Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Gift of Magic” as Want to Read:
A Gift of Magic
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Gift of Magic

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  3,202 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Until she learns to control it, Nancy's gift of extrasensory perception brings her more trouble than she can handle.
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by Turtleback Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Gift of Magic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Gift of Magic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
This is an older book, but I can't tell you how excited I was to read it once found. The back cover blurb simply intrigued me - I was into the magic thing as I just came off some other Urban Fantasy, and the thought of the different gifts of dance, music, and magic allured. I also was intriguing by the ending line, was there a creepy part of it or not? I was in the mood for more young adult and again, this is an older edition people likely won't hunt down, but if you run into it, it's highly rec ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jul 23, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember why I put A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan on my wishlist but I did. I've started to try to read through that list by locating the books at my local libraries.

A Gift of Magic differs from Duncan's typical young adult thrillers. This one has magical realism instead of a mystery. A mother recently divorced moves her three children into the home she's inherited from her mother. Along with the home the children begin to develop heightened skills: one gets music, one gets dance and the
...more
Jack705
Jun 10, 2010 Jack705 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book is saying with great power comes great responsibility. In this story, the main character Nancy, finds out that she has ESP, or extra sensory perception. She has the ability to go back the past, see where people are and what they are doing in the present. She’s able to tell what people are thinking, and she knows what’s going to happen in the future. With these great powers she could easily influence people's lives - what they do and think - and this is a huge responsibilit ...more
Tayzia
Feb 14, 2009 Tayzia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
WEll... first of all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought that it was a little bit short, but the author was very descriptive, and the plot was very interesting. I loved how developed the personnalities of the characters were. Nancy was very serious all of the time, Kirby was always zoning out, thinking about dancing, and Brendon was a troublemaker. I loved how it all worked out in the end, and I loved the "Once upon a time" and "happily ever after" thing. overall rating:one of my ...more
Scott
Jul 24, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is a YA book that was written (1972) long before they had that category. I read this book around 7th or 8th grade and it struck some kind of something with me because I read it many many times in the six years after I got it.

This would be my first re-read since I got out of high school. It did bug me a little that the book has obviously been touched up for modern times (e.g. the addition of email and text technology) but I can live with it.

Our story follows a family of three children direct
...more
Andrea Hussey
May 14, 2013 Andrea Hussey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Plot spoilers*

The storyline was interesting, about their grandmother giving her three grandchildren a gift. She gave Nancy the gift of magic, Kirby got the gift of dance, and Brendon got the gift of music. I thought that was really unique, and was curious to see where it was going to go. But then I found out the kids were so young and it went downhill from there. The girls were in middle school, and Brendon was in elementary school. I hated that they were so young, and I think the story would h
...more
Daisy
this book was full of magic which by the way matches the name that it was given. I enjoyed reading this book because it was very magical and i could relate to it! this book was mostly about a family with divorced parents and kids called Kirby, Nancy, and Brendon. During these family's life they are living in Florida home of the beaches and crabs where Nancy and her sister and brother are attending a new school and making new friends making it feel like they are completely normal!what is special ...more
Eden
Feb 28, 2013 Eden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, reviewed
Before Elizabeth's mother died, she gave her grandchildren three gifts. Kirby would have the gift of dance, Brendon the gift of music and Nancy was given her grandmother's very own gift, which Elizabeth seemed to miss.

Now, many years later, Elizabeth is back in her hometown with her own children and Nancy doesn't like it one bit. Changes are happening and she knows it, as she just has a way of knowing things. Nancy wants to find a way to keep everything the same and at the same time, trying to l
...more
Relyn
Jul 13, 2008 Relyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tweens
All I can say is that Lois has had her day, and I am glad to be finally finished with this little project of mine. There is nothing wrong with Lois Duncan, and she has written a few really good books. Duncan had phenomenal success at a time when not that many books for teens were being published. So, I intend no disrespect when I say that I am no longer a teen and am more than finished with these books. I have learned a few things from this project, though.

