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Posted March 18, 2010
enjoyed it almost as much as Knight's Castle
John and Susan live with their Grannie and enjoy playing with their neighbors, Barnaby, Abbie, and Fredericka. One day in the local library the children find a book, which unlike most others, is due back in only seven days. It turns out to be a magic book that grants them their wishes, such as Fredericka's wish to see a dragon (which carries her off and the other children have to go find her), Susan's wish to go into the future (where they see the girl from another of Eager's books, Half-Magic), even Grannie's unintentional wish to go back to the past (where she was a prairie school teacher), and Abbie's wish to see her father sing in New York (which turns out badly at first but then turns out quite well later).
But when John and Barnaby fight over their wish, they accidentally tear the book in half, and Barnaby goes off into his own adventure world of "Barnaby the Wanderer." Can the other children find him and bring him back? Eager's books are described as being in a "realistic fantasy vein." Eager acknowledged his indebtedness to Edith Nesbit, and this book is somewhat similar to her Five Children and It. As with other books by Eager, those who dislike any mention of "magic" will want to avoid it, but, again, it is not the "magic" of occultism, witches, and wizards, but of "fairy tales." The euphemism "gee" appears once; otherwise there is no objectional language. Also, there is one reference that Barnaby, Abbie, and Fredericka's father sang in a beer commercial. I enjoyed this book just about as much as Eager's Knights' Castle.
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Posted November 3, 2012