The Key to Extraordinary
By Natalie Lloyd
Published by Scholastic
Have you ever read a book where when you're done reading it, you hold it close to your heart? Because maybe if you do that, the love that comes pouring from the lines in the book will seep into your heart so you can feel them more deeply?
Have you ever had to pause your reading so you can think about a line or two? How the words from the author stuck to you? How they related to you, or maybe they didn't but they made you think about something?
Whenever I read Natalie Lloyd's work, I always have to stop and think. Her words come together in such a way that they always touch my heart. I always want to turn to the person next to me so we can talk and share their beauty.
When I read Snicker of Magic, I started collecting her lines. I wrote down everything I adored - from the way she talked about a lonely cafeteria to the way she spoke about truth hurting. I ended up with a notebook full of pages. Every time I read the book (which is at least once a year) I add more.
The Key to Extraordinary, Natalie's sophomore book, comes out February 23rd. I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy from a local indie. As soon as you start reading it, it feels like you're with old friends. While Emma is different from Felicity Pickle, I feel like they would be wonderful friends. I'd love to see Granny Blue in a room with Aunt Cleo! There's a whole new cast of characters, but with the way Natalie writes, it's like everyone could be neighbors.
When you think about books that make you have lingering thoughts long after your close the book, sometimes it's the characters that stay in your thoughts. Sometimes you can't stop thinking about the situation. But just like with Snicker, it's the way Natalie pens her words that makes this a novel that won't leave my head. Ponder over these lines for a bit:
*please note all of these page numbers come from the advanced reader copy, not the completed edition*
"She said fear is just a flashlight that helps you find your courage." pg. 42
"I learned that courage and fear always come as a pair. If you've gone one inside you, you've surely got the other." pg. 200
After reading those two lines, I want to introduce Emma to Cynthia Lord's Lily from A Handful of Stars.
"My voice is never much louder than a ripple, but even small voices sound loud when you talk about things that matter." pg. 95
I would love to talk about that line with a class of students. I think that line is going to speak loudly to someone.
"As I thumbed gently through the fragile pages, it occurred to me that every book in the world is somebody's Book of Days. Some books are so special that you never forget where you were the first time you read them." pg. 179
YES! Just looking at the cover of a book can remind me where I was.
The opening line is one of my favorite opening lines ever, but I don't want to ruin it for you. Just read it and come back to me!
So, after reading those lines, how could you not pick up The Key to Extraordinary? I think it's going to be a book that will be shared and discussed for years to come.
Thank you Natalie Lloyd. Keep these friends, and their beautifully spoken lines, coming.