» Read ↠´ Half Magic by Edward Eager » The novel is about four siblings finding a magic coin which can grant their wishes,but only half of it However,having a magic in life isn t that easy and the wishes must be carefully uttered,otherwise the summer adventures will turn into than just adventures Gradually the siblings have to learn to control the magic in their lives while the magic will transform them too.
The book has this The Little Peppers and The Little Women vibe in the narrative Not a fan of such writing style but this book is great for children stepping into the world of literature I might have loved it if I read it during my childhood but well,it wasn t a bad reading either.
Summertime belongs to childhood The grown up version, with BBQs and yard work, can t compare to the long, long days spent exploring and digging in the dirt.
Now, I m a winter girl, through and through, but when the lightning bugs start to rise up out of the grass, I start to ache for the summers from when I was little Unfortunately, all the kids who used to comeoutandplay have moved on, and I ve been trying to eat less dirt, so I was at a loss for a way to revisit my summers.
Then I remembered Edward Eager Eager was a Harvard grad and a sophisticated, grown up playwright He never thought about writing children s books until he had his own son They quickly read through Eager s favorites, E Nesbit s fairy stories and the Oz books, but then Eager couldn t find anything else to read to his kid So he decided to write the stories himself Writer s perogative.
Half Magic is Eager s first fairy tale It s about a group of four children, three girls and one boy, who recently lost their father Those unfortunate children who keep both their parents must resign themselves to utterly uninteresting lives Their mother can t afford to take them to the country for vacation, and the kids are at a loss for a way to make their summer worthwhile One day, while on their way to the library, the children find an old, worn nickel.
After a few accidental mis wishes and much discussion, the kids realize that it s the coin they found that s causing the magic well, a little magic Somehow, because of the age and wear of the coin, it will only grant half of each wish.
The wishes, done by halves, bring the kind of adventures you only find in proper fairy tales They have rules and consequences and the adventure is in learning how to manipulate the magic Each child gets a day in charge of the wishing, and each day of wishes gets a few chapters to play out.
Later on in the book, when the children understand the coin fully, the wishes get a bit boring I wish X times two takes care of the guess work but until then, there are several good mishaps My favorite is when they wish that the cat can talk Have you ever met a cat who can half talk That s not a happy cat So, if you need a way to rekindle your vacation time, check out Edward Eager s books read the first chapter of HM here They re fast, funny, charming reads Most of them take place over the course of a few warm days, and they ll all bring you back to the time when lightning bugs were only a fraction of your summer magic.
Read if You re looking for the most appealing way possible to spend an afternoon with fractions.
You can t find anyone to play Ghost in the Graveyard with.
You want a proper fairy tale.
Disclaimer I got this book and many others from my family s close friend, Jeri Every year for my birthday, Jeri would give me a big box of old books These would last me a couple of days, and then my reading habits would continue to be a financial burden for my parents, who raised me to buy books before food, and gladly kept me fed Jeri introduced me to lots of my favorites, and I d be remiss not to mention her in a post about Edward Eager If I didn t give her credit, she d threaten to tan my fanny.
I reviewed this book on my blog here Four Children Wish On A Half Magic Coin That Gets Their Mother Alison Half Way Home, Rescued By Mr Smith Mark S Wish Zaps Them To A Desert Without Island, Where Half Talking Cat Carrie Gabbles To A Camel Romantic Katherine Battles Launcelot Eldest Jane Rejects Siblings For Another Family Stubborn Youngest, Martha, Causes A Riot Downtown Edward Eager s Half Magic was 1 of my favorite comfort books as a kid and I can still quote from it.
I read the first 2 chapters a day or two ago and was intrigued Today I picked it up again and read the third chapter It had me laughing out loud So, I finished it today.
This is, apparently, a children s book Back in the day, children were considerably well read They would have had to be, otherwise they would miss the multitude of references to other works of literature For example there is the part that goes something like this not quoting verbatim, but it goes something generally like this This, said Katharine, is exactly what I would call a tulgey wood Don t said Martha What if something were to come whiffling through it And that was it There was no further explanation The story just went on How many children do you know these days that have actually read any of Lewis Carroll s works I suspect that this is one of those books that can be read and understood well enough by children, but can be appreciated much by adults I thought it was very clever In fact, I would not be surprised if there were things in this book that I didn t catch.
The pacing was good at times it was slow and nothing particular seemed to happen which was as it should be after all, the children are having a dreadfully boring summer at first , but at other times Bam, bam, bam, bam One thing right after another All in all, it was Good Stuff I recommend it.
