Tommy Trouble and the Magic Marble

Last updated
Tommy Trouble and the Magic Marble
Hardcover first edition
Author Ralph Fletcher
Illustrator Ben Caldwell
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-0-8050-6387-5
OCLC 41951297
LC Class PZ7.F634 To 2000

Tommy Trouble and the Magic Marble is a children's novel written by Ralph Fletcher and illustrated by Ben Caldwell. It was first published in 2000.


Plot summary

Tommy, who loves collecting, needs ten dollars to buy a magic marble from another boy. He tries to pick flowers from his mother's prize rose garden to sell to a neighbor, and tries to trade his little brother's snake. Tommy finally decides that the magic marble is not worth the trouble.


Todd Morning was mixed in his review for Booklist saying that "Today's children may have trouble relating to a story that ends with a game of marbles (does anyone play marbles these days?), but they'll still find lots to enjoy and think about. Ben Caldwell's black-and-white drawings are a plus; they have an angularity that nicely straddles the line between realism and cartoons." [1] Steve Clancy in his review for School Library Journal was not very positive saying that "it's unlikely that this slight story line will hold readers' interest, and while marbles still hold a certain fascination for this age group, they are way down on a list headed by Game Boys and Pokémon cards. Rudimentary black-and-white cartoons capture the characters' moods but occasionally appear out of proportion. Overall, Fletcher's book lacks the humor or adventure of Barbara Park's "Junie B. Jones" series or Mary Pope Osborne's "Magic Tree House" books" [2] The Horn Book Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books was also mixed in their review saying "The story line, like the accompanying line art, seems dated and rather bland, but the relationship between Tommy and his tagalong brother Bradley is appealing." [3]


  1. Morning, Todd (August 2000). "Books for Youth: BOOKS FOR MIDDLE READERS". Booklist. 96 (22): 2138. ISSN   0006-7385.
  2. Clancy, Steve (September 2000). "Tommy Trouble and the Magic Marble (Book Review)". School Library Journal. 46 (9): 196. ISSN   0362-8930.
  3. "Younger fiction". The Horn Book Guide : 287. October 1, 2001. ISSN   1044-405X.

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