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The Magician's Boy Hardcover – March 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068987622X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689876226
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,615,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4–A master of fantasy tells a fanciful tale for young children. Boy works for a Magician, polishing wands, feeding the rabbits, and performing a puppet show of "Saint George and the Dragon." Then, one day, the Saint George puppet is missing, so the Magician sends the Boy through the Land of Story to find it. On his quest, he meets many nursery-rhyme and fairy-tale characters from stories such as "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood," and the "The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe." Using the cryptic clue, "Only a child can find the way/To bring Saint George back to the play," the Boy steps forward to save the day. The black-and-white illustrations reflect the whimsy and amazement of the story perfectly. This beautifully simple and joyous book is perfect both for newly independent readers to tackle on their own and for adults to share with youngsters.–Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. The Boy works for the Magician, but instead of learning magic, the unhappy lad weeds the garden of magic herbs, polishes the magic wands, and operates the marionettes for the puppet play "Saint George and the Dragon." One day the Boy is transformed into a character in the land of the puppet play, where he encounters well-known folks from nursery rhymes, nursery tales, and other children's classics. He acquits himself so well in this adventure that he earns a real name for himself as well as the promise of lessons from the magician. Fanciful and mildly amusing, the dreamlike story flows along smoothly through a strange yet vaguely familiar wonderland. Riglietti contributes a series of expressive, stylized illustrations. With large type, wide margins, and one sizable picture in each of the 12 chapters, the book is well designed for independent readers, but it can also be read aloud to younger children. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
64%
4 star
36%
3 star
0%
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See all 11 customer reviews
Altogether this is a very satisfying book.
Rune reader
This book was written in a simple way with words that are easy for younger children to understand.
Karissa Eckert
My barely-six-year old and I loved reading this book together.
Whitney Warner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rune reader on January 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The other reviewers have already provided a synopsis of the plot, so I won't go into that.

Let me just say that this book would be perfect for those readers who enjoy traditional fairytales, but who are looking for a not-too-difficult chapter book. Fans of Junie B. Jones and the Magic Treehouse stories can handle it easily.

Knowing Susan Cooper's ties to Revels, it's easy to understand why she chose to use the St. George play as the framework for her story, however, it would have been helpful if she had given an explanation to the many American children who have never heard of St. George or the mummer's play referred to in the book. It isn't vital to have experienced the play in order to enjoy the book, but a little background as a preface or an afterword would have been nice--many of the children I work with enjoy knowing where the stories originate.

I enjoyed the illustrations as much as the story. Altogether this is a very satisfying book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Boy on April 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was really exciting. It's about a boy named "Boy" and when he loses a puppet that belongs to his master (a magician), he gets sent into the World of Story to find it. He runs into all kinds of famous characters from nursery rhymes and stories, and ends up finding the puppet, and a new name for himself. A heroic name. (I don't want to spoil the surprise). There were funny parts, serious parts, lots of action and I thought it was great. I think kids my age would love it (I'm 7-1/2). I read it very quickly; I finished it the day I got it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joy D. Jacques on August 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've been looking for a good "chapter book" to read to my two boys ages 5 and 7. This was perfect. It took three sessions to finish, with them always asking, "One more chapter? Please Mom?"

The pace was fast, with something always leaving them on the edge, wondering what would happen next. The resolutions were believable and for the most part non-magical, with the nameless "Boy" as the hero.

It was imaginative, fun and exciting and I hear them outside as I type this, playacting Saint George and the Dragon.

This would be a good challenging book for a 1st grader to read by themselves, and it was a lovely book to read aloud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karissa Eckert TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book sprinkled throughout with wonderful drawings about a Magician's Apprentice. A great book for younger kids to read with their parents or for older kids to read by themselves. The story is cleverly done and even adult fans of fairy tales will find it entertaining.

The magician's boy is upset because the magician won't teach him magic. The Magician does however let the boy perform a puppet show for his clients. However when the lead puppet (Saint George) is found to be missing the Magician gets angry and throws the boy into the story book on a quest to find Saint George. The Boy tumbles through a series of fairy tales in his quest.

This book was written in a simple way with words that are easy for younger children to understand. The concept addressed in the book is slightly more advanced but well portrayed in a simple way. I read this with my 5 year old son and he was fascinated with the idea of a character being able to fall into a book.

The concept of falling into a book and having to partake of the story in a real-life way is a fun one. This is made even more clever by how the Boy stumbles upon characters from other fairy tales in his quest to find Saint George. The Boy runs into the Old Woman who lived in a shoe, Jack and his Bean Stalk, and Little Red Riding Hood to name a few.

The story has a fun twist at the end that is unexpected and interesting. In a humorous and fun way the story is about how bravery and hardwork can lead to great reward.

The illustrations throughout are in black and white and are cute and funny. They are cartoonish and made both me and my son laugh out loud.

Overall a fun fantasy story that people of all ages can enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on June 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this to my son and can't wait to find others by this author. It was exciting but not super scary. A very creative way of reminiscing about long forgotten fairy tales. Relatively short for a "chapter book", it took us about 3 nights to get through it. I just wish it lasted longer, it was so enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Whitney Warner on January 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My barely-six-year old and I loved reading this book together. He hated having to stop at the end of the chapters and wanted more and more. He described it as an "adventure." It was a great incentive to get bedtime moving ahead.
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More About the Author

Susan Cooper is best known for her acclaimed five-book fantasy sequence "The Dark is Rising," which won a Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, and two Carnegie Honor Awards. Born in England in 1935, she became a reporter and feature writer for the London Sunday Times--her first boss was James Bond creator Ian Fleming--before moving to the United States in 1963. Her first novels were "Mandrake" and the autobiographical "Dawn of Fear," followed by the complete Dark is Rising sequence (Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree). The sequence, deeply rooted in the rich heritage of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology, is a classic work of children's literature, still in print after 40 years. Cooper went on to write other well-received children's novels, including "Seaward," "The Boggart" and its sequel "The Boggart and the Monster," "Green Boy," "King of Shadows," and "Victory," as well as several picture books for young readers with illustrators such as Ashley Bryan and Warwick Hutton. She has also written books for adults, as well as plays and Emmy-nominated screenplays (some in collaboration with her second husband, the actor Hume Cronyn). Recent books include the collaborative project "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and her biography of Jack Langstaff titled "The Magic Maker." Her latest young adult novel is "Ghost Hawk." Ms. Cooper lives in Marshfield MA. Visit her on Facebook or on her website at www.thelostland.com.

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