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Half Magic (1954)

by Edward Eager

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Magic Books Reading Order (1)

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3,419742,723 (4)96
Four children looking forward to an ordinary summer enjoy a series of fantastic adventures by double-wishing on an ancient coin.

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» See also 96 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
I can see why this is so popular; it is a cute story about kids' misadventures with a magical coin. However, context is everything and it kind of took me out of the story. This book was published in the 1950s and it shows; sexist and racist attitudes, particularly with the Arab in the desert scene. I also think each adventure could have been a little more detailed and exciting. It just seemed to wrap up a little too easily in each instance, especially the ending. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
This was entertaining, but terribly dated, and it's not a strong enough story for me to recommend it in spite of its issues. I was glad that the librarian leading the kids' book club brought up the topic of stereotyping. ( )
  RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
This book, written in 1954, has the feeling of an even earlier time. This isn't surprising as Eager liked and emulated E. Nesbit who wrote in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since I enjoy stories of that time, I loved this book. It is a quiet fantasy where the fantasy intrudes into the mundane world we live in.

For me, it had the perfect mix of humor, fantasy, and morality. Even though it was written for children, there are enough references written for adults that I found it perfect.

I think this might be a good book for parents to read to young children so that they can explain how it was for their grandparents when they were young. It is also a good book for adults who are still willing to read simple stories. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Jun 20, 2020 |
This was one of my favorites as a child, and it's still comforting to me now as an adult. I especially enjoy the illustrations by N. M. Bodecker. ( )
  mike.wallace | Jan 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 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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First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Four children looking forward to an ordinary summer enjoy a series of fantastic adventures by double-wishing on an ancient coin.

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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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