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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic---funny and brilliant!
I read all of Edward Eager's books when I was a child and I have been reading them at least once a year ever since. If you haven't read any of them, start with Half Magic.
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...
Published on July 31 2002 by A. Lord

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lu He p.3
This book is about a girl named Jane and her brother and sisters. They found a coin and at first they did not know that it grants them wishes; however; it only grants half of the wish. So, they have to say twice as much as the wish. First, they wished that they could go in the medieval times. They went there and helped a warrior. Then, they went to the desert. They...
Published on May 30 2002 by Lulu


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic---funny and brilliant!, July 31 2002
By 
A. Lord "georgianlover" (Washington DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
I read all of Edward Eager's books when I was a child and I have been reading them at least once a year ever since. If you haven't read any of them, start with Half Magic.
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).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Book, Dec 4 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
A Magical Book
Half Magic
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.
They had many more adventures then that besides being half invisible . The nice gentleman got to know the family even more on this incredible journey. I believe the theme is " never make a wish without making it worth twice more than what you really want". As my opinion this book is one of the best book I 've picked up on the library's shelf not even knowing what great things were in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I still reread this Eagerly., Nov. 11 2003
By 
blurglecruncheon (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
Edward Eager wrote seven books, each featuring a gang of rambunctious kids with lots of ideas, plenty of stuffy grown-ups and boring rules to dislike, and E. Nesbit books to check out from the library, and a tendency to find magic stuff. Of course there's always a twist, and here it's that wishes don't always work as well as the kids want them to. There's also a love story tied into it--their widowed mother finds an odd but likeable man--and the usual pile of time travel, jewelry, and finger pointing when things go wrong.
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. But it definitely didn't start that way with Half Magic and its simple new idea. The dialogue makes great jumps, blending Important Questions Kids Have with accepted conventions of fantasy, i.e. the kids getting mad at being called elfspawn. The fantasy scenes are also memorable with the villains giving great laughs, and it's a very quick read. And you'll enjoy the pictures too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Half Magic, Nov. 5 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
Half Magic by Edward Eager published by Harcourt; (March 1999)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totaly Cool, May 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
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 had ever had. When the oldest child of the family, Jane, finds a nickel on the ground. She soon finds out that it is a magic charm. She later finds out that its not complete magic, only Half Magic. So, if you wish twice the amount you get complete magic. One day the siblings wish themselves back in time in the days of king Arthur and help Sir Lancelot after being trapped by Morgan La Fay. Then they saw a tournament and then met the sorcerer, Merlin. Merlin tells the siblings that the charm has been worn out and does not have much magic left. They wish themselves back to the twentieth century and the next day, something happened. That day Jane got annoyed with Martha so she put her under her chair at the movies. Jane dropped her handbag with the charm inside and Martha got it. Martha wished to not be there so she was half there and she made a commotion. When the charm lost its power, the siblings put it on the sidewalk and someone picked it up. Who knows what will happen next. Half Magic is truly a great book for any person.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite childhood books, Feb. 22 2003
By 
Glen Engel Cox (Columbus, Ohio) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
There are some memories from childhood that I can never quite place specifically. Things that linger in memory, but are so faint that they are like a sniff of fresh apple pie from down the street that you can't determine which house it is coming from. I recall reading some "magic" children books--at one time, I thought they were Andre Norton, who had several young adult novels with the word magic in the title, but I was never able to find the exact one. Until I ran across this book in the store, and realized a chapter into it that I was eating apple pie.
I love this book, but it may be because I remember it so fondly. I've been trying to catch up on children's fantasy the last couple of years--reading E. Nesbit, Norton Juster, P.L. Travers, E.L. Konigsburg--and, of them all, Eager is my favorite. In Half Magic, fantasy is rolled with some of the logic of science fiction, in that the wishes that the magic coin gives the children only occurs in halves, and they must figure out how to use it. As children, they are quite believable--maybe not as realistic as Nesbit, but not the Bobsey Twins either.
I should note that Eager was himself a fan of Nesbit's, and his stories do resemble her's in some ways. His affinity for her is clearly laid out here, where the children visit the library and one of their favorite books is The Enchanted Castle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Half Magic is Wholly Wonderful, Feb. 2 2003
By 
Amanda J. Higgins "Maverick Mountaineer" (Mankato, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
This is an amazingly imaginative book I've known about and enjoyed for a long time, ever since bedtime stories. Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha are four ordinary kids in an ordinary place (the ever fascinating Toledo, Ohio) from an ordinary family who suddenly come across the extraordinary. At first it appears to be just another nickel laying on the sidewalk, but it turns out to be a magical token that will change these children's lives. What's even better is that it's not a completely right magic--when a wish is made only half of it comes true. (If you asked for two ice cream cones, you'd get one.) That makes the story even more lovable--besides the human, non-magical children, even the magic isn't perfect. The relationships of the brother and sisters in the story are great and the situations in which they find themselves are some that even we as readers without half-magic tokens can enjoy experiencing through the words on the pages. Deserts, knights and duels, circus bareback riding, talking cats, jewel thieves...anything is possible in Edward Eager's "Half Magic."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better By Half, Oct. 18 2002
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
So this is what Dr. Eager did in his spare time. If Half Magic is indicative of his bedside manner, he must have been a very good doctor indeed. For this is one of those sleepy time read-in-bed books like the Chronicles of Narnia, that gently draw you into their fantastic world at that drowsy time when good things seem so much more possible and you're about to drift off into the Land of Nod.
Half Magic is written in that wonderful, light, easy 'fifties style that gets so easily overlooked in favor of more extreme excitements. Later discovered, though, one simply wonders how writing could have ever been this good. A wonderfully understated example is shown in the genial attitude of the good samaritan stranger who helps out the young adventurers. He's first respectful of their mother,then falls more and more in love as the book goes on. This undercurrent is so subdued and tasteful that it's barely noticeable amid the magical misadventures until the conclusion of the book.
The Leave it to Beaver approach to problem solving is also delighfully refreshing--the spells only half work; unlike the obvious fantasy formulae in countless later books and movies, the magic leaves plenty of room for human ingenuity and skill,as well as the need to make decisions. Eager's other great fantasy, Knight's Castle, also continues in this vein, the hyjinks and hilarity deriving from,and always affirming,the human.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic---funny and brilliant!, July 31 2002
By 
A. Lord "georgianlover" (Washington DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
I read all of Edward Eager's books when I was a child and I have been reading them at least once a year ever since. If you haven't read any of them, start with Half Magic.
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).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lu He p.3, May 30 2002
By 
Lulu (La Mirada, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Half Magic (Paperback)
This book is about a girl named Jane and her brother and sisters. They found a coin and at first they did not know that it grants them wishes; however; it only grants half of the wish. So, they have to say twice as much as the wish. First, they wished that they could go in the medieval times. They went there and helped a warrior. Then, they went to the desert. They went through many adventures. At last, they dropped the coin outside the window and let the others start granting wishes. Their mother got married too!
I liked this book because I like reading adventurous stories and the book was funny too. There was magic and they get to visit pass times. It is fun to have brothers or sisters with you when you do something. This book taught me that always work together. Help other and never give up. If I were them, I would be really happy to go through all those exciting trips to places.
The reason that I chose this book is because I liked the cover of the book. On the cover, there are kids looking at broken parts of the knights. It looked like that they were in a castle and they are walking on the bricks. They looked like that they were amazed and astonished. The title of the book also sounded interesting to me. When I flipped through the book, the pictures were weird and funny. It seemed like that they are in different places all the time.
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Half Magic
Half Magic by Edward Eager (Paperback - Aug. 1 2000)
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