The Magic of Finkleton
Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 9) for Reader Views (10/11)
“The Magic of Finkleton” by KC Hilton is about three kids - Robert, Jack and Lizzy - who moved from their burned down house into Uncle Harry Finkle’s general store. Uncle Harry had died. The kids had never even met him. When they moved in, they all found something they liked. Lizzy who liked to read found the library. She was sure that she would spend a lot of time there. Jack who liked to organize things found a cluttered office with a map of Finkleton. Some of the farms listed on the map had strange dashes across them. He would have to find out what that meant. Meanwhile, Robert had discovered a peculiar lever underneath the store counter. When he moved the lever down, it began to rain. When he moved it up, the rain stopped. At first he didn’t think much of it. He did it a few more times. Was he controlling the rain? Things were turning out to be more interesting than they expected. Finkleton might be alright.
A few days after moving to Uncle Harry’s, they met Mrs. Caroline who had come to buy fruit for her pies. As she was making her purchase, she told the kids that no one in Finkleton ever sold their farms because the harvest was always so good.
A while later three strangers came into the store. One of the men stepped forward and introduced himself as Mr. Lowsley. He asked if there was any land for sale in Finkleton. Jack said no, but Mr. Lowsley said he would be back in a few days to check again. As Mr. Lowsley turned to leave, Jack stuffed a pile of goods under the counter for Robert to finish sorting in the morning. But, in the process, he broke the mysterious lever and it started raining and raining and raining. Will the crops be destroyed? Will Finkleton’s reputation go with it?
“The Magic of Finkleton” was a fine book. The idea of having the kids control the weather was great. Unfortunately, the plot was kind of weak and didn’t make the most of it. I hope there is a second book to clear up some of the things I didn’t really understand (like why was Mr. Lowsley, who wasn’t a farmer, wanted to buy the land). The last page of the book brought up an entirely new topic, and I’m curious to see where the author is going to take it.
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