A girl whose anxiety disorder has been ruling her life since her father’s death unexpectedly has the story she’s written come alive in this adventurous and tender middle grade fantasy perfect for fans of Barbara Dee and Jamie Sumner.

Zoey Turner used to see magic everywhere. With a dad like Zoey’s, it was hard not to. Not only did they read The Magic of Ever After series together every day, they also used to create original stories together. Used to. Ever since her dad died unexpectedly last year, all Zoey sees is danger.

Fear has shrunk homeschooled Zoey’s life to the span of one block, where she keeps close to the people that she needs the most. Her mom is almost never out of sight, and Jada, the owner of Ever After Books, is always around to talk about their favorite fantasy trilogy. Zoey finally ventures outside her comfort zone for the chance to meet famed author Raven M. Wells, only for the outing to lead to a panic attack.

Instead of a signed book, Zoey ends up with a novelty pencil embossed with the phrase make your own magic that she uses to cope with her disappointment by writing a story like the ones she and her dad shared. The next day, Zoey is shocked to find her fantastical tale has come true. Emboldened by the pencil, Zoey takes risks she thought were long behind her in pursuit of her happy ending. But is she really in charge of how the story ends?