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

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,921 ratings  ·  183 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 (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*
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
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
Sarah Sammis
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
Feb 14, 2009 Tayzia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Andrea Hussey
*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
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
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
Jul 13, 2008 Relyn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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:
Violet Eyes
So You Want to Be a Wizard
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
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
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
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
*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
Julie Decker
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
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
One of Duncan's tamer stories but with a fun twist at the end.
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.
Coney Zealley
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
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
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
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
I think that this book was kinda boring in the beginning and then later on in the book it got better. I never liked fantasy both this book really changed my mind. The plot included a girl named Kirby thats gets a gift of dance when she did ballet dance move that she can't do yet and she brakes her leg, a girl named Nacey that gets a gift of magic and can read peoples minds, and this little boy named Brendon that gets a gift of music and can play the piano very well. There mother named Elizabeth ...more
Papia aziz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The plot of A Gift of Magic is much more straightforward than Stranger with my Face and comparatively mundane, allowing for the inclusion of middle child Nancy discovering at 12 that she has multiple psychic abilities despite the family never suspecting that such things ran in the family. Did none of the family wonder how Nancy's grandmother knew her daughter would have a third child, a son, two years before his birth? much less that he'd have a gift for music? The family simply accepts Nancy fo ...more
Sarah Albani
Book Review on “A Gift of Magic”

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be able to tell the future, read other people’s minds, or see what is happening in another setting just by closing your eyes? Well, in the book “A Gift of Magic”, by Lois Duncan, Nancy can do all of these things. Nancy is a seventh grade girl who has recently moved to Florida with her sister Kirby, her brother Brendon, and her mom Elizabeth who just got a divorce with her dad. There are many things going on with Nan
Written by the best selling author of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Lois Duncan, A Gift of Magic is another one of her works. A Gift of Magic is written in third person telling the story of Nancy and her two siblings Kirby and Brendon. Before Kirby, Nancy and Brendon where born, their grandmother told her daughter that each one of the children will have a gift- Brendon given the gift of music; Kirby with the gift of dancing and awarding Nancy the gift of magic. Unlike Brendon who can play the ...more
A quick read. I couldn't put it down. The characters are believable (apart from their unique gifts--an element of fantasy which I thoroughly enjoyed). I found myself sympathizing with each of them and exploring their gifts with them. The writing is well-paced, and the dialogue feels mostly natural except for a few things a 9 year old would never say. My only real complaint is that of the epilogue, which is entirely unnecessary.
« 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
  • And This Is Laura
  • The Ghost Next Door
  • Don't Hurt Laurie
  • Ghosts I Have Been (Blossom Culp, #2)
  • The Mall
  • Being Dead
  • Jane-Emily
  • A Deadly Game of Magic
  • The Party (Final Friends, #1)
  • The Night I Disappeared
  • Prom Dress
  • The Witches of Worm
  • Taking Terri Mueller
Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz, April 28, 1934) is 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 gr ...more
More about Lois Duncan...
I Know What You Did Last Summer Stranger with My Face Killing Mr. Griffin Down a Dark Hall Summer of Fear

Share This Book