To Come and Go Like Magic (Hardcover)
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375858468, 272pp.
Publication Date: February 9, 2010
Twelve-year-old Chili Sue Mahoney has never been outside of her small Appalachian town. Momma says Mercy Hill, Kentucky, is her “true home,” but Chili longs to see the world—to have the freedom to leave and to explore.
So when Miss Matlock is brought in as the 7th grade substitute teacher, Chili and her classmate Willie Bright are thrilled. Everyone knows Miss Matlock has traveled around the globe. Why she’s come back to her childhood home after all this time is a mystery, but Chili and Willie are eager to befriend her despite the rumors. As the three spend time together, Chili learns about the jungles and deserts and cities of the world. But she also discovers that there’s more to Mercy Hill than she thought: beauty, in the people and places she’s known all her life, and secrets, sometimes where they’re least expected.
Told in vignettes and set in 1970s Appalachia, To Come and Go Like Magic is a heartwarming and hopeful debut novel about family, friendship, and the meaning of home.