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Half Magic

Half Magic

Book - 2004
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Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes. Edward Eager's hilarious and heartwarming Half Magic has been working wizardry on young readers for fifty years. To celebrate the golden anniversary of this enduringly popular story, a deluxe edition of the book has been created. It features the original jacket, a ribbon marker, two-color printing, and a new introduction by Jack Gantos, the award-winning author of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
Publisher: Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, 2004
Edition: 50th anniversary ed
ISBN: 9780152053024
0152053026
Characteristics: 217 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Bodecker, N. M
Gantos, Jack

Opinion

From Library Staff

First in a series of classic magical tales. Although these books are over 50 years old, the kids talk like real kids, they argue like real siblings, and really exciting things happen to them all summer after they find a magic coin.

See other books in this series.


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n
NoVacancy
Mar 14, 2021

File under RACIST CHILDREN’S BOOKS:;

"Caravan ahoy!" he shouted. "SOS! Help! Lend a hand!"

The three mangy camels and the ragged Arab altered their course and came toward them.

As they drew nearer, the four children began to wish they wouldn't. The ragged Arab's expression was crafty, and definitely unattractive. As he came to a stop before them he smiled, which made him look more unpleasant than ever.

"Bismillah!" he said.

"How!" said Martha.

"What do you think he is, an Indian?" hissed Mark, under his breath. He addressed the Arab. "Allee samee show humble servant nearest oasis chop-chop?"

"He won't understand that either—that's Chinese!" said Jane.

But the Arab seemed to comprehend.

"Western children follow Achmed," he said.

Jane refused to go.

"We can't leave the charm!" she cried. "It's our only chance to get home!"

"We might get to a place where there's Western Union. We could cable Mother collect. She might send for us," said Katharine doubtfully.

"It would cost untold millions and take ages!" cried Jane. "I won't budge from this spot! We'll find the magic thing if we keep looking!"

But the Arab, Achmed, seized her by the arm and propelled her, none too gently, toward the nearest camel.

"Do what he says," Mark whispered to Jane. "We have to get some water, anyway. We can always find this spot again if we leave the roller skates to mark it."

Includes a racist illustration.

k
Katie_Dublin
Jul 22, 2019

My childhood favorite. A timeless, delightful tale.

JCLTamiT Jan 19, 2017

Fun adventure in the style of Edith Nesbit. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading the next in the series.

s
stinkpot
Nov 21, 2016

This is a great read aloud book. Well written and funny. Lots of magic without the overwhelming darkness of some newer books.
My seven year old is loving them.

ArapahoeAmanda Jul 25, 2016

This was my favorite book as a kid, I loved it so much I read it over and over. It took me away to its fantasy world throughout the whole story.

vpl_childrens Dec 15, 2015

"Half Magic" is an amusing and heartwarming story about four siblings who find a magic coin that seems to grant the children only half of what they ask for. A perfect book for kids who love magic and make believe.

c
Cheryl65
Sep 28, 2015

Half Magic is a story about 4 like-able, ordinary siblings (ages ~ 12-6) who find a coin that grants wishes. They take separate turns wishing on the coin, to wish for that kid's "heart's desire." Then that ONE kid uses the coin to wish corrections to their resulting shared adventure. Wishing is tricky (dangerous?).
My granddaughter and I liked watching the 4 kids discuss how to fix unexpected glitches.

The book has 8 long chapters -- one wish-adventure per chapter. I liked reading one adventure per evening, allowing time for its ideas to percolate in our heads during the next day.
The book leads to a "heart's desire" ending for the entire family.
Next, we'll read Magic by the Lake, where the same 4 kids encounter a different kind of magic, that has different rules.

Chris__B Apr 16, 2015

I read this book as a child, in about grade 5, and I so wished I could have a summer just like the children in this book did. Such a fun adventure, finding magic that doesn't quite work. I think kids today will still enjoy the twists and magic in this classic story.

l
lilyjane413
Sep 05, 2014

I remember reading this in second grade. As soon as i saw the title again, i remembered the whimsical story that inspired me again and again through-out my childhood. Half-Magic is one of the most original fantasy books i have ever read, with lots of authentic characters and ideas. I love this book, and i will always treasure it.

RainbowGoldfish May 25, 2013

This book was ok but I think it was boring.

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Age

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pink_dolphin_3025
Mar 23, 2019

pink_dolphin_3025 thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

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Cheryl65
Sep 28, 2015

Cheryl65 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

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Brown_Dolphin_2
Oct 28, 2011

Brown_Dolphin_2 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 12

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MARIA8
Jul 28, 2011

MARIA8 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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White_Baboon_1
Mar 04, 2011

White_Baboon_1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Quotes

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n
NoVacancy
Mar 14, 2021

The three mangy camels and the ragged Arab altered their course and came toward them.

As they drew nearer, the four children began to wish they wouldn't. The ragged Arab's expression was crafty, and definitely unattractive. As he came to a stop before them he smiled, which made him look more unpleasant than ever.

"Bismillah!" he said.

"How!" said Martha.

"What do you think he is, an Indian?" hissed Mark, under his breath. He addressed the Arab. "Allee samee show humble servant nearest oasis chop-chop?"

"He won't understand that either—that's Chinese!" said Jane.

m
MARIA8
Jul 19, 2011

Martha felt a wish for companionship "Oh dear if you could only talk," she said to Carrie.

"Purrxx ," said Carrie the cat. "wah oo merglitz.Fitzahhh!"
"What?" said Martha, startled.

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