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The Magic Half Kindle Edition

83 customer reviews

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Length: 241 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Age Level: 8 - 12 Grade Level: 3 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—The middle child between two sets of twins, Miri often feels left out, overlooked, and unremarkable. When her family moves to a new home, she feels lonelier than ever. She soon learns from an elderly neighbor of a legend surrounding her house. According to town lore, many years earlier a thief left buried treasure somewhere on her property. Quickly, the siblings race to uncover it. Soon after the hunt begins she notices a small piece of glass taped to her wall. Looking through the lens, Miri finds herself still in her room, but in 1935. It is here that she meets Molly, a girl badly in need of help to escape her abusive situation, but Miri accidentally returns to her own time before she can save her new friend. Alone again, she must figure out how to rescue Molly before it's too late. This fast-paced story will delight anyone who has ever believed in magic, longed for a twin, or imagined the secrets their home might hold. The characters and setting are realistic despite the subtle elements of magic and time travel. Barrows conjures up a delightful tale brimming with mystery, magic, and adventure that will surely enchant readers everywhere.—Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Barrows, author of the well-received Ivy and Bean (2006),  tries her hand at a time-slip story. Miri is the cheese in a twin sandwich. Her older brothers torment, while her toddler sisters annoy. But soon after the family moves to an old Victorian house, Miri has something to take her mind off her siblings. Looking through the lens of an old eyeglass, she is transported back to 1935. There she meets Molly, who lived in the same house, under the thumb of her violent cousin. Miri becomes committed to bringing Molly to the present, but how is she going to do that? Finally, she puts together a plan, but so much depends on timing, to say nothing of the nature of time itself. Although Barrows once again presents utterly real kids, time travel is the core of the story, and though the logic seems thought out, readers may feel as Miri does: that getting their heads around the slippery concept gives them a headache. Still, this is pleasing fare that adds a bit of history and a tad of mystery into the mix. Grades 3-6. --Ilene Cooper

Product Details

  • File Size: 1284 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1619636255
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 10, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00413PHUU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,240 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I could tell you a whole bunch of facts about myself--born here, went to school there, blah blah--but that doesn't seem like much fun. So I've decided to make you guys do some work. If you can figure out these puzzles, you'll know all sorts of interesting things about me. And many of them are true, too.

1. I was born in a year with a 2 in it. Also a 6.
2. I was born in a city in California that begins with an S and has eight letters total.
3. The first time I moved, I couldn't move.
4. My best friend lived next door, had four older brothers and sisters, and a name that rhymes with Gabe. She had thirty-seven plastic horses and one real horse.
5. My first job was in a place with lots of books. My second job was in a place with lots of sugar. My third job was in a different place with lots of books.
6. I went to college in a town with a K in it and I studied a subject that ends in Y.
7. After I was done with college, I got a job. And then another one. And then there was one after that. Don't worry about it.
8. One of the following things is not true: I have been up in a hot air balloon. I have six toes on one of my feet. I can read palms.
9. I have written fifteen books under three different names. See if you can figure out what they are.
10. I have two pets. They are bigger than a bar of soap and smaller than a shoe, and they really like parsley.

Have fun!
Annie Barrows

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 139 people found the following review helpful By on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My daughter and I have truly enjoyed this richly drawn tale. It is suspenseful and engaging. We picked this up because my daughter has enjoyed Annie Barrow's Ivy and Bean series. There is not a recommended age range on the book. I caution that there is a very real element of a child in peril in this book, and the possibility that someone killed this child. If you have a sensitive child or a child reading above grade level, I suggest that you preview this book first. It is an enjoyable read, and you will know if your child is able to handle the subject matter.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Gotz on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My 8 year old LOVED this book, read it in a few days. She is an avid Harry Potter fan and resists reading anything else...except this...
She said it was exciting, and full of suspense and danger...she was also caught laughing out loud several times.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. Carr on April 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Magic Half was recommended to me by Jeanne Birdsall the author of The Penderwicks (another terrific read for this age group) and I was not disappointed. My 10 year old daughter and I read it together. It was wonderful. Miri is quite a likable main character. She is adventurous and a strong thinker - my daughter was trying to figure out each step along with Miri throughout the book. We got so involved in the story that my daughter begged to finish it one morning after breakfast - we read over 50 pages that morning in order to find out the magical ending. This was a joy! My daughter could easily have read it on her own and I am so glad she chose it as one for us to read together!
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Format: Hardcover
Eleven-year-old Miriam (Miri) Gill is different. As a middle child in a family with two sets of twins --- Ray and Robbie, Nell and Nora --- Miri feels left out. When her family moves into a new place out in the valley, on land that used to be a working farm, Miri misses her old friends. But at least she's happy to have a room of her own --- until she sees her bedroom.

Miri's room is in what used to be the attic; the steps leading up to it are small and narrow, and the windows are weird-looking. But worst of all, the wallpaper is ugly. Her mother has promised to replace the wallpaper, with its dark purple stripes and vines with orange leaves, with something prettier. In her attic bedroom with the dreadful wallpaper, Miri finds herself even more apart from the rest of her family.

To amuse herself, Miri spends time in front of the pink-tinted bathroom mirror pretending to be a "Wolf Princess" and arguing with her twin brothers. One day she gets into a fight with Robbie and Ray. When Robbie trips her, she breaks her glasses. To retaliate, she hits Ray over the head with a shovel and is sent to her room, where she finds a piece of glass taped to the wall.

The glass appears to be a lens from an old pair of glasses. When she lifts the lens to peer through it, her journey through time begins. Miri is standing in her bedroom, but it has changed. The wallpaper is different, and she is staring into the face of a girl who looks vaguely familiar. The girl tells Miri that her name is Molly Gardner and the year is 1935. Miri remembers from history class that America was in the midst of the Great Depression in 1935. After seeing how bleak life was back then, Miri wants to help Molly.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Page on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This adventure has it all: reflection, courage, tenderness, rage and humor. And all with a twist that will leave your 12 year old asking about the great depression. Great for discussion. It has heart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JJTH on January 25, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book, to my three older children ages 10, 8, and 6. They were super excited to read it each night and would routinely beg for one more chapter. Honestly, I think if they were to review it, they would give it five stars. I found that the story was exciting and fun, but that I had to constantly edit the language. This book was not appropriate for me or my children. The Lord's name was taken in vain repeatedly, as well as phrases like "you suck," "stupid," "you jerk!" "I hate you," and "shut up" used between siblings. The book did have dark undertones and discussed the possible murder of a young child, but the language was the most offensive to me. I was glad that I read it to them, so that I could edit it. I wish I could recommend this book to others, but I cannot. I have never written a review before, but I wish someone else had warned me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love the book the magic half. It is a magical and creepy book.
It tells alot about Molly and Miri's life. I like the way the book tells lots of specific details about Molly and Miri's adventures.
Before i picked up this book i thought it was going to be a very boring book from the front cover but it's really a great book.

I think the part were miri looks through the eyeglass and goes to the centry of 1935 with Molly was very cool. I think that this book is an excellent book and lots of people should read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louise in Dallas on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not a kid, nor a parent, but am solidly (ugggg hate to say that out loud) in my middle adult years. I loved the book and found it a delightful read. Now truth be told, I'm part of a reading group where we read out loud. This would be a great book for our group of mostly adults. There are a few kids but they would be listening with their parents.

I like time travel and alternate reality stories. The author addressed the time cunundrum issues very well. As a reader, I believed all the possibilities.
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