Half Magic

Eager, Edward. Half Magic. Performed by The Worlds Take Wing Repertory Company. New York: Listening Library, 1999.

I read a whole bunch of reviews of Half Magic that began with the sentence, “I loved this book as a child…” and it got me thinking, do the reviewers love it now, as adults? And, if they do, do they love it for purely nostalgic reasons? I know there are songs I could never like or listen to if they weren’t intrinsically entangled with my memories of past great times (like the song “Rain Maker”).

Anyway – Half Magic is about four siblings, three sisters and a brother, who stumble upon a magic talisman. This talisman, much like a nickel in size and shape, grants wishes…sort of. Every wish is exactly halved. “Desert isle” becomes just “desert” which is how the children end up in the Sahara rather than on a deserted island like they had originally wished. A talking cat becomes a mumbling cat, a barely understood cat. The more the children learn about the talisman’s capabilities, the more trouble they get into even though they vow their wishes are to be used for good intentions. If you want to listen to the audio version it would be in your best interest to get the “Worlds Take Wing Repertory Company” version. Instead of having one actor read the story, an entire cast of characters each take a part. The children are adorable.

Phrase I like, “terrible good intentions.”

Reason read: Eager died in October and it’s Halloween time – another reason to read about magic.

Author fact: Eager died young – in his 50s.

Book trivia: Half Magic was originally written in 1954 and remains Eager’s most popular book.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Fantasy for Young and Old” (p 83).



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