Half Magic - Edward Eager

Above, a flaming-hot sun blazed in a cloudless sky. Otherwise there didn't seem to be anything anywhere but sand. "What happened? Where are we?" he cried dazedly. Jane sighed grimly. "You just got half a wish," she told him. "Desert, yes. Island, no."

I got a tip about this book from the GeekDad blog. One of the things they liked about it (and I agree) is that the kids refer to actual stories and books (Edith Nesbit, for instance). Jane and Katharine and Mark and Martha are four kids who are a little like Nesbit's Bastables, except that nothing exciting ever happens to them. But of course then it does: they discover a magic charm which grants wishes by halves.

At first, the children (and their skeptical mother) don't realize the magic of the charm, which leads to some odd circumstances when their idle wishes ("I wish I were at home") are half-granted. But eventually the children figure out the rules and become more adept at wishing for twice as much as they really want; but the charm remains a wild card, and things don't always go as planned.

It's an old book but it holds up quite well. The reading level was probably a bit high for Ridley (age 4.5) but she still seemed to enjoy the story and found lots of things to laugh about. I found a used copy online and will be happy to read it to Ridley again when she's older.

Fed to jonathan's brain | August 11, 2008 | Comments (0)


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