube called "The World's Upside Down," written to help children through the pandemic is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kkw9V4Ob-c

Bob Shumaker, author of thirteen books, was raised in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and now lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with his wife, Sharon. He retired early from his sales and marketing company to focus on one of his lifelong passions: writing. His ‘Schmooney’ character was selected as the prestigious ‘South Carolina State Mascot for Literacy’ and was also named the ‘City Mascot of Simpsonville, South Carolina’.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

You got my interest when I read the title. I love the idea of a magical chair. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Happy Thanksgiving!