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Half Magic (1954)

by Edward Eager

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Magic Books Reading Order (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,711812,700 (3.99)102
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 102 mentions

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http://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/eagere-halfmagic/eagere-halfmagic-00-h.html

I read this book as a kid because my parents had read this book as a kid (it would have just been released for them). Some of the parts really stuck with me and I remember hunting down the rest of the series and enjoying most of them. Rereading them now as an adult the book is a lot shorter than I remember and of course it reads like a book written in the 50s about life in the 20s because that's exactly what it is. I feel almost like it's going back three generations and that's pretty wild.

These children are of course fictional children written by an adult ... so they are very well-read. They drop lots of references to fictional characters or real people or real publications that just sailed right over my head when I read this before. Now with the power of the Internet they are just a quick Googling away. I wonder if parents reading this book aloud to their children in the 50s got a laugh seeing these things in print. Even as a child I was savvy enough to catch the biggest name-drop in the book which was the multiple references to the books by E Nesbit, and I know that when I finished this series her books were the next ones to be checked out. ( )
1 vote Dirt006 | Jan 26, 2022 |
This is a childhood favorite and while I still found the story funny and inventive and the writing charming, I also noticed a lot more of its flaws. Like the racism, aaand the sexism. I know its a product of its time, but still. :/

There is a great full cast audio version of this book as well that is well worth checking out. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
How delightful. In a story that smacks of Nesbit, Lewis, Baum, and Enright, 4 siblings enjoy the adventure brought by a charm that only grants half a wish. I'm sorry I didn't discover this earlier. Young me would have enjoyed it so much.

Eager's championing of reading and the classics, including the above, was an added bonus that older me found gratifyingly fun though. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Four children discover a magic coin that grants wishes by halves.
  BLTSbraille | Sep 24, 2021 |
Edward Eager's books were stories I loved as a child and having re-read them as an adult I still quite enjoy them. The stories and characters hold up to the test of time. These books are clever and intriguing and the characters are very endearing. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
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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.
Quotations
"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?"
Last words
(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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Average: (3.99)
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