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The Well-Wishers (Tales of Magic #6)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,725 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
The wishing well is all used up, its magic drained, its enchantment gone dry.
Or has it?
In a reckless moment, Gordy threatens the old well, telling it to get going with its magic or else! and that seems to do the trick. Suddenly Laura, Lydia, James, and Kip--who feared their autumn would unfold without magic--are plunged into just the sort of outlandish adventures they'd
ebook, 240 pages
Published August 16th 1999 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1960)
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Rick Stuckwisch
Mar 18, 2017 Rick Stuckwisch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in the Edward Eager collection. This one is a bit different from the others, even somewhat different than the preceding one, though it features the same group of children. It is written as though from the perspective of each of the children, which gives it a nice character. And the focus is on growing up and doing good for neighbors. Well written, as ever, and a delight to read.
This is the sixth book in the Tales of Magic series by Edward Eager.

interesting quotes:

"Physical violence never solved anything in the world, we all realize." (p. 3)

"Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names and plain truths and meanness can go much deeper and cut you to the quick." (pp. 18-19)

"The books tell all about knights and musketeers rescuing beautiful damsels. But they never put in what Lancelot said to Elaine on the ride home. Or D'Artagnan to Milady de Winter, either." (p. 190
Dec 29, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edward Eager's books were stories I loved as a child and having re-read them as an adult I still quite enjoy them. The stories and characters hold up to the test of time. These books are clever and intriguing and the characters are very endearing.
Aug 29, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

The Well-Wishers is the second part of the previous Tales of Magic book, Magic or Not?, which includes the same children we have come to adore! James, Kip, Laura, Lydia, and Gordy are back with new adventures!

I thought it was interesting how this book was written. It reminds me a lot of the first book in which each child has their own chapter in the book and explains all about their adventure. I really like that it was in first-person because I feel like that
So I am beginning this story, and after that each one will tell what happened to him or her, as the case may be, and each one will tell it in his own way. Only we have made one rule, which is not to tell about the days when nothing happened, because who would want to read about them? And another rule is not to put in things that don't mean anything and are just there to try to make it more exciting. Like saying, "There I stood, my heart beating." Naturally your heart would be beating. Otherwise
Originally posted at Here There Be Books on June 24, 2013.

Guess what The Well-Wishers is! It is the sequel to Magic or Not! AND I REALLY LOVE IT.

It's kind of the perfect sequel: similar enough to Magic or Not to give me the warm squishy feelings of reading a really awesome book, but different enough so it's not just the same story over again.

For example! It's written in first person POV, and each kid gets their own chapter to tell their part of the story. The great thing is that they all sound
(This is the same as my review of Magic or Not)

Edward Eager was one of my favorite authors when I was a child. However, I only read Magic or Not and its sequel, The Well Wishers once or twice. (The others I read countless times!)

What I liked about Eager's other books was that magical adventures befell ordinary children living in ordinary neighborhoods in the United States. But in Magic or Not the very existence of magic is very ambiguous. In fact, the characters themselves aren't sure whether th
Feb 26, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was pretty good. It taught about believing in something even when you don't believe in yourself.
It taught about sticking together and finding a positive solution in each negative situation.
It taught that something as simple as a water well could represent a creative sign to send magical wishes that could teach a powerful lesson.Sometimes it just takes a little team work and ideas from your heart to make something special happen. Sometimes you need to not judge a book by it's cover and give a
Aug 16, 2009 Elfear rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome, as usual. This and Magic or Not? are probably my favourite in the series. There's that chill you get when the coincidences stack up and you debate with yourself whether there was magic or not? Plus the old world charm is, well, perfectly charming.

Unfortunately, James, Kip and Laura were hardly in the this book. However, I enjoyed Gordy and Dicky's growing-up, and love Lydia to bits, so it was alright. Surprisingly, there was no mention of Deborah's strange low voice, and she seems alm
Jan 24, 2012 Celeste rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, re-read
As I said in my review of Magic or Not?, this is my least favorite duo in the series. And The Well-Wishers is definitely my least favorite of the books overall. I previously thought the whole series deserved 5 stars but after re-reading this one, it's definitely nowhere near the others so I can't give it that honor.

I think the first-person perspective is a big part of the problem — the kids in the previous books had flaws, and that was okay, but reading everything from each kid's perspective, w
Oct 14, 2009 Kasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boy-books, girl-books
This book was pretty good, but not nearly as entertaining as Edward Eager's book Half Magic. This book isn't on the AR reading list, but I would place it around 6.7 or 7.0. Half Magic is 5.0 on the AR reading list, and is a very fun book about a charm some children find that only grants half of what you wish. There are all sorts of sticky situations that arise from it. The Well-Wishers is about some children who believe they can make wishes on a well in their neighborhood. In the well-wishers, y ...more
Oct 23, 2009 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Eager has done a great job of portraying some very realistic kids, both in how they act and in how they think. This was a nice story about kids doing nice things for other people. James was certainly amusing as a character, especially as he thought himself a man at the end of the book. Eager does a good job of providing an entertaining story as well as things for grown-ups to chuckle at.

Rating: G.


