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FREE Å Half Magic È Four children wish on a Half Magic coin that gets their mother Alison half way home, rescued by Mr Smith Mark s wish zaps them to a desert without island, where half talking cat Carrie gabbles to a camel Romantic Katherine battles Launcelot Eldest Jane rejects siblings for another family Stubborn youngest, Martha, causes a riot downtown oh, one of my all time favorites i LOVE when they wish the cat could talk and since it is half magic, the cat s every other word is meow i bought this and the rest of the series for my niece for christmas a couple of years ago, and i can t wait until my daughters are old enough to read it. It seems a shame, said Jane, that no one s going to know about our adventures They would make such a good book If only we could write them down But how would we do that asked Mark We re just kids Oh Wait You don t mean I certainly do said Jane We just have to wish for it, and the Charm will take care of the rest But we need to wish very carefully Now, what kind of book do we want it to be I want it to be like one of E Nesbit s books said Katherine Though if the It seems a shame, said Jane, that no one s going to know about our adventures They would make such a good book If only we could write them down But how would we do that asked Mark We re just kids Oh Wait You don t mean I certainly do said Jane We just have to wish for it, and the Charm will take care of the rest But we need to wish very carefully Now, what kind of book do we want it to be I want it to be like one of E Nesbit s books said Katherine Though if the Charm makes the book like one of hers you don t think it would be stealing, do you That would be very wrong We could put in an Acknowledgement, said Mark Mr Smith was telling me about that just the other day We Acknowledge her Influence, and then it will be quite alright Now, let s make the wish And remember that we have to ask for twice as much of everything as we really want You don t think I d forget that, do you asked Jane scornfully Charm we wish that two authors could write two books about our adventures, and we wish that both the books will be just like E Nesbit s books, and we wish that both books will have an Acknowledgement where the author says how much he thanks her for Influencing him, and we wish that it should be a very graceful and polite Acknowledgement She was quite out of breath by the time she had finished A moment later, there was the book, sitting on the table between them It was called Half Magic, and the author was a Mr Edward Eager Mark picked it up and opened it Oh look he said wonderingly Here s how we find the Charm And here s where we meet Sir Launcelot And here s the bit where we nearly cause a riot But wait it s not quite like E Nesbit To start off with, we re American You should have asked for it to be twice as much like E Nesbit as E Nesbit was said Katherine You didn t think carefully enough How can anything be twice as much like someone as they are themselves asked Jane, with the keen metaphysical intuition that comes so naturally to young children That doesn t make sense, so I couldn t have wished for it And the others had to admit that she was right Look for the Acknowledgement said Martha Mark thumbed feverishly through the pages I ve found it he said triumphantly after a few minutes It s right here on page ten And it was such a fine Acknowledgement that I must write it down here so that you can read it too.That summer, the children had found some books by a writer called E Nesbit, surely the most wonderful books in all the world They read every one that the library had, right away, except a book called The Enchanted Castle, which had been out.And now yesterday The Enchanted Castle had come in, and they took it out, and Jane, because she could read fastest and loudest, read it loud all the way home, and when they got home she went on reading, and when their mother came home they hardly said a word to her, and when dinner was served they didn t notice a thing they ate.If you ever have to write an Acknowledgement yourself, you may want to use the one the Charm had written as a model and I can hardly imagine an author who would not be proud and happy to hear that some other author had so admired their work Would you believe I grew up in Toledo, Ohio and never noticed while reading and re reading this that it was set in my hometown It s true I don t know if I just figured ALL books were set there, and that s why the street names were so familiar or if I was just extraordinarily clueless I figured it out finally when I was reading this to my son It seems worth talking about in view of how worried people sometimes get about kids getting the wrong message from books sometimes kids don t even noti Would you believe I grew up in Toledo, Ohio and never noticed while reading and re reading this that it was set in my hometown It s true I don t know if I just figured ALL books were set there, and that s why the street names were so familiar or if I was just extraordinarily clueless I figured it out finally when I was reading this to my son It seems worth talking about in view of how worried people sometimes get about kids getting the wrong message from books sometimes kids don t even notice the town the book is set in, not to worry about the other things So, this time through, I was payingattention The story is delightful, the kids complex and interesting but oh, how I love the cat And Merlin, with his entirely lovely speech, made me cry a little.To wit But what about the good deed I wished said Katharine None of the ones I tried worked out My child, said Merlin, and his smile was very kind now, you have done your good deed You have brought me word that for as far into time as the twentieth century, the memory of Arthur, and of the Round Table, which I helped him to create, will be living yet And in that far age people will still care for the ideal I began, enough to come back through time and space to try to be of service to it You have brought me that word, and now I can finish my work in peace, and know that I have done well And if that s not a good deed, I should like to know what is Mostly, I love this book I liked it as a kid except for that caveat I ll get to in a minute I like it now, as a grown up The story is interesting and engaging The trouble the kids get themselves into is believable well, for a fantasy novel , and I like their solutions The problem of having to double all your wishes is interesting to me The only thing isThe only thing is that a whole chapter is taken up with a trip to a desert, where the children run across an evil, wicked, terrib Mostly, I love this book I liked it as a kid except for that caveat I ll get to in a minute I like it now, as a grown up The story is interesting and engaging The trouble the kids get themselves into is believable well, for a fantasy novel , and I like their solutions The problem of having to double all your wishes is interesting to me The only thing isThe only thing is that a whole chapter is taken up with a trip to a desert, where the children run across an evil, wicked, terrible Arab man Even the illustration is an ugly caricature There isn t even a feasible way to avoid this part it s interwoven in the story in such a way that you can t simply say Look, this is a part that I feel is inappropriate, we re not reading it today and skip to the next part.Now, I know, somebody is going to pop up and say But you can t judge books from 60 years ago according to OUR standards today Fair enough But I m not reading this book to a child 50 years ago I m reading it or not, actually I haven t put it on my to be read list yet precisely because of this problem to children NOW Even when I was a kid, a mere 30 years after the book s publication, that part made me uncomfortable.Am I saying you re bad for liking this book Absolutely not I like this book Am I saying you shouldn t read this book to your children, or allow them to read it Not necessarily I certainly support you if that is your choice, but that s not what I mean to say All I m saying is that you should read this book yourself before you read it with your children or use it in a classroom, especially if you have Arab students , and decide for yourself the best way to approach this issue It may be to find a way to skip that passage, or it may be to not read the book just yet or at all there are plenty of good books out there, choosing one always requires NOT choosing another or it may be to discuss this part with your children and explain your views on the subject, or it may be that you think it s not a big deal I disagree with the last, but that s your choice Other than that one thing, this is a very good book It s just that that one thing is SO important Please pre read this book