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The Magic Finger

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Overview

The Gregg family loves hunting, but their eight-year-old neighbor can't stand it. After countless pleas for them to stop are ignored, she has no other choice -- she has to put her magic finger on them. Now the Greggs are a family of birds, and like it or not, they're going to find out how it feels to be on the other end of the gun.

Angered by a neighboring family's sport hunting, an eight-year-old girl turns her magic finger on ...

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The Magic Finger

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Overview

The Gregg family loves hunting, but their eight-year-old neighbor can't stand it. After countless pleas for them to stop are ignored, she has no other choice -- she has to put her magic finger on them. Now the Greggs are a family of birds, and like it or not, they're going to find out how it feels to be on the other end of the gun.

Angered by a neighboring family's sport hunting, an eight-year-old girl turns her magic finger on them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Told in the first person by the unnamed female protagonist, this short tale introduces us to the Greggs, who love to hunt. That is, until our heroine uses her magic finger on them and they learn from a duck's perspective what it means to be hunted. Simple, gray-tone drawings in this new edition advance the fantasy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141302294
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant PeachMatildaThe BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Awesome Book!!!!

    I loved the book! I would rate it a million stars if I could. I just LOVED the plot and the extreme illustrations. I believe this is an awesome book. I read all the other Roald Dahl books, and this was a wonderful success! It was beautiful written. I recommend this book for everyone.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    good book

    I would recommend the Magic Finger to anybody because it is funny like a fairy tale. The Magic Finger turns a family into what they hunt. My favorite part is the ending--a good book has a good ending. Read the book to laugh and see what happens to the Gregory family.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2008

    The Magic Finger

    The Magic Finger is a very interesting book about a girl with a magic finger that does very weird things to people who kill animals. I liked that the Gregg/Egg family build the nest. I liked that they turned into birds. I liked that birds turned into people. The author wanted us to learn not to kill animals and to be careful that the magic finger won¿t turn you into a bird. --MK

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A good book, but still...$7 for such a short book????????????

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    An Easy Read and a great story

    Just the title alone, The Magic Finger, makes you want to read the book. This is the story about an eight year old girl who has friends that love to hunt animals. The girl tries her best to convince them not to hunt, but they laugh at her. This makes the girl angry, so angry she points her magic finger at them. Magical things start to happen. I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone wishing to read a short, easy, fun story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2009

    The Magic Finger is Wonderful!!!!!!

    It would be great for 1st grade,2nd grade and 3rd grade students!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Magic Finger

    Eleven is such a fantastic age. Unfortunately, most recommended reading material for today's eleven year old doesn't match up to the imagination and unbridled potential this age possesses. That is why Roald Dahl should be required reading for all eleven year olds. Even if his books were read previously, it is time to revisit them once again. The Magic Finger should be sitting on every bookshelf. It's importance may be easy to overlook. Afterall, it only requires a short amount of time to read it cover to cover, but there is no other tale that builds empathy quite so effectively.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2009

    This is the best book!

    There is this book called the Magic Finger. In this story a girl that turns the Gregg family into birds and turn back to people. It is so weird!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    $7 for a 22 page book???? I am very disappointed with Nook. I ca

    $7 for a 22 page book???? I am very disappointed with Nook. I can't wait for my Kindle for the holidays. This is the 2nd time this has happened too where I have gotten a book for my son for over $7 for a 10-20 page book. that is ridiculous. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Ooooooh.........

    Sounds gooooooood...........

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2014

    Me too im disapointd to see a 20page book cast 7 dooler

    But it was bad

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    TERRIFIC!!!!

    Not.
    - tarrantules

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    So So

    Do you like stories about magic? Well then The Magic Finger is the book for you. This book was great with magic. It was a great fantasy. This book was about a girl with a special power and she turns the Gregg family upside down. The characters include a little girl and the Gregg family. My opinion is I would give this book a 3 star rating. I thought it was a bit dull. I didn¿t really like it. Even though this book was packed with magic I still thought it was going to be a better book than what it turned out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2005

    good

    This is a good short read. It's not my favorite Dahl book, but if you want a quick story then I recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2004

    Recommended

    The book is about a family that loves to go hunting, and they hunt just for fun. But there is a girl who gets very mad, and when she gets mad and 'sees red,' something happens... The book is about trust, respect and honesty. The moral of the story is this: Animals are living things and they deserve respect. We should treat others the way we would like to be treated. The book was good, but it might have been better if it were longer. We liked the book's humor, Quentin Blake's illustrations, and Roald Dahl's vivid and quirky writing style.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2004

    A funny book

    This book is about a girl who has a magic finger. My favorite part was when a family changed thier last name to Egg. That's why it's funny.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2003

    It is very funny!

    I like this story because the girl in the story has a magic finger.So when she gets mad she accidently makes wierd things happen to them and that makes it funny. For example,she gets mad at her teacher and turns her into a cat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2002

    The Best Book Ever

    Its a AWSOME AWSOME AWSOME(repet until mouth gets sore)Its such a good book that if you are reading it and people are trying to get your atention then you wont notice because.......ITS SO GOOD THAT YOU HAVE TO KEEP READING!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2001

    The Hunters Become the Hunted

    This book is about empathy and fairness. An 8 year-old girl is annoyed when she sees people causing hurt. She zaps her teacher for telling the girl she is stupid when she misspells cat (kat). The teacher starts to turn into a feline-like creature with whiskers and a tail. The girl also 'can't stand hunting.' Annoyed by the Greggs who hunt for deer and ducks, suddenly the Greggs find themselves changing places, roles, and body features with a duck family. The Greggs quickly decide they don't like being prey very much. Most young people will relate well to this book during their period when they think carefully through the implications of eating meat. The book contains many black-and-white pen and pencil sketches by Quentin Blake to illustrate the key shifts taking place. I thought that the story and the illustrations just didn't quite pull off the theme. It's clearly bad to hurt people's feelings and to hunt, as this story evolves. But what about having a hamburger? The book needs to broaden its message in order to make it clear what is being condemned. I wasn't sure where the book intended to draw limits on what people can do to animals. The illustrations sometimes look like scribbles done by someone in the back of a car that was hitting potholes. I suspect that the intent was to mimic a child's style. I would have preferred choosing a better child artist as a model, if that is the case. The beneficial changes occur because the girl has a magic finger. Well, I didn't have one when I was 8. What should an 8 year-old really do? When you and your child read this book together, I suggest that you plan to spend some time describing or developing a moral system that makes sense to both of you. This book's strength is that it will raise many valuable questions, that require better answers than are provided here. For example, if someone makes an error, what is the best way to respond in various situations? What are the rights of animals in terms of providing food and medicines for humans and as experimental subjects? What is each person's responsibility in this regard? Always ask yourself, would I like others to do unto me as I do unto them now? Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2000

    Great book

    I love this book. I have read it like 10 times and i am still reading it and enjoying it everytime, I am so glad that he wrote the book. See yah

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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