Showing Off (Upside-Down Magic #3) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Read by Rebecca Soler

Especially when you’re young—but, really, at any age—it’s easy to feel insecure about the things that make you different. But the audio edition of Showing Off, the third Upside-Down Magic novel by authors Emily Jenkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle, once again teaches young readers that being different isn’t such a bad thing.

The story returns to the Dunwittle Middle School, where Nory Horace and the rest of the kids in the fifth grade Upside-Down Magic continue in their quest to fit in with the other kids in school, whose magical abilities aren’t so...wonky. When their principal announces the annual Show-Off, a kind of all-school talent competition, Nory is excited to show the rest of the school what the UDM kids can do. But when she discovers that her disapproving father is going to be in the audience, she begins to worry that the unusual magic that she’s been working on will only disappoint him even more.

With each new book in the Upside-Down Magic series, the young characters become stronger and more confident. They learn to control their magical abilities more and more. And while they’re still unlike the other kids in their school, they begin to realize that their differences actually make them special—not “wonky.”

This time around, though, poor Nory’s growing confidence is shaken by her father’s upcoming visit. She’s just becoming comfortable with her mixed-up animals—like her infamous dritten (part dragon, part kitten)—but she knows that her father and siblings won’t approve. And, as was the case with the first book in the series, the focus on Nory’s stern father and his unthinkable rejection makes the story feel somewhat heavy and sad. But, once again, by the time the story ends, she’s learned another very important lesson about being true to herself.

Meanwhile, with each new book in the series, another one of Nory’s classmates gets a little extra attention. This time, it’s Pepper, whose magical abilities make her terrifying to animals—which can be a big problem when you have classmates who sometimes turn into animals. Pepper is another lovable character—sweet and anxious about her magic. As she works to control her magic, she discovers that there are some really practical uses for it, too. And as Pepper and the other UDM kids continue to win over the rest of their school, the story becomes more fun and uplifting.

Though the often hurtful behavior toward the UDM kids sometimes makes the books in this series difficult to read, they also have an important story to tell about accepting others’ differences. And, once again, Showing Off relates that message in a cute and magical way. It’s a fun—and thought-provoking—story for young readers.

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