Half Magic

by Edward Eager (1954)

In an era of cell phones and YouTube videos, Half Magic takes you back to a time where kids were innocent and enjoyed simpler pleasures, like the adventures they read about in the books they treasure. Reading this classic novel with your family offers a chance to visit these times, to explore and discuss common human experiences in the analog world we still share.

“Why don’t things like that ever happen to us?” – Martha

Siblings Mark, Jane, Katharine, and Martha live in Toledo, Ohio, during the 1920s. Their father has passed away, and they live with their hard-working mother and their strict governess, Miss Bick. The children love to read and often wish they would find themselves inside the pages of the adventure fantasy books they enjoy reading.

The children find a mysterious magic coin that they discover will grant their wishes – but only by half. This magic coin takes them on exciting adventures to other lands, but things don’t always go as the children would have planned. With the help of a mysterious gentleman they believe was brought to them by fate, these curious siblings learn many important life lessons along the way and realize that what is truly important is family.

Even though Half Magic is over a half-century old, it has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by young and old. A perfect mix of magic and real life, this book is full of charm, adventure, humor, and heart that will leave your family wanting to share the further adventures of this charismatic family.  (And of course there are sequels!)

“This is a wonderful family to belong to! It’s the best family to belong to in the whole world!” – Jane


Half Magic is a classic in the way that The Wonderful Wizard of Ozand 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 magic, enchanted possibility of everything. They infuse life with humor and grace and captivating adventure. They make you ache to find just a bit of magic of your own, so you can join the fun and buffer the bully tilt of encroaching reality. A book that can do all this and more truly is magic in the reader’s hands.” (Jack Gantos, children’s author, as quoted in the Half Magic 50thAnniversary Edition Introduction)