Friday Favorites: Half Magic

Friday, December 3, 2010



Half Magic

by Edward Eager

★★★★


It’s rare to stumble upon a book that makes you wish you were a kid again, just so you could read it for the first time while you were young. That’s exactly how I felt about Half Magic.


In the beginning the story is a simple tale of a magic charm which grants wishes in halves. By the end of the book Eager has captured a deeper essence of fear and pain that haunts not only children, but grown-ups as well. Even as adults we can baulk at life when we lose someone we love or must accept new circumstances we don’t enjoy.


The writing reminded me of Roald Dahl, which is the highest compliment I can give. The author portrays the kids so honestly. They were neither angels nor devils, they were just children. At times they were selfish or silly or scared, but all of those emotions rang true.


In one section (ch. 6) Eager describes the four categories that adults fall into when they are around children. It’s a brilliant description that’s both insightful and funny. Eager found that perfect balance of creating a wonderful story, while at the same time slipping in some life lessons.


Here’s a few great lines …


“All of the four children hated Charlie Chaplin, because he was the only thing grown-ups would ever take them to.”


“One of the least admirable things about people is the way they are afraid of whatever they don’t understand.”


9 comments:

Kathy said...

This is one of my childhood favorites! I loved this book when I was little! I can't remember if I read any of Eager's other magic books as a child, but I've read most (maybe all?) as an adult and Half Magic is my favorite of them all. Although I do wonder, had I read them all as a child, would I have loved another one more?

LifetimeReader said...

Isn't this a wonderful book? I read Eager to my younger brother when we were children, and then to my son when he was small. What a terrific memory!

Vaishnavi said...

Very nice review! I love the quotes, this is how Paddington Bear made me feel, I definitely want to read this book!

Avid Reader said...

Kethy - I didn't even realize he had other magic books. I'll have to check those out.

Lifetime - It's amazing how vivid some of those early memories of reading are. I love that you continued to share this book when you had kids!

Vaishnavi - I love Paddington! That's another great one.

Jenners said...

This sounds wonderful!!! And I'm loving the cover illustration too.

Bybee said...

This sounds like a winner!

Amanda said...

Woo! The whole series is marvelous, but this is my favorite.

Avid Reader said...

I'm going to have to read the rest of the series now. I don't know how I missed the fact that there are six more books.

Jeanne said...

Everyone in my family thinks this one is the best, but the other five are fun if you love this one (as we do).