What do you think?
What did you like about the story?
The story was first published in 1954. Were you able to relate to it? In what way(s)? What do you think would be different if it were set in 2005?
Which child made the best wish? Why? What would you wish for?
Were their adventures believable? Give examples to prove your answer.
Did you like the ending? Why or why not?
Fun & Adventure Beyond the Book
We can't promise you a magic talisman, but this site can help you learn some magic tricks to impress your friends.
NPR asked librarian Nancy Pearl what books she'd recommend for kids to read. Half Magic was one of them...discover the rest here and here.
Katharine used her wish to visit King Arthur. We can't take you to meet King Arthur himself, but here's a link to Britannia's comprehensive King Arthur section: Here you can explore the historical evidence supporting Arthur's existence. Reading lists, timelines, maps and biographies of Arthurian characters are also available.
Merlin certainly was a wise wizard. You can learn more about him here.
Mark accidentally wished that they were all on a desert island. He got half his wish...just the desert part. And they certainly didn't think it was an oasis! You can learn more about the desert here.
Author Edward Eager considered E. Nesbit to be the best children's writer of all time, and he acknowledges her in each of his books. You can learn more about E. Nesbit in this article.
Sometimes you do get bored during the summer. What should you do? These two websites have some ideas: here and here.
If You Like This Book, Check Out...
Grace Greene, from the Vermont Department of Libraries, says if you liked Half Magic, you'll probably enjoy these books as well:
Other books by Edward Eager:
Knight's Castle (Harcourt, 1956)
Four children find a magic way to go back into the time of Ivanhoe and Robin Hood.
Magic or Not? (Harcourt, 1959)
When the family moves to Connecticut, twins James and Laura make new friends and begin a series of unusual adventures after discovering an old well that seems to be magic in their backyard.
Seven Day Magic (Harcourt, 1962)
A seven-day book of magic proves to be fractious for five children, who must learn the book's rules and tame its magic.
The Time Garden (Harcourt, 1958) (sequel to Knight's Castle)
While spending the summer in a house by the sea, four cousins, Roger, Ann, Eliza and Jack, discover a bank of wild thyme whose magic propels them on a series of adventures back and forth through time.
The Well-Wishers (Harcourt, 1999) (sequel to Magic or Not?)
James, Laura and Deborah along with their friends Kip, Lydia and Gordy relate their experiences when the unpredictable old wishing well in the backyard continues to involve them in a variety of magical adventures.
No Flying in the House, by Betty Brock (Harper & Row, 1970)
A tiny talking dog arrives at the home of the rich Mrs. Vancourt and asks shelter for herself and her companion, a little girl.
Jennifer Murdley's Toad, by Bruce Coville (Harcourt, 1992)
When an ordinary-looking fifth grader purchases a talking toad, she embarks on a series of extraordinary adventures.
The Enchanted Castle, by E. Nesbit (Morrow, 1992)
Four English children find a wonderful world of magic through an enchanted wishing ring.
Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit (Morrow, 1999)
When four brothers and sisters discover a Psammead, or sand-fairy, in the gravel pit near the country house where they are staying, they have no way of knowing all the adventures its wish-granting will bring them.
Phoenix and the Carpet, by E. Nesbit (Random, 1960) (sequel to Five Children and It)
Four children acquire a magic carpet and embark on a series of adventures.
Story of the Amulet, by E. Nesbit (Random, 1961)
Third in the trilogy begun with Five Children and It: In this one, the children find a magic amulet that has time travel powers.
The Borrowers, by Mary Norton (Harcourt, 1953) (plus many sequels)
Tiny people live hidden from humans beneath the floorboards of a quiet country house in England.