So it took me some thinking to understand what was different about
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIZ BOOK IS #1 THAT THEY LIKE TO WISH ALOT #2 IS THAT WHEN THEY USE IT SOMETIMES IT DONT WORK BECAUSE THEY SAY THE WELL DOESNT WORK. #3 IS THAT THEY HATE WAITING FOR THERE WISH BECAUSE IT TAKES SO LONG THAT THEY KEEP PUTING MORE WISHES IN IT. THATS ALL I GOT 4 NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#4 my review from thiz book is that gordy threatens the old well, telling it to get going with its magic or eles!and that seems to do the trick. suddenly laura, lydia, james,and kip- who feared ...more
So, I had started to think that Eager's stories were getting a little repetitive, and I just got proved wrong. Seeing the story from the kids' perspective was a really cool touch and it was something very unique. As always, I loved the tone he writes in, but this one was something special. Whether it was just because it was from the new point of view, or because of the deeper messages he wove in, I think this just became my favorite tale of magic.
Nov 01, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this series so far. It's a bit outdated, but the themes in this one are very relevant to this day. What I particularly liked about this book was the fact that rather than an extravagant magical adventure, these children see magic as the opportunities that they are given to help people, making the story's problems and solutions relatable for children who read it.
May 23, 2007 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edward Eager's books are classics, and some of my very favorites from childhood. The illustrations by N.M. Bodeker were a huge influence on me, and I loved the stories (you think Harry Potter is original? Hardly). These are excellent books, published mid-century, that build on a foundation laid decades earlier by masters like E. Nesbit.
Oct 14, 2008 Maria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-a-e
The "Well Wishers",( in contrast to "Magic or Not") is written first person from the point of view of multiple characters. This gives it an almost unbearably precious tone. Really the only thing I can say I like about this book was the discovery and reclamation of an abandoned house. I do like the idea of a fixer-upper. Otherwise, this book is not a keeper.
Feb 03, 2017 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book from the SF binge. Fabulously reminiscent of Nesbit
Aug 24, 2012 Zana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-book
Not as good as the last, I'm afraid, although I'd completely forgotten the character of Dicky and was delighted to rediscover him. It's just that now that I'm not a kid anymore, I know the world isn't righted quite so easily as the children manage to do it.

...Also I've since become a fanficcer, and want someone to write them all grown up and having semi-magical adventures. :)
Apr 07, 2016 Sanhita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love magic. I love to read books written for children. This book is a lovely combination of both. It made me smile, relax, enjoy and feel young.
The young kids in this county believe in their wishing well and how their efforts in doing good brings the wishes true. What an apt name of the book, The Well wishers!!
Want to totally relax, go read it. :-)
Michelle M
For me, this book helped my relationship with God. No, the book has nothing to do with religion or spirituality, but it's all about believing. Luckily, faith is faith, whether it's in magic, a person, or anything else. Edward Eager depicts faith so simply and clearly, that anyone wondering what it means to believe can't help but gain insight with child-like clarity.
Ages: 3rd grade and up
Aug 01, 2012 Lela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love these books, but they were written more than 50 years ago. I'm reading them out loud to my son, and I find myself skipping over terms that are repeated over and over, like "old lady," and replacing them...
Oct 10, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without moralizing, the author addresses some heavy issues, such as attitudes towards the mentally ill, racial tensions, prejudice, bullying, and juvenile delinquency. The middle schoolers in this story are looking for a way to do good to others, while having adventures.
Jul 03, 2008 Brittany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone 10 and younger
Recommended to Brittany by: my mom
Well, I read this with my brother. They are good books, but I wish I read them in like 5th grade. They were a little childish. Darren on the other hand, loved them!!! I do own this book. I would be willing to swap it, not sell it!!!
Feb 01, 2016 Tory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is one of Edward Eager's cheesiest books. I know it's meant to be a deeper read (not as magic, more good deeds and such), but that makes it not as much fun. The problems throughout the book are all solved much too quickly, with very little plot arc.
Nov 26, 2007 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young children
Ah, much more satisfying than Magic of Not? (this is a sequel). I loved the civil rights issue that was part of one adventure in this book (published in 1960 - I can remember well the era it was describing). Fun, fun, fun.
Sep 04, 2016 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first Eager books I read. Either I started with Half Magic or this one. It's more of a deviation than his other books and he's trying something new. But, there were a lot of things I liked it in. Lydia is of course awesome. James is kinda stuffy near the end. But, he is a teen.
Claire Wood
This was not Edward Eager's best book. It was boring throughout, and there was not much adventure as there was in some of his other books. I would not recommend this.
Joe Canas
Nov 21, 2011 Joe Canas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Read on: 3/30/10, 12/1/14
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Vecchio Book Club: The Well Wishers 1 1 Aug 16, 2012 04:45PM  
  • The Diamond in the Window (Hall Family Chronicles, #1)
  • The Witch Family
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5)
  • The Magic City
  • Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)
  • Cold Shoulder Road (The Wolves Chronicles, #9)
  • The Wednesday Witch
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 h
More about Edward Eager...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of Magic (7 books)
  • Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1)
  • Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2)
  • Magic by the Lake (Tales of Magic, #3)
  • The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4)
  • Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
  • Seven-Day Magic (Tales of Magic, #7)

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