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Magical Child

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  240 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
"An innovative, philosophical restructuring of modern child psychology."

Magical Child, a classic work, profoundly questioned the current thinking on childbirth pratices, parenting, and educating our children. Now its daring ideas about how Western society is damaging our children, and how we can better nurture them and oruselves, ring truer than ever. From the very instant
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Plume (first published April 27th 1977)
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Mar 15, 2011 Littlevision rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents, unschoolers, adults
Shelves: parenting
The biggest problem with this book is the fact that although much of it is science-based -- the author, Joe Pearce -- doesn't have a science-oriented degree (although he does have a Master of Arts degree and some "post-graduate studies" under his belt). Also, the text, although still highly relevant, is a bit outdated (1977).

The main premise of the book is written on the cover: "this book will help you rediscover nature's plan for our children". And, really, Pearce does make a promising case, ex
Jan 16, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting
I gave up reading this book after 100 pages. I found it to be hard to read, depressing, and woefully out-of-date (written in the mid-1970s). While it's nice to know that we've come a long way (in the positive direction) since sedated childbirth and scheduled bottle feedings, the idealization of Ugandan women and the way they give birth and rear their children (up to age 4) is a bit ridiculous. I'd like to see the author go through childbirth! However, being a child of the 70s, I think I came out ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Janine rated it it was amazing
WOW. That's really all I can say. Not at all an "easy" read, but intense and life changing. Very few books have that power but this is definitely one of them.
Jul 12, 2010 Emmy rated it really liked it
wonderful. I didn't finish it, because its long and it was due back, but it was truly wonderful while it was relevant to me and the stage of development i was experiencing. I will borrow the book again in the future, after some time has passed, because it will be interesting to keep this book as a beacon towards raising an intelligent, intuitive self and child.
Its a great counter-story to the fear and anxiety based development stories that exist, and it was incredibly refreshing to hear an Opti
Aug 21, 2011 Emilie rated it really liked it
mind-blowing book, this is a re-read for me, wish I'd read it before I had my children . . . I agree with 90% or more of it, I only don't quite buy the premise of delayed education. Between this and Evolution's End, I think I read more into them the first time around, a little disappointed the second time for each, but the premises, the ideas are there that I am so for exploring some more! I definitely "got" more of the concrete concepts this time around, it might take a couple more times or exp ...more
An interesting idea- that children should be left to encounter the earth until about age 11. That all of our children have lost the connection to the planet by having to go to school so early. I wonder how he thought his readers should implement his ideas.

I also didn't agree with his idea that women in 3rd world countries do birth better. They may do the emotional part of birthing better...if the baby and mother survive the birth process. With few hospitals, or clinics it's hard to see how their
May 13, 2015 Katy rated it liked it
3.5/5. Pearce's take on development is opinionated, but I think that the ideas he works with are mostly accurate. Yes, the work is heavily influenced by Piaget, but it was also first published in 1977. There are times when Pearce skates a little too close to the edge of woo (particularly in the chapter about child psychics and telepathy), but then, as the title "Magical Child" suggests, Pearce seems somewhat receptive to magic as a concept. The book suffers from Pearce's writing style, which is. ...more
Aug 27, 2009 White rated it really liked it
This book is based on Jungian approach to child rearing. The claim is that by nature, a child is vividly exploratory and it is our culture that tames that out of him. In a rather new age claim to an almost eatern mysticism, this book would appeal to parents with high spirituality and less of an empericist attitude. I enjoyed this book, even though I am not particularly New Age in any way. It is still about balance and harmony of who we are.
Ricardo Acuña
Jun 12, 2015 Ricardo Acuña rated it it was amazing
It is a very interesting book that describes the child development from a new and provocative perspective: psychological, social, esoteric and spiritual. It is a good parenting book. I see it as an interesting complement to actual child development psychological theories.
Dr. Bee
Jul 24, 2012 Dr. Bee rated it it was amazing
This is by far, the second most important book I read while pregnant with my son. The first is Magical Child Matures, which is essentially a second edition of this book. But it is not a phoned in second edition. It contains substantive differences.
Feb 22, 2011 Chaunci rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book, especially when you become a parent. It changed my perspective and stirred many conversations with my husband.
Dec 03, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Excellent synopsis of the brain stages; needs one or two good graphics to lay out what the text summarizes. Not prescriptive which I like.
Martha Love
Jun 08, 2015 Martha Love rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I read this classic several time when it was first published in the late 70s and I found Pearce's attachment theory profound and supportive during the early years of my own parenting experience. I still recommend it to new parents and anyone studying childhood development and maturation. You do not want to miss the fascinating story included about the pygmy tribe, demonstrating the significance of bonding and the affect of separation on development.

