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Half Magic by Edward Eager

Half Magic (original 1954; edition 2016)

by Edward Eager (Author), N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator), Alice Hoffman (Introduction)

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2,689652,205 (4)86
Title:Half Magic
Authors:Edward Eager (Author)
Other authors:N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator), Alice Hoffman (Introduction)
Info:HMH Books for Young Readers (2016), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages

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Half Magic by Edward Eager (1954)


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Just as wonderful as I remembered from when I read it as a kid! Four siblings find a magic talisman that grants wishes by halves, so one must wish for twice what one wants. There are a few interesting hiccups and mathematical errors but the children are quick to figure out the magic and use it to have adventures.


"Oh, there's never only one explanation....It depends on which one you want to believe! I believe in believing six impossible things before breakfast, myself. Not that I usually get the chance. The trouble with life is that not enough impossible things happen for us to believe in, don't you agree?" (Mr. Smith to the children's mother, 22-23)

"One of the least admirable things about people...is the way they are afraid of whatever they don't understand." (Mr. Smith to the children, 114)

Last and best and rarest of all were the [type of grown-ups] who seemed to feel that children were children and grown-ups were grown-ups and that was that, and yet at the same time there wasn't any reason why they couldn't get along perfectly well and naturally together, and even occasionally communicate, without changing that fact. (123)

"Naturally you have to believe in magic - otherwise if it starts happening to you all sanity is despaired of!" (Katharine, 174) ( )
  JennyArch | Mar 9, 2016 |
magical! ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
This book is about 4 kids who find a quarter in the side walk on there way to the library. Little did they know that it was not a quarter, but a magic charm. They didn't realize it until Jane made a wish that there would be a fire and there was, only half that size. Next, Mark had the charm in his pocket and he was having a bad day so he wished that he was on a dessert island. The next thing they knew, they were all in a dessert! I really enjoyed this book because I have never read a book like this and every word kept me thinking about what would happen next. I also loved that all of Edward Eager's books have a different twist to then. ( )
1 vote MadelynM14 | Feb 17, 2016 |
What a delightful book for read aloud! In this charming fantasy book, readers follow along with Jane and her siblings as they go on adventures, both big and small, that they wish for on a magic coin. But the coin only grants half wishes, so how do you know what to wish for? The book takes place in the 1930's, and the language the children use is lyrical and flowery, creating wonderful opportunities for teaching new words, as well as launching creative writing lessons. Further, the children venture back in time for some of their wishes, creating a wonderful opportunity to teach a history mini-lesson. What a terrific read aloud!
  aliceanne | Feb 14, 2016 |
Narrated by The Words Take Wing Repertory Co. One summer three sisters and a brother find a special-looking coin. The kids realize the coin is a magic charm that grants wishes. Once they figure this out, they embark on various adventures: meeting Sir Lancelot, turning into a ghost, almost getting kidnapped, becoming other people. They tell Mr. Smith the bookseller about the charm and he serves as a sort of rescuer when the wishes get out of hand. Lib notes: Two stereotypical references to Arabs and the Chinese language.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edward Eagerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bodecker, N.M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quentin BlakeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It began one day in summer about thirty years ago, and it happened to four children.
"It's that nickel I found, only it isn't a nickel! It's a magic charm and it does things by halves! So far we've each go half of what we wished for - all we have to do from now on is ask for twice as much as we really want! You see?"
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Book description
Four young children living with their single mother in the 1920s discover a magic coin that grants exactly half of whatever they wish for.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0152020683, Paperback)

Edward Eager has been delighting young readers for more than 40 years with stories that mix magic and reality. Half Magic, the most popular of his tales about four children who encounter magical coins, time-travel herb gardens, and other unlikely devices, is a warm, funny, original adventure. The title refers to a coin that the children find. Through a comical series of coincidences, they discover that the coin is magic. Well, it's not totally magic--it's only (you guessed it) half magic. That means there's a certain logic to the wishes one must make to generate a desired outcome. Imagine the results emerging from inaccurate efforts: half invisible, half rescued, half everything! Half Magic is never too cute, and with just enough emotion to complement the magic, this classic is sure to hold a special place in any child's library. If you love Half Magic, its sequels--Knight's Castle, The Time Garden, and Magic by the Lake--have also been reissued in lovely hardcover editions, complete with N.M. Bodecker's original illustrations and covers by Quentin Blake. (Ages 8 to 12)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

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Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes.

(summary from another edition)

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