Four children Jane, Katherine, Mark, and Martha come upon a magic charm Only it makes just half of what you wish true The children realise this soon enough and word their wishes so that they can get all of what they want, and start off on a set of exciting adventures which take them to different places and times But while their wishes do come true, they find that the outcome may not be quite what they were looking for, and they are not always in the right frame of mind to make a carefully worded wish each time Needless to say, they have a fair share of scrapes and realise they must be careful what they wish for On the other hand, the charm itself turns out to be magical than they realise working for them certain magic they hadn t wished for or even thought of which bring them much happiness in the long run This was not a book or series I d read as a child and if I d read it then, I think I would have had much fun with the adventure elements, though the later parts of the story I think I appreciated better as an adult The children themselves were real, and rather nice without at the same time being too storybook good I enjoyed the book quite a lot overall, especially the literary references which it was full of including to Nesbit who s Psammead books were quite clearly an inspiration as a GR friend also pointed out , and the Ingoldsby Legends Fun read.
originally posted here as part of the 30 Day Book Challenge.
This one is easy The Book That Made Me Fall In Love With Reading I don t even know what to say about this book If you haven t read it, you should If you have younger children, read it to them Half Magic was written in the 50s about a family living in the 20s, so of course it s dated, but it s still as full of charm as ever As an adult I catch little literary references that I missed when I was young, and that adds to my love of this book so than the others in the series.
I was an only child until I was 10, so before that, reading about this family of brothers and sisters gave me a bit of a pang I wanted siblings to have summertime adventures with This was my favourite book to read during the summer followed closely by Magic by the Lake , which follows the same siblings , curled up in some quiet nook at my grandparents house I found these books there one year and Nan told me I could have them I don t know which of my dad s siblings they belonged to, but I think it was my aunt.
I kind of never wanted to ask because it felt like they had appeared just for me shrug I know, kids are silly.
Confession I still pick up coins and make double wishes on them, hoping that they ll come true.
oh, one of my all time favorites i LOVE when they wish the cat could talk and since it is Half Magic, the cat s every other word is meow i bought this and the rest of the series for my niece for christmas a couple of years ago, and i can t wait until my daughters are old enough to read it.
It seems a shame, said Jane, that no one s going to know about our adventures They would make such a good book If only we could write them down But how would we do that asked Mark We re just kids Oh Wait You don t mean I certainly do said Jane We just have to wish for it, and the Charm will take care of the rest But we need to wish very carefully Now, what kind of book do we want it to be I want it to be like one of E Nesbit s books said Katherine Though if the Charm makes the book like one of hers you don t think it would be stealing, do you That would be very wrong We could put in an Acknowledgement, said Mark Mr Smith was telling me about that just the other day We Acknowledge her Influence, and then it will be quite alright The rest of this review is available elsewhere the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons Mostly, I love this book I liked it as a kid except for that caveat I ll get to in a minute I like it now, as a grown up The story is interesting and engaging The trouble the kids get themselves into is believable well, for a fantasy novel , and I like their solutions The problem of having to double all your wishes is interesting to me The only thing isThe only thing is that a whole chapter is taken up with a trip to a desert, where the children run across an evil, wicked, terrible Arab man Even the illustration is an ugly caricature There isn t even a feasible way to avoid this part it s interwoven in the story in such a way that you can t simply say Look, this is a part that I feel is inappropriate, we re not reading it today and skip to the next part.
Now, I know, somebody is going to pop up and say But you can t judge books from 60 years ago according to OUR standards today Fair enough But I m not reading this book to a child 50 years ago I m reading it or not, actually I haven t put it on my to be read list yet precisely because of this problem to children NOW Even when I was a kid, a mere 30 years after the book s publication, that part made me uncomfortable.
Am I saying you re bad for liking this book Absolutely not I like this book Am I saying you shouldn t read this book to your children, or allow them to read it Not necessarily I certainly support you if that is your choice, but that s not what I mean to say All I m saying is that you should read this book yourself before you read it with your children or use it in a classroom, especially if you have Arab students , and decide for yourself the best way to approach this issue It may be to find a way to skip that passage, or it may be to not read the book just yet or at all there are plenty of good books out there, choosing one always requires NOT choosing another or it may be to discuss this part with your children and explain your views on the subject, or it may be that you think it s not a big deal I disagree with the last, but that s your choice Other than that one thing, this is a very good book It s just that that one thing is SO important Please pre read this book.