Half Magic Paperback – Large Print, Dec 5 2005
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Edward Eager has been delighting young readers for more than 40 years with stories that mix magic and reality. Half Magic, the most popular of his tales about four children who encounter magical coins, time-travel herb gardens, and other unlikely devices, is a warm, funny, original adventure. The title refers to a coin that the children find. Through a comical series of coincidences, they discover that the coin is magic. Well, it's not totally magic--it's only (you guessed it) half magic. That means there's a certain logic to the wishes one must make to generate a desired outcome. Imagine the results emerging from inaccurate efforts: half invisible, half rescued, half everything! Half Magic is never too cute, and with just enough emotion to complement the magic, this classic is sure to hold a special place in any child's library. If you love Half Magic, its sequels--Knight's Castle, The Time Garden, and Magic by the Lake--have also been reissued in lovely hardcover editions, complete with N.M. Bodecker's original illustrations and covers by Quentin Blake. (Ages 8 to 12) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-Jane finds a magic charm which grants half of any wish, and her brother and sisters take turns making double wishes, leading to strange happenings-which leads Jane to make a last wish. By Edward Eager.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Four children---Jane, Mark, Katherine and Martha---find a magic nickel. The nickel gives the wisher only half of what he or she wishes for---which means that every magic adventure always turns out a little odd (even after the children have realized that they have to wish for twice of everything).
The characters are fantastic. I come from a family which has the exact same structure (girl, boy, girl, girl) as the children in Half Magic and I always saw my older sisters and brother in Jane (bossy), Katherine ("docile and a comfort to their mother"---which she brags about!) and Mark (the only boy who gets to lead a wonderful life as the only boy!). I'm sure my siblings also saw me in Martha (stubborn and with a wild streak!). Even if you don't come from a family like Martha's, you will recognize the characters immediately.
I can't recommend this highly enough. If you haven't read it, order it immediately (or at least run to the library to check it out---but you'll want to own this so you can read and re-read it again and again).
By: Edward Eager
Half Magic is about 4 children, Jane, Mark, Martha, and Katharine who get a magical coin that only works by halves. Jane the oldest always seems to be different from her siblings. Because she doesn't appear to agree with them much. Mark the only boy and is the second oldest child, doesn't mind much about being the only man around the house and doesn't become annoyed with his sisters much theat often although he wishes to have a dad. Martha the middle child is always ignored by her family. But she is let to say her opinions and ideas very often in necessary times. And Katharine the youngest does mostly annoying things to her siblings that might explain for being shoved under a movie theater seat! But Katherine doesn't mind she just choose to sleep through it.
So these creative children's adventure takes time long ago when movies didn't have any sound and had to be written down. The 4 children's adventures include many things put back in history into Camelot and in the desert. There are man more places that journeys have been taken. Now the old charms to only be worked by halves. The children at first had the coin and coincidently made a wish. But they had not known that the coin had given there wish but only half of it. Then one day when there mother had the coin, she thought it was a nickel and made a wish that she would be home, and only got half of it. She than found herself in the road halfway from home. And there she found a very nice gentleman who gave her a lift there home . Then the children got suspicious and knew what it was now. They had also find out theat you had to wish more than its value to get what you really want. Like " I wish I was twice as far from here.Read more ›
The magic's main 'trick' may wear on a bit at the end, but all the different scenes feature fairly standard wishes that never turn out as expected and yet don't contain too much tortured explanation. Sometimes the situations have no visible magic, and there's even a humorous sort of ghost story. The best may be the passages where children look for magic or realize it's gone for the moment(time to use their heads,) or close to gone for good. Some mythological figures get taken down a peg for good measure, and even if it's all a bit slapstick, it hasn't been copied too heinously yet.
Except possibly by Eager. With each ensuing magic book his explanations get a bit more tortured, with the device to see historical or fictional characters becoming more complex. The characterizations become too exaggerated, and it's not as fun to believe. Maybe his own writing magic drained like the charm in the book--but like the charm near the end, it's still effective.
The drop off in enjoyment is something that I didn't see in Nesbit's more overtly original literary guide, E. Nesbit. Later Eager books force you to know a good bit about some middling established children's literature--and his previous books.Read more ›
If you like fantasy, here's the book for you. Half Magic is an exciting story about 4 children during the summer who find a strange talisman. At first they think it's just a coin, but then things start to happen. Things like a surprise trip to the Sahara Desert with an arab kidnapper, a playhouse fire, a half-invisible girl, a half-talking cat, and other strange things. Usually their summers are quite dull, with their mother working all the time and being stuck at home with a strict house keeper, but this summer turns out to be quite different.
The main characters in this weird, but wonderful, book are 4 children, Jane, Mark, Katherine and Martha who are siblings. Jane, who is the oldest, is the one who actually found the talisman. She is the one that is sort of in charge of what they do with the talisman because she is the one who found it, and because she is the oldest. Mark is always very frustrated because he is the only boy. He feels no one understands him. Katherine is supposed to be the "docile one, and a comfort to her mother." She likes Shakespeare and poetry very much. Martha is the youngest and always feels left out. She doesn't get much say in what they do with the talisman and she can't keep up with the rest when they walk. There's also one more character named Mr. Smith who is the only adult who understands the unique magic of the talisman.
I liked this book very much. It is good for all ages. It's a very funny book, and lots of the situations the talisman gets them into will leave you smiling or even laughing. I like the style of writing that is used in this book because it is easy to understand, but at the same time it enhances the weirdness of the situations they end up in. Parts of it could be more exciting, and at the end it is sort of strange but it is great all the same. It is very creative and I think it is a great book for kids.
Most recent customer reviews
Read this book when I was a child. I was more than pleased to see it available and bought it for my grandchildren.Published 16 months ago by Trina Inglis
We read this one to our children when they were very young and bought a copy for each of them. This way they can remember the good times we had and can pass them on to their... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Geocaching Enthusiast
This novel, is about 4 children looking for an adventure. One day the oldest of the children jane finds what she thinks is a nickel. Read more
Half Magic is a magical fantasy by Edward Eager. Edward Eager has written several books about magical adventures. Read more
This is definitly one of the best books I've ever read. My mother reccomended it to me, and I was entranced by the first page. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2003
An avid reader as a child, I read this story many times, and over 20 years later, can still remember with amusement and affection the cat that went half of 'Miaow'. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2003 by Ma-Humorless
I recommend this book because it's about 4 children who end up with a coin. That does Have a wish unless you say twice as much. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2003
Half Magic is a book for everyone who likes humor, action, and magic. It all starts on a hot, sunny day in the most boring summer the 4 siblings, Jane, Mark, Katherine, and Martha... Read morePublished on May 15 2003
I have loved this book since I read it many years ago. My son is only four, but I thought he might be interested. Read morePublished on April 5 2003 by Abigail Wheetley
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