Customer Reviews: The Magic Half
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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on July 28, 2008
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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on February 2, 2009
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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on April 3, 2008
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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on August 11, 2008
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.

Molly informs Miri that her Grandma May, who is dying, told her that someone would come for her. She believes that Miri is a fairy who has arrived to rescue her from her cruel and greedy Aunt Flo and mean cousin Horst. Molly also tells Miri that Sissy, her other cousin, isn't so bad. After seeing how sad and lonely Molly's life is, Miri realizes that her rotten brothers aren't so rotten after all. Miri wants to go home. She hopes to rescue Molly, too, but she needs to figure out a way they both can travel through time --- to go back from 1935 to the 21st century.

THE MAGIC HALF by Annie Barrows is an uplifting story about feeling different, believing that anything is possible and cherishing a loving family.

--- Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt
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on January 25, 2015
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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on March 7, 2015
I was having a hard time getting my daughter to read anything other than Ivy and Bean, she just keeps rereading them over and over and didn't want to try anything else she loved them so much. I bought her this and told her the same author wrote it. She loved it, and I loved that she read something more challenging.
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on April 4, 2014
This is a story I would have enjoyed reading when I was 9 or 10 or 11. Miri is the only non-twin among her brothers and sisters and she feels left out. Like a fifth wheel. One day on time out in her bedroom, she notices a lens from a pair of eyeglasses taped to the baseboard. She is a girl with imagination and curiosity so she peels off the tape and looks through the lens (her own glasses were broken during a tussle with one of her brothers) to check out the lens. There's a special magic that occurs which takes her back 75 years to her bedroom in the year 1935. She meets Molly, a girl exactly her age who needs magical help.
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on September 20, 2009
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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on July 12, 2016
My 7 year old daughter and I have thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Barrow's Ivy and Bean series and were excited to find this book. It was excellent! It was interesting and original throughout and kept our attentions the entire way through. I don't know who enjoyed it more, myself or my daughter!
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on March 10, 2008
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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