Half Magic by Edgar Eager, 1954
Harcourt is bringing out a special 50th anniversary edition of Half Magic in October, 2004. The Courier&Press (they are going to make you register) reports:
This year, "Half Magic" was selected as one of the "100 Best Books for Children" by noted children's-book expert Anita Silvey. In her essay on "Half Magic," Silvey noted that Eager wrote about "'daily magic' - integrating the realism of ordinary children with romantic adventures that come about because of the sudden appearance of a magic object.While a student at Harvard, Eager wrote many plays, one in particular received praise from Boston theater critics. Emboldened by this success he left school without finishing his degree in 1935 and began work as a playwright on Broadway where "...over the next three decades, he produced a steady stream of work."
The birth of his son interested him in writing for children.
In the introduction to a special 50th-anniversary edition...children's author Jack Gantos writes that "there are some books that, when read in childhood, last a lifetime in the reader's imagination, books so good that growing old doesn't diminish the luster of their memory.Eager's other books for children include Knight's Castle, The Time Garden, Magic by the Lake, The Well Wishers, Seven Day Magic, and Magic or Not?
"'Half Magic' ... is one such book, one that should be read by all children and their parents. .... 'Half Magic' is a classic in the way that 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' and 'Peter Pan' and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' are classics: all of them have a way of infecting the reader with their charm and cleverness and the belief in the magical, enchanted possibility of everything. ..."