12 November 2011

Edward Eager's juvenile fiction books are favorites around here!

It just so happens that Edward Eager was born in Toledo.                                    My husband grew up in the Toledo area and we lived there for the first decade of our marriage. (We're about to celebrate the second decade!) Eager was inspired to write these books for his son when he couldn't find books he wanted to read to him. He credits E. Nesbit as being the best children's author of all time. I've since read some of her titles and have to say that I prefer Eager to Nesbit personally.

When I was homeschooling our children Eager's books came to my attention on the recommendation of other homeschool moms. (I used the curriculum company's online forums occasionally even before we began using their curriculum in 2003.)

I was looking for fun books to read as read-alouds for our kids.

I was immediately charmed! The first book we picked up was                  Magic By the Lake which was set in the Toledo area. In the book, the children are going on a summer-long vacation at the lake. Not knowing anything about the particular theme of the book I packed it to read to our children on our lake vacation with friends. What a lovely little blessing from God to have our pleasure reading line up so perfectly with our circumstances! There is a pivotal  character in this book, a magic turtle; our daughter even went fishing and the only thing she landed was a rather nicely sized snapper!

After we finished Magic by the Lake I looked for other titles. After that we read them in order of pulish date which allows you to read, sequentially, the books that have the same characters.

Half Magic (1954)
Knight's Castle (1956)
Magic by the Lake (1957)
The Time Garden (1958)
Magic or Not? (1959)
The Well-Wishers (1960)
Seven-Day Magic (1962)

These books are appropriate for any child who can snuggle in and listen to chapter books. I would recommend them for any age. The type of magic in the books, you find, is really more a manifestation of the wonderful imaginations of the characters in the books than any true magic. 


  1. Where have I been all my life? I've never heard of these, and I'm a Sonlighter. My head must be in the sand. Is it appropriate for a 13yo?

  2. Absolutely appropriate for a 13 year old. Depending on the kid the book might be a little on the young side. I say get one from the library and give it a try. I mean, I love the books myself so you never know!! If you give them a try, let me know, okay?

    These happen not to have been recorded by me in my LibraryThing account so I can't give you an exact date of having read them but our kids were very young and these were some of the first chapter books I read to them so it was probably around 1998-2000 when I heard about them at the Bibs forum.


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