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Book Club Kits: Half Magic

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Edward Eager

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Book Summary

Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant partial wishes.

Discussion Questions

1.       Where and when does this book take place? What things about the story seem outdated, and what things still seem current?

2.       Which character, Jane Mark, Katharine or Martha, do you relate to the most? Why?

3.       What do you think about the relationship the children have with each other? What about the relationship they have with their mother? How does Mr. Smith help bridge the gap between the imaginative children and their more practical mother?

4.       What would you wish for if you had the magic charm?

5.       This story places a great deal of emphasis on books and stories.  Where do you see books or stories involved in the storyline?

6.       Which was your favorite historical setting in this story, and why?

7.       Do you have any other favorite adventure stories that are special to you?

8.       Find three places where the book made you laugh.

9.       What was the moral of the story?

10.   Do you think that the children found the coin for a reason? Why?

About the Author

Eager was born in and grew up in Toledo, Ohio and attended Harvard University class of 1935. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he lived for 14 years before moving to Connecticut. He married Jane Eberly in 1938 and they had a son, Fritz.

Eager was a childhood fan of L. Frank Baum's Oz series, and started writing children's books when he could not find stories he wanted to read to his own young son. In his books, Eager often acknowledges his debt to E. Nesbit, whom he thought of as the best children's author of all time.

A well-known lyricist and playwright, Eager died on October 23, 1964 in Stamford, Connecticut, at the age of fifty-three.