Black and Blue Magic
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Black and Blue Magic

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  456 ratings  ·  48 reviews
You'd think that someone with a name like Harry Houdini Marco would be deft and skillful, but Harry could only occasionally catch even an easy fly ball without making some dumb error. On top of that, most of his friends' families were moving to the suburbs. It would have been a long, dreary summer, but then a Mr. Mazeeck showed up and turned out to be more than he seemed....more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published July 13th 2004 by Backinprint.com (first published 1966)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 780)
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Mike
Of the thousands of books that I've read in my life time, this is the oldest one in my personal library. It has the honor of being the OLDEST BOOK that I recall reading. I read it when I was in the 4th grade, circa 1966. It was amazing (for a nine year old boy). I've kept it all these years because it was my favorite book of my early childhood.
Thomas Flowers
Just the mention of the title of this book a few weeks ago made me so excited to re-read it. I had really forgotten all about it and only remembered it vaguely from when I was little and my mom read it to me, but I remembered how reading the book felt. And as it turned out, it still feels wonderful to read it. It's the sort of book that awakens my imagination and makes me smile with the pure delightfulness of the plot. And I can also appreciate now (as I probably didn't as a child) the wonderful...more
Mary Miller
This book was written years ago by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, who later turned out to be a wife of a professor at my university. But before this, she was/is an amazing author I started reading when I was 8 years old. This is about a boy protagonist, but this did NOT stop me loving this book. I have 'loaned' this one out to many little kids, literally having to BEG for it back. I met Zilpha Keatley Snyder, while in graduate school at Sonoma State University having lunch. It was a top honor for me to...more
Amanda
Loved this when I was a kid. It is probably lingering out there in the children's section of the EPFL, but I don't want to read it again. I ruined the Boxcar Children for myself, and I want my memories of this to remain unsullied. This book is a twist on the old "magic potion" story, where a clutzy kid with problems finds a potion that, used properly, gives him wings. He's kind of like The Greatest American Hero in that he doesn't know how to use his powers, or the wings, and winds up black and...more
Michael
I read this delightful book when I was in the Fourth Grade. Pulled it off the library shelf at Nightengale Elementary School, Massena, NY because something about the title just drew me in. It was not a class assignment and so I never wrote a book report on it (at least, I don't remember ever doing so). And, if memory also serves me right, this was the first fictional book I ever read, completely on my own, that was not part of some classroom project. Looking back on this minimal achievement, I c...more
Wendi
I thought it was an interesting read. The book was written in the 60's, and so it is fