by Edward Eager
This story is about a bunch of kids whose friendship centers around a wishing well in one of their yards, which they assume is magic.The style of this book is slightly different. Each chapter is told from a different point of view, as the kids take turns initiating magic by wishing on the well (with the intent of doing good and helping someone). Except- it doesn\’t really seem to be magic at all. The situations they get into all have a curious outcome, created by the magic well or just lucky circumstance? They do make good stories, and they\’re nice studies of human nature and kids just being kids, but not the same sort of thing I got in the prior two books.
My favorite chapters were one where the children help a man whose apple orchard is doomed to being plowed up for a new development, and another where they welcome a new family into the neighborhood by starting a garden and gathering houseplants. There\’s also one about a lonely reclusive child who is befriended, another about a bully who reaches an understanding with them, one where the young son of the new family resents everyone, and a final \’adventure\’ where an older girl plays on the kids\’ belief in magic to get her own way. I found that one the most amusing. The final chapter is kind of awkward, where each kid gives a little wrap-up to their part of the story. Part of what didn\’t work for me was the voices didn\’t really vary enough to feel distinct, and I wasn\’t familiar with the characters. I think this is one I would have liked better if I\’d read its predecessor first (or maybe if I\’d read it first as a kid…)
I borrowed this book from the public library. After liking Half Magic and Magic by the Lake so much, I wanted to read all of Edward Eager\’s magic series, but my library system doesn\’t have Knight\’s Castle at all, and I\’m approaching the others out of order as they come up individually on hold. (Hey, at least that means someone else out there is reading them!)
Rating: 2/5 220 pages, 1960
Magic or Not? and The Well-Wishers are my two least favorite Edward Eager books, although I am fond of them. Knight's Castle and The Time Garden, meanwhile, are two of my favorites, and Seven Day Magic is a dear of a book as well. Edward Eager!