Tips for Magicians

Children - Grade 4th-6th
368 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2022
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Author Biography

Celesta Rimington is a musical theater performer and an advocate for wildlife and the arts. She grew up in an Air Force family and lived in many regions of the United States, but she didn't truly discover the southern Utah desert until her son performed at a professional theater there for a season. She witnessed lightning storms, explored lava tubes, participated in art festivals, and watched over fifty performances at the canyon amphitheater as she developed the idea and plot for TIPS FOR MAGICIANS. Celesta holds a degree in Social Psychology from Brigham Young University and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature. She is the author of THE ELEPHANT'S GIRL, which was on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List and won the Reading the West Book Award. She lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children where they participate in the arts and enjoy exploring National Parks. Celesta loves to visit schools and provide assemblies, inspiring students to read and write their own stories. Find her online at

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Tips For Magicians is a work of fiction in the fantasy, drama, and adventure subgenres. The work is intended for children from the fourth to sixth grade reading age and was penned by author Celesta Rimington. Our central protagonist is Harrison Boone, a talented singer who loses his voice when his mother passes away unexpectedly. Now no longer able to follow his musical dreams, Harrison decides to focus on mastering the art of illusionary magic instead. But as he endures one life-altering event after another, his new hometown Muse offers an intriguing new mystery. A legendary magical entity is said to reside here who grants wishes but hasn’t been seen in years. What results is a charming, heartfelt adventure about healing, adapting, and finding your passion once more.

It is rare to find a children’s book with such a sophisticated level of emotional realism, but this was a tale that truly moved me at the core from beginning to end. Author Celesta Rimington reveals that the true magic of this charming novel is not in the tricks or legends of the story, but in art itself, and its incredible power to heal us against some very painful odds. As a central protagonist, Harrison is a highly relatable figure to both adults and younger readers and is sensitively portrayed with close, empathetic narration that really lets us feel every moment from his perspective. I also really loved the setting in Muse, a desert town that felt like a character all of its own in a story swimming with atmosphere, personality, and detail. The work that Rimington does with dialogue is especially effective in terms of its characterization too. Overall, I would highly recommend Tips For Magicians to one and all as a resonant work of social issues drama that breathes new life and hope into the genre.

Vincent Dublado

We all need a little magic in our lives and Harrison Boone, the young protagonist in Celesta Rimington’s Tips for Magicians, will give us that—and even more. Harrison enjoys doing magic tricks so much that he dubs himself Harrison the Magnificent. His mother’s passing and the legacy of her music make it difficult for Harrison to move on, as his life is strongly saturated with her memories. It is even more difficult for his father, who tries to conceal his grief by forbidding any discussion about her inside their household. Harrison’s dad takes on a job that requires him to be on the road, so he sends Harrison to live with his Aunt Maggie in a desert town called Muse. This town has an amphitheater where his mother used to perform and an annual art contest where an enchanted muse is said to grant any wish to the winner. Sadly, this muse has not manifested over the years. Harrison solicits the help of the friends he has made at his new school to find a way to get the muse back. This is where Harrison learns about selflessness and to think carefully of what his heart truly desires.

The story has good pacing and a well-organized storyline that keeps you engaged and entertained for those few hours you spend in its pages. The role of music in the plot is heartwarming and intelligent. Celesta Rimington has put many touches into this story that testify to the importance of family, friendship, and art in helping shape the formative years of young people. You can feel the warmth when Harrison’s mom sings to him and tells him to never stop singing for it is a gift. I admired Tips for Magicians mostly because it is moving to read. Rimington is truly in touch with the sensitivities of her target readers. This is the kind of book for young readers that school libraries are likely to stock on their shelves. In short, you will care about this story and admire the magic that it offers.

Emma Megan

Tips for Magicians by Celesta Rimington is a fantastic middle-grade novel about a boy who tries to find a way to heal from grief. Harrison Boone, or Harrison the Magnificent, is a 12-year-old magician who has recently lost his mother. Because his father has found a new job, now he has to go on a six-month national tour alone. Thus, he sends Harrison to live with his Aunt Maggie in Utah. There, Harrison hears stories about an art contest and a powerful muse that used to grant wishes and inspire people. Harrison becomes interested in the contest and the muse and wants to discover more. He also wants to find a way to bring his dad back, feel close to his mother again, and make things be like they used to be.

If an adult can't cope with loss, how can a child? Tips for Magicians by Celesta Rimington is a hopeful and comforting story that explores the depths of loss and grief, the beauty of friendship, and the healing power of magic, art, and music. It's quite touching as it focuses on a child who just lost his mother and didn't have his father's emotional support as he went far away. This sweet story is easy to read as it doesn't contain any real suspense, but it contains plenty of touching moments of art and magic that will empower children to find their inner strength. Celesta Rimington has written a novel well worth reading for children struggling with loss and finding meaning, inspiration, and comfort in a new place.