Martha Char Love
author of "What's Behind Your B
Apr 02, 2015 Lorena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
Excellent work, profoundly influential on my life as a parent. Recently re-read since I am about to become a grandparent.
Audrey Jenkins
Feb 28, 2016 Audrey Jenkins rated it it was amazing
A magical and researched look at child, development and spirit. Recommended for anyone.
Phoebe Fox
Jun 14, 2014 Phoebe Fox rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend to all parents and those planning to become parents!
Oct 24, 2013 Hope rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Great book. Fascinating theory, and if true, could certainly change our society, our world, for the better. This is one that I will probably have to read several times to really understand it all and let it sink in. It was a very dense read...but I found myself captivated by the ideas posited and often thought that it explained a lot about my own life as well as the current world we live in. What we are all truly capable of, if only our lives fulfilled the birthright of our humanity! Nothing sho ...more
Jul 24, 2008 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jerami
Recommended to Rhonda by: lisa m
Although his writing is a bit thick and overly scientific for a parenting book, this is well worth the read. This is another one that I wish I had read before I had children. Most of his ideas will be strange or downright unacceptable to mainstream parents, but if you have an open mind and a desire to truly understand your child's early development, then put this one on your parenting shelf.
Jun 18, 2007 Trisha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This should be required reading for parenthood. It played a major role in how I raise my kids, in my decision to homeschool, and how I relate to kids in general. Some of the ideas are pretty radical to the western world- though they are becoming less and less so.
Mar 23, 2011 Andre rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents
This is a fascinating parenting book. Although it meanders towards the end, there is wisdom abound about how to raise your child to meet his/her potential.
Jen Smith
Sep 21, 2012 Jen Smith rated it it was amazing
Excellent read- it's so important to let your children try things. Being over protective hinders their ability to learn and understand the world.
Mar 10, 2008 Holly rated it really liked it
A little over whelming to read as a mother.But gives great insight into how truely amazing a child is!
Aimee L.
Feb 16, 2008 Aimee L. rated it it was amazing
I think that if all parents read this book the world couldn't help but be forever altered and happy.
excellent argument for midwife assisted natural birth, a little lofty, philosophy and theory wise
May 20, 2008 Sally marked it as to-read
Shelves: parenting
anyone heard of this book? it seems familiar to me, but i din't know why
Mar 06, 2009 Geneal rated it really liked it
Very detailed, but interesting.
Lindsay Evermore
Aug 18, 2010 Lindsay Evermore marked it as to-read
stetson and stratford
Jun 30, 2010 Kunlun rated it it was amazing
"The human child has only one concern: to learn all that there is to learn about the world. This planet is the child's playground and nothing should interfere with a child's play. Raised this way, the Magical Child is a happy genius, CAPABLE OF ANYTHING, EQUIPPED TO FULFILL HIS AMAZING POTENTIAL...."
This isn't just about childbirth practices, parenting and educating children... it's also about nurturing ourselves and seeing into light the "switches" that were turned off, that we can turn on agai
Nadia Lille
Nadia Lille marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2016
Sanja Zaric
Sanja Zaric marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2016
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For nearly half a century Joseph C. Pearce, who prefers to be known simply as Joe, has been probing the mysteries of the human mind. One of his overriding passions remains the study of what he calls the "unfolding" of intelligence in children. He is a self-avowed iconoclast, unafraid to speak out against the myriad ways in which contemporary American culture fails to nurture the intellectual, emot ...more
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“A friend said, "Ah, I get it. All of my life I have gone into every next event asking, in effect, What's in it for me? Now I see that what I must do is go into every event asking, What can I do for them?" And my friend had grievously missed the point. The great discovery is that we have nothing to give at all to anyone, anywhere.” 4 likes
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