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The Magic Half Paperback – April 28, 2009
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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. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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 --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.