The Magic Half

(2008)

The middle child between two sets of twins, Miri feels overlooked and out of place even in her own family. Not only that, but, unlike most of her friends, she still likes to play pretend games and still wants to believe that magic is real even though nothing magical has ever happened to her. Miri and family have just moved into an old house, and her small bedroom, with its worn and ugly wallpaper, seems strange to her. Sent to her bedroom after hitting her brother, Miri discovers a glasses lens taped to one of the walls. Looking through the lens, she is suddenly pulled back in time to the house as it was in the year 1935, and discovers Molly, a girl very much like her, who longs for magic to save her from her abusive relatives. Upon meeting, the girls share a moment of joy when they realize magic is indeed real. But the magical twists and turns of events have created problems for both of them. Will Miri be able to get back to her own time? Will she ever see her family again? Will she be able to help Molly escape from her horrible cousin Horst? Is Horst a thief? A killer?

 With its good blend of fantasy, drama, mystery, history, humor, and realistic and interesting characters, this story will be especially appreciated by girls ages 8-12. Fans of the author’s “Ivy and Bean” series may enjoy the change of pace that the plot offers.

 As a girl, Annie Barrows loved stories that “mixed magic with the plain old world” as she herself put it. If you read and enjoy the Magic Half, you might want to try Half Magic by one of Ms. Barrows’ favorite authors, Edward Eager. Get more information about Annie Barrows and The Magic Half.

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