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This page contains information
about Fortune's Magic Farm,
a humorous adventure for kids of all ages.

Book Description

About the Illustrator

Watch the Book Trailer

Reviews and Accolades

Photo Bulletin Board

Letters from Kids

Ordering Information

Everything changes when ten-year-old Isabelle discovers that she is the heir to Fortune’s Farm, a wondrous place where the last vestiges of magic grow.  For as long as she can remember, she’s longed to escape her home in Runny Cove, a village where it never stops raining, and where she is forced to work at Mr. Supreme’s Umbrella Factory.

Journeying across the ocean, Isabelle finds a sunny new home filled with magical delights, including Curative Cherry trees that can heal all kinds of sickness, and Floating Fronds that make you fly.  But when Isabelle feels the call to return to Runny Cove and use the magic of the farm to stop the rain, her loyalty is put to the test.  How can she choose between her blood kin and the family of friends she left behind?

Catia Chien, who illustrated To Catch a Mermaid, is back with more of her unique and quirky black and white illustrations.

"I loved illustrating the interior illustrations for Fortune's Magic Farm because I love Suzanne's story. I'm a fan of strong intuitive characters, nature and magical realism. Fortune's Magic Farm had all those elements and more, it was a dream to illustrate!"

Visit Catia at www.catiachien.com

Left: Catia Chien shows a group of readers at Once Upon a Story Books how she drew the pictures for Fortune's Magic Farm.

Watch the Book Trailer

Nominated for the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Young Reader's Award
Nominated for the William Allen White Award

2009 Austin Waldorf Children's Choice Award, Gold Medal in the 3rd/4th grade category

"Fortune's Magic Farm is a love apple for all readers, delicious and magical."
-- Grace Lin, Newbery Honor author

"This quirky book -- Isabelle's "pets" include a barnacle, slugs and potato bugs -- is full of silly songs and vivid secondary characters."
The Seattle Times, Recommended Summer Read

Roald Dahl was a troublemaker. Did he really have to be so original? So interesting? Did his books have to fall into such a distinctive age range? And did he have to be the kind of author that would inspire parents to come up to reference desks across the country asking desperately, "My kid only reads Roald Dahl. What do you have that's just like him?" Honey, you are barking up the wrong tree if you think that anyone could replicate Dahl's style. He was one of those rare authors to tread the line between early chapter books and older novels. His sense of fun was light-hearted and impossible to copy. Few authors have ever come close to being compared to Dahl, and nobody has his distinctive flavor. One of the very few authors to do so would have to be Suzanne Selfors. She doesn't really have that streak of darkness that was so distinctly Dahlian, but she certainly knows how to tell a story and tell it well. Slugs and marmots. Magical apples and dastardly foes. "Fortune's Magic Farm" follows hot on the heels of Selfors' last novel "To Catch a Mermaid" and shares that book's gleeful storytelling and delightful characters. A pure pleasure to read, for child and adult alike.
Elizabeth Bird, Children's Librarian, New York City Public Library

Selfors' tight writing, steady pace, and well-crafted plot make these 260-plus pages easy to gulp down in one sitting. Isabelle is an intrepid and sympathetic heroine and kids will relate to her initial powerlessness in the face of miserable servitude and cheer for her eventaul victory. Isabelle's troubles are simply but powerfully expressed but plentiful doses of piquant humor ("Mama Lu's eyes popped even wider than the time she had found a family of slugs vacationing in her whipped cheese spread") keep things from getting too dark.
Hand this to fans of Eva Ibbotson, to kids who like their magic with some meat to it, and to adults who want a fabulous readaloud.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Literature, April 23, 09.

Placing an indomitable character in situations as bleak as they are absurd, Suzanne Selfors has written a darkly comic adventure in the tradition of Roald Dahl. Though much of Fortune's Magic Farm focuses on Isabelle learning about herself, she also discovers the wonders of the world around her. Her delight in simple pleasures that she has previously been denied, such as a piece of fruit or the warmth of sunshine, is charming. When viewed through Isabelle's eyes, even the smallest happiness becomes a marvel.
Junior Library Guild

Interspersed throughout this droll, plot-driven story are Isabelle's comical songs and Chien's spot illustrations. Newly confident readers will cozy up to the tale's quirky characters and enjoy the many twists and turns of this magical adventure.

Ten-year-old Isabelle lives in Runny Cove, a town where it never stops raining. Isabelle is an orphan who works long hours at Mr. Supreme's Umbrella Factory in order to pay the rent at the awful boarding house where she lives with her adopted grandmother. Isabelle's very dreary life seems all laid out for her until an apparent tragedy occurs and she is told that her grandmother is dead. Shortly after that, Isabelle runs away from the factory and is rescued by a strange 12-year-old boy named Sage. She learns from Sage that she is not quite an orphan after all. It turns out that Isabelle has a long-lost family whose job it is to manage the farm where the world's magic grows. Sage's job is to protect Isabelle's family, the Tenders of the Magic. Isabelle must overcome some fierce obstacles to save the declining farm and the friends she left behind. Also helping on her journey are Neptune, an elephant seal who makes deliveries through his trunk, a raven named Rolo, and a cat named Eve. This is a great new fantasy title, Isabelle is a very likeable character, and readers will cheer for her success. The villains of the piece, Mr. Supreme and boardinghouse owner Mama Lu, are deliciously villainous, and readers will delight in their downfalls. This is a great follow up for readers who loved Lemony Snicket, but this time, they might actually get a happy ending. A great addition to all collections.
Reviewer: Sharon Oliver, CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

This book is an amazing find. It has magic on every page and surprises that keep you guessing. I enjoyed reading this and loved every minute of it. Suzanne is an amazing author. She develops her characters so well that you begin to believe that they really are real. I hope that she will continue to write more and believe that she has the ability to become the next J.K. Rowling.
SMax, age 14, Flamingnet New Book Review

...the beautiful writing, quirky characters, and an imaginative plot that slowly unfolds make this a good choice, showing how one little girl can use her spirit to save the world.”
Booklist (March 15, 2009 issue)

Readers will cheer for Isabelle throughout the story and despise Mr. Supreme and Mama Lu, the despicable owner of the boardinghouse.
School Library Journal

"Suzanne Selfors has an imaginative way of writing children's fantasies that harkens back to the days of C.S. Lewis and E. Nesbit. Her newest novel, Fortune's Magic Farm, will pull middle readers into the story immediately and have them believing that magic is possible!"
BookLoons Reviews

This little book absolutely impressed me with its well-written story and deceivingly simple text that stirs up a wealth of emotion in spite of oneself. Reminiscent of novels by storytelling master Roald Dahl, this book draws young readers through steely gray sadness only to come out in a wash of color and happiness at the story's conclusion.
-- Allison Fraclose, TeensReadToo.com

I really like it because it's very good and it is very funny, hilarious sometimes. And Mamma Lu sounds like a very bad person! I am glad I am not living in her boardinghouse. Where did you get the idea of the Kelp Suit?"

- Sonora, age 8

Dear Mrs. Selfors ,

I think you should write another book related to Fortune's magic farm. It should be about Mr. Supreme coming back. I would love to read that. Isabelle inspires me to take a risk sometimes like when she took a risk and rode a elephant seal with a stranger.
Thanks for writing amazing books,

- Sarah, age 8

Available March 1, 2009
recommended for ages 9 - 12

Pre-order at all major online bookstores
or at
Eagle Harbor Books

ISBN - 10: 031601818x
ISBN - 13: 978-0316018180