The Key to Extraordinary, Scholastic Books – Available now!
Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous country music singers—every single one of which learned of their Extraordinary Destiny through a dream.
But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task—finding a legendary treasure that’s supposedly hidden near her town’s historic cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of her Extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and a cast of unforgettable small town characters, Natalie Lloyd’s The Key to Extraordinary doesn’t just tug on your heartstrings, it strums them — cementing her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.
Awards & Accolades
- A Junior Library Guild Selection
- Honorable Mention, Entertainment Weekly’s Best Middle Grade Books of 2016
- An Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2016
- An Audible Best Children’s Book of 2016
- A Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2017
- Long listed for the SIBA Southern Book Prize
- A Nebraska Library Commission Best Book of 2016
- A Volunteer State Book Award Finalist
- “As the lyrical prose unfurls, readers will get swept away by Lloyd’s ability to capture small town charm and inject her writing with just a hint of magic.” –Entertainment Weekly
- “A bouquet of quirks, whimsy, sweetness, and magic.” –Kirkus
- “In a folksy tale laced with supernatural mystery, Lloyd poetically conveys the depth of 12-year-old Emma’s emotions as she embarks on her quest to uncover a legendary secret … The book’s evocative setting and cast of eccentric minor characters will draw readers into Emma’s world – one warmed by friendship, love, and hope – to share in her discovery that the most valuable treasures lie within.” –Publishers Weekly
- “Ghosts and magic weave through this warmly sentimental tale of small-town life…A climactic whirlwind leads to a triumphant close, but one character’s observation that “Everything wonderful is possible” is the tale’s true touchstone.” –Booklist
- “Natalie Lloyd has written a captivating tale that will delight readers and take them on a journey to Blackbird Hollow, a Tennessee community where small-town neighbors care about each other. Lloyd’s writing is lyrical and magical. Her voice is original. Her storytelling and literary style set her a part from other authors. She succeeds in creating an experience for her readers. Fans of her debut novel, A Snicker of Magic, will not be disappointed.” –Children’s Books Heal Blog
- “’The Key to Extraordinary’ is a must-read for fantasy/realistic-fiction lovers. Lloyd combines melodic writing, memorable characters and witty humor to make an extraordinary story you will want to read time and time again.” –The Missourian
- “Lloyd excels at building characters around intriguing dialogue and eccentric locations.” –Post and Courier
- “If you love delightful Middle Grade fiction with colorful and humorous characters facing real life problems and challenges, and perhaps even a dash of magic, then you will most likely love THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY. Like hot chocolate and freshly baked muffins? Treasure? New friendships? GO AHEAD THEN!” –Bookish Illuminations Blog
- “Natalie Lloyd has written a great book, one you won’t soon forget. The Key to Extraordinary is a story that will stay with you and will make you smile whenever you think of these characters that have made a home in your heart.” –Books Children Treasure Blog
- “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.” –Mrs. Knott’s Book Blog
- “The Key to Extraordinary is a beautifully written, magical tale of hope, love, dreams and finding your destiny. Lloyd not only creates a delightful setting and has characters that draw one in, but she also adds a bit of fancy, a little magic, and the unexpected to the storyline and that makes the novel even more enjoyable.” – Compass Book Ratings
- “Filled with beautiful writing, compelling characters and just the slightest touch of the fantastic, The Key to Extraordinary draws readers in from the first page and carries them along straight through to the satisfying ending. Destiny Dream or no, Emma Pearl is anything but ordinary.” –BookPage
- Please click here to download (pdf) the free discussion guide for The Key to Extraordinary provided by Scholastic Books for their Mother-Daughter Bookclub.
- AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
Click below to hear a sample of the audiobook, narrated by Kate Simses.