Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Magic Half

The Magic Half, by Annie Barrows

I just got this book for my little girl, who loves Barrows' Ivy and Bean series of books.  (In fact we named two of my mom's chickens Ivy and Bean, to go with the other two, Beezus and Ramona.  Our chickens all have literary names.)  And, fun fact: I learned that Annie Barrows is also the author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I rather enjoyed for its depiction of Guernsey life under Nazi occupation.

Oh, you wanted to hear about the actual book?  OK.  Miri always feels a little forgotten, sandwiched as she is between two pairs of twins.  When her family moves into a large old farmhouse, she finally gets her own room in the attic, and up there she finds a glass lens that takes her back in time to 1935.  There she meets Molly, who has a rotten time of it as the orphaned niece and household skivvy.  Together they hatch a plan to fix Molly's life...

I thought this was a very nicely written story.  Miri's family and life feel realistic; I love her siblings.  The villain is a truly scary bully!  And the ending is a very nice resolution.  Annie Barrows said that when she was a kid, she always wanted an attic bedroom and to travel to the past (and really, who didn't want those things?) and so she wrote them for herself.

We first heard about this new story when we met Annie Barrows in April.  Here is my little Ivy and Bean fan, excited to meet a favorite author!




I'm still mostly reading curriculum.  I'm 3/4 of the way through chemistry and 10 chapters into algebra, and I went over an entire economics text...but I did start reading an actual book.