Seven-Day Magic by Edward Eager
Series: Tales of Magic #7
Publication: Harcourt Children's Books (first published 1962), Paperback, 190pg
Genres: Children's, Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade
Purchase at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf
A seven-day book of magic proves to be fractious for five children, who must learn the book's rules and tame its magic. (from Goodreads)
Another great Edward Eager book! Seven-Day Magic has a lot of similar qualities to Magic or Not?, my current favorite Ed. Eager book. It’s got older kids (so there’s less time spent explaining things to younger siblings), themes of friendship, responsibility and trust run throughout, and it’s very, very meta.
Seven-Day Magic is special, though, because it’s got book-related magic in it! As a book nerd, I got a special thrill from that. The kids got to visit their favorite book-worlds and interact with the people who live in them! It’s almost like going to a really good theme park– or, rather, like hearing about a really good theme park from someone who’s been there. Satisfying, but you DO end up wanting to go yourself.
My favorite part was when the kids visited Oz, though it’s not the Oz from L. Frank Baum’s books. I guess Ed. Eager wanted to avoid copycatting too much, as he set the Oz portion of his book in a pre-Dorothy setting. It’s a younger Oz that the Seven-Day Magic kids visit, but it’s still exciting and lovely and I really want to be a literature tourist, too. So jealous!
The ending sequence is perhaps the darkest one I’ve read in an Edward Eager book so far: there’s a lot of introspection and danger, and if someone like, say, Lev Grossman had written this book, someone probably would have died.
It’s NOT a Lev Grossman book, though, and so everything turns out alright. The nice thing about most kids books is that you can nearly always fix something and make things sunshine-y again. They’re very hopeful things, kids books.
If you’ve never read an Edward Eager book before, but you’re particularly fond of other kids books like the Chronicles of Narnia, the Wizard of Oz, or the Little House books, then you should definitely add this book to your to-read list. (Also Magic or Not?, because it’s my favorite and they go together well.)
Already a fan? Then you’ll no doubt LOVE Seven-Day Magic! Read itttttt.
Read: May 18, 2013
This is a fabulous article on Tor.com about Seven-Day Magic. Check it out if you’ve already read the book– beware if you haven’t, though, because there’s spoilers.