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A Well-Timed Enchantment (Magic Carpet Books) Paperback – June 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: Magic Carpet Books
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152049193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152049195
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Slapstick adventure . . . funny."--The Horn Book

"Vande Velde has created an intriguing story, using familiar facts about the Middle Ages and [her usual] sly humor."--Library Talk

About the Author

Vivian Vande Velde has written many books for teen and middle grade readers, including Heir Apparent, User Unfriendly, All Hallow's Eve: 13 Stories, Three Good Deeds, Now You See It ..., and the Edgar Award–winning Never Trust a Dead Man. She lives in Rochester, New York. Visit her website at www.vivianvandevelde.com.


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Customer Reviews

One of the best time-travel books I have ever read.
Lucy Diamond
If you're looking for a quickly moving, interesting and funny fantasy novel full of quirky characters, you should definitely read this book.
Brie
You can read it again and again and the story is still just as good as the first time.
Miss Print

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered about the consequences of dropping your Mickey Mouse watch down an old wishing well? You can bet Deanna never did. She certainly hadn't counted on having twenty-four hours to retrieve her watch and keep history from changing. You see, the Mickey Mouse could start a cult in medieval Europe in which mice are sacred...and so prolong the plague in Europe for another couple hundred years...
Luckily, she's got a companion to help her. Her cat-turned-human, Oliver. But a cat? Against a not-so-wicked wizard, a couple of bumbling knights and a lady who is infatuated with Oliver?? You bet. Filled with numerous puns, fractured fairy tales and a medieval setting, A Well-Timed Enchantment is a light and fun read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Katie on February 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Not only is this adventurous and romantic, it's funny too. The main character is Deanna. When she drops her watch into a well, and it is transported into medievel France, Deanna must get it back before it changes history. She has only one other thing to help her - a cat-turned-into-a-boy. Okay, I know what you're thinking. How in the world could something as simple as a watch change history? Well, suppose someone found it and believed it was something magical. And then, suppose the king found out about this watch, and he took it. Well, you know how these kings get - if one king has something, another king will want it. It could start a war, and then... Well, anyway, Deanna and the cat-boy have to get back the watch. So, in medievel France, Deanna and Oliver (the cat) meet a bunch of annoying (and rather stupid) nobles. And the story goes on with even more adventure. As for the romance, a lady noble falls in love (or at least thinks she has) with Oliver, another (Leonard) decides to marry Deanna, and finally, at the end, Deanna and Oliver fall in love. Okay, so far you haven't heard of anything funny. But there is plenty of humour. Throughout the story Oliver has to get used to being a human (he's used to being a cat and this isn't an easy switch to make). For instance, here's a part where Oliver is having trouble with using expressions.
"'...turns out since Leonard lost so badly, he figures his lady must be a real dog, so he wants to replace her with me.' Oliver stopped and stared at her. 'Leonard is marrying a dog?'"
Oliver also has trouble adjusting to a new diet of human food after all those years of mice. Anyway, if this review hasn't convinced you that this book is either adventurous, romantic, or funny, you probably wouldn't enjoy it. I'd say for ages 8-14.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brie on March 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was very interesting, enjoyable and funny! If you're looking for a quickly moving, interesting and funny fantasy novel full of quirky characters, you should definitely read this book. I loved the character of Oliver, who is a cat turned into a human. I have never read a book with a such a fascinating character like him before. The only part I didn't like so much was the part when the elves or "Fair folk" come in. They're a little too...far out and weird. But other than that, a great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Print VINE VOICE on October 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I don't particularly like cats in real life, but I've noticed recently that they are generally a lot more appealing in fiction. A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde has a cat that's cool like that.

The story starts when Deanna, a fifteen-year-old spending the summer with her mom in France, drops her Mickey Mouse watch down a well. Turns out the well isn't your average well: it's magic. To make matters worse, Deanna didn't drop her watch into the well, she dropped it into medieval France. Now she has to get the watch back before things get really out of hand. Deanna gets some help in the form of Oliver, the black cat she befriended back in modern France. Except now Oliver is a human.

I first read this book when I was sixteen. I loved it so much I read it twice back to back. A Well-Timed Enchantment is one of those books that never get old. You can read it again and again and the story is still just as good as the first time.

Vande Velde's narrative style here is similar to her other "fairy tale" books (like The Rumpelstiltskin Problem or Heir Apparent) with a blend of traditional story telling and her inimitably modern sensibility. The novel is written with a third person narration that follows Deanna's perspective.

This novel combines a lot of different elements to great effect. One of the best characters (in any of) Vande Velde's work is Oliver. Turns out cats don't see things the same way humans do. I don't know how convincingly anyone can write in the voice of a cat-turned-human but Vande Velde seems to do a good job of it.

The story is quick and fairly simple. There are a lot of things that older readers can enjoy and comment on, but the story is straight-forward enough that younger readers can also keep up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By temiak on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
First off, I should point out I'm a bit above the suggested reading level (okay, more than a bit^.^) which probably had a great deal to do with why I was moderately disappointed by this selection. The story is cute, dealt with ably, and finished off in a promising if not exactly happily-ever-after ending.

What I particularly like about several of Vande Velde's other works is that in addition to the basic storyline, the characters of her more impressive novels are also working through problems of their own--absent mothers, bad fathers, etc. This book had none of that, just the straight-forward march of girl meets boy--er, cat--girl falls in love, things work out for the best.

Having said that, there is nothing about this book that would stop me from recommending it to my much younger sister, who would probably enjoy it thoroughly. While it is not one I will reread several times (like Companions of the Night, also by Vande Velde), it was an amusing way to spend an evening.
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