1. There are too many great books in t
...more
Penny Landon
Jun 10, 2014 Penny Landon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was in middle school and loved to read Lois Duncan books. I decided to re-read A Gift of Magic to see if it was as good as I remembered. I was not dissapointed. It is a simple storyline that you can definitely figure out what happens next, but it is still an engaging story. Kirby's struggle to become a dancer was great to read and could have been improved if the author had just devoted a few more pages to her. Nancy's narration also made the book more interesting to ...more
Elaine
This is one of my absolute favorite books. The book focuses on a main character with psychic gifts that are well known and supported by her family-- a nice touch for a YA novel. The story chronicles her self-discovery, worries, skills. Excellently developed characters. Could not recommend more highly.

If you liked this book, I recommend:
Shadowland
Violet Eyes
So You Want to Be a Wizard
Swankivy
Aug 18, 2008 Swankivy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritebooks
This is a story about a family whose grandmother gave her grandchildren "gifts"--Kirby got the gift of dance, Brendon got the gift of music, and Nancy got something else that she's not sure what it is. She doesn't know much about ESP, but when she reads up about it and realizes it describes what she can do, she's both kinda afraid and kinda interested in developing it. But then, of course, it ends up hitting her that she might have a responsibility that comes with her unusual talent, and she's n ...more
Violet
Jun 04, 2009 Violet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was one of the most boring paranormal books I've every read. It was SO boring. There could have been so much more done. It was a wonderful concept, but Lois Duncan went nowhere with it. There could have been someone trying to get them because of their gifts, or some more contact with the late grandmother, or SOMETHING more! It was so cheesy in some parts (the "can't let mother marry somone other then dad"). There was a happy sappy ending (I hate those). So you can guess that I really didn't ...more
Grace
Aug 16, 2013 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First read this book in elementary school, many times. Gave it 5 stars because it has stayed with me all these years, any time I come across an ESP reference. Big difference in reading it now as an adult. Back then, I loved Nancy and felt so sorry for her, being ignored by her sister and worried about her parents. But now, I just saw a self-centered brat who is extremely judgmental and thinks she knows what is best for everyone. I disliked her. The story completely held up. Moral of Nancy's stor ...more
Chelsea
Jun 18, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this when I was eleven and it was an instant favorite. I believed so much of Nancy's experiences with ESP. I remember the book giving me chills and I would stay up late on summer nights unable to put the book down. I read it at least five times when i was a child. I re-read it recently and found it just as wonderful. Obviously its meant for a young reader audience, and it was written awhile back, so some of the language is a bit corny but I loved it still. It reaffirmed my beliefs in our ...more
Kinjal
Jan 08, 2016 Kinjal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eskana
*Before starting, I'd like to point out that this edition (with this particular cover) is the best for this story- the others make it look almost like a horror story or something. Don't be led on.

Summary: Nancy, a young middle schooler, learns to deal with both her talent of ESP and her family's new situation after her parents separate.

Setting: Modern-ish day (published in 1972) in Florida

The Story: Before she died, Nancy's grandmother, known for her "special knowledge", bestowed her three grand
...more
Julie Decker
Jul 06, 2014 Julie Decker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy's grown up a little afraid of herself because she's the only one of her siblings with a gift she doesn't understand. Her older sister was given the gift of dance by their grandmother. Her younger brother has the gift of music. Hers is some other kind of gift, and it means she knows things before they happen and experiences odd knowledge of other people's inner lives. As she explores what she's capable of--trying to lose her fear and increase her understanding--she finds that it's awfully e ...more
Trisha
Aug 27, 2016 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*listened to audiobook*
In junior high, I read pretty much anything my school's library had by Lois Duncan, so I was pretty excited to find a few books by Lois Duncan on my local library's website!
This book was quick and entertaining. Kirby, Nancy, Brandon, and their mother (Elizabeth) have traveled the world with their dad, who is a journalist. The story begins with Elizabeth and the kids moving into her childhood home in Florida and the kids having their first experience with going to school a
...more
Chloe Johnson
Nancy's grandmother gave each of her grandchildren a gift. To Nancy's sister she gave the gift of dance, to her brother the gift of music, and to Nancy the gift of magic. Nancy's parents have gotten a divorce and they have had to move to beach house in Flordia. Nancy still wants her parents to get back together, but her mom starts getting intersted in an old high school boyfriend. Nancy doesn't like him because he wants to study people with ESP like Nancy and she is afraid he will make her into ...more
girl writing
Jul 08, 2014 girl writing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Duncan's tamer stories but with a fun twist at the end.
Amber
Feb 19, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I say this about a lot of books, but this is definitely an amazing book. This idea is amazing and the mystery/secrets is amazing. The whole idea of this "magic" gift is amazing and the sci-fi concept is great. I definitely recommend this book. Like you should stop reading this review right now so that you can read this book. No I'm serious. Read the book. STOP READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Stop reading now. Why are you still reading? I hate you. Now go read the book.
Ashley
Aug 29, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Coney Zealley
Feb 17, 2015 Coney Zealley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One blessed with the gift of Dance, one with music and one with magic. That's what grandma promised, and that's what the grandchildren got.
But even gifted children have struggles. Used to moving from hotel to hotel following their photographer father, they've now landed in Florida. And it looks like they're there to stay. Without Dad.
Nancy doesn't like it. She doesn't want her parents to split up, she doesn't want to deal with her evil social studies teacher, and she definitely doesn't want to
...more
Kate
Jul 25, 2016 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our of all the Lois Duncan I've been re-reading recently this is the one that came back to be right away. Within the first page if not the first sentence. Nancy, her twin sister Kirby, and her brother Branden all have a certain talent. Nancy has the most extraordinary one: ESP.

