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Half Magic Paperback

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Half Magic + Knight's Castle + Magic by the Lake
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Series: Edward Eager's Tales of Magic
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st Harcourt Brace Young Classics Ed edition (March 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152020683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152020682
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 "Half Magic" of 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 book is sure to hold a special place in any child's library. (The publisher suggests the book for kids ages 9-12, but it's fun enough to read aloud to those slightly younger and clever enough for kids who are a bit older.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

They were probably the best books I had ever read, and I just don't know how to explain them.
Sunny (kavery@cpatch.com)
I also enjoyed reading this book and I do recommend it to kids and adults who would like to read something different and enjoyable.
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.
A. Lord

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Ivy on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read Half Magic when I was seven, courtesy of the El Segundo Public Library, and twenty years later, I still love it. My abiding love of children's literature probably began right here, in a book that has everything - plot, humor, intelligence, and fabulous characters.
Half Magic obeys the rules of great magic books that are carefully delineated by the main characters in the first chapter. (See what I mean about intelligence and wit?) The magic has its own rules, which they must discover. They thwart the magic. Then the magic thwarts them. If it's a formula, it's one Edward Eager developed, and it works - you don't want to stop reading, from King Arthur's court to a highly magical ending. (And I have no intention of telling you where that is.)
Even though the plot is exceptional, it's the characters that truly make the book. The four children are clearly *people* - it's easy to imagine meeting them on the street or in a park - and not merely characters on a page. And even though the book is set in the 1930s, and was written in the 1950s, the kids still resonate. We all know, or were, Martha - "Martha was the youngest, and very difficult." Likewise with Jane and Katherine. "Katherine *would* keep boasting about what a comfort she was, and how docile, until Jane declared she would utter a piercing shriek and fall over dead if she heard another word about it."
This first book in Eager's loosely-intertwined series is a masterpiece of children's literature. Children and adults alike will love Half Magic. Start here - and remember, to read one is to want them all.
(NB: the quotes used here came from my memory - I checked them before I submitted the review, of course - and normally my memory is not the best. That should tell you something about the strength of this book, or at least the impression it made on me.)
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Like all the other reviewers, I too read this book when I was 9 or 10 and then worked my way through the other 6 titles. I loved them all so very much that I read them again and again. Before I had reached my teens, they were like old and very dear friends. However, here in the UK, they've been out of print for quite some time and it looked as if my hope of owning my own set was never to be. As a librarian, I've frequently come across very old and battered copies of Half Magic in several Children's Libraries but about 10 years ago, I had the best piece of luck. I was working in a (nameless) library in Central London and came across a complete set in a store room as part of an out-of-print collection. I avidly fell upon them all and renewed old aquaintances with the children I'd thought of as my friends. When that collection was broken up for sale/pulping, I was given the 7 Edward Eager books for my own. Since then, I've read them to my own children. They are more than stories, they are part of me. Edward Eager had a huge gift; in a few words, he could paint a detailed picture with warmth, humour and clarity. His children are real and believable. The situations are zany and so funny and the magic that underpins everything is the same magic that lives in the readers' hearts and minds for ever. What a nice man he must have been. I wish I'd known him.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on October 18, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book when I was 10, after I read a review of it in Zillions Magazine. Now I'm 13, I've checked the library's copy out at least 6 times, have 2 copies of my own (one original, one paperback), read most of Eager's books at least 3 times, and own most of them,too, but Half Magic is still my favorite. The story is exciting, funny, and a little complicated the first time around. My favorite part is when Jane wishes she were in another family, and she becomes Iphegenia, the little comfort. I love the pictures, too. I draw my own comic strip, and the illustrations are such an inspiration! Thank You!!!:)
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