What is nice about this story, again it's a bit dated but there are some modern updates in this edition, is that this doesn't turn into a conspiracy theory girl on the run story. Her family believes her and she goes out on
...more
Michelle Edis
Feb 03, 2016 Michelle Edis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book when Scholastic sent home the regular monthly book order for from school back in the '70's when it was first printed. I probably read it at least 40 times and gave it to my children and now share it with my students.

This book had so many levels to capture my attention. I was very much into magical or time travel type stories. Check. I was a dancer. Check. I was a musician. Check. And an avid reader that could and would read two novels a day. This book became a staple when I had n
...more
Shelly Hammond
Feb 10, 2016 Shelly Hammond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good book for a younger group of people. I'd probably say ages 10-15 or so. I love Lois Duncan and her books are terrific middle grade books. This one wasn't my favorite, but it was still a good story.

This authors writing style is always enjoyable and easy to get through. The characters were all well developed and the story went from one thing to another quite easily. The only problem was that it sort of seemed to have very little happen until the last five or six chapters. You go
...more
PELSIN LINA
I liked this book because it has mystery, kind of alternate world, real world, family problems, magic, tricks, talent and stories of main characters' lives. It includes lots of things in it and it makes the book excited. There is Nancy that is the main character, Kirby that is Nancy's sister, Brendon that is Nancy's brother and Elizabeth that is their mother. Book tells their stories, sometimes it gets boring but you should keep reading because ending will shock you. Ending is so good. I rated t ...more
Lina Memduhoğlu
Jan 18, 2015 Lina Memduhoğlu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it has mystery, kind of alternate world, real world, family problems, magic, tricks, talent and stories of main characters' lives. It includes lots of things in it and it makes the book excited. There is Nancy that is the main character, Kirby that is Nancy's sister, Brendon that is Nancy's brother and Elizabeth that is their mother. Book tells their stories, sometimes it gets boring but you should keep reading because ending will shock you. Ending is so good. I rated t ...more
Kathleen
I just remember picking this up at the local library when I was little, back when I just grabbed books because they had pages and words, and I had no idea what kind of a story (or reading level) I was getting myself into. With this one, I remembered not being very challenged but actually being a bit bored, and my mother was surprised to see it in my hands, considering it was on her students' Scholastic orders, and I was several grades younger than they were. Probably a really interesting book fo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Candle in Her Room
  • A Royal Pain
  • Ghosts I Have Been (Blossom Culp, #2)
  • Don't Hurt Laurie
  • The Ghost Next Door
  • The Name of the Game Was Murder
  • The Party (Final Friends #1)
  • Jane-Emily
  • The Mall
  • Taking Terri Mueller
  • Return from Witch Mountain
  • The Ghosts of Stone Hollow
  • Being Dead
  • Party Line
26819
Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz) was an American writer and novelist, known primarily for her books for children and young adults, in particular (and some times controversially considering her young readership) crime thrillers. Duncan's parents were the noted magazine photographers Lois Steinmetz and Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Saraso ...more
More about Lois Duncan...

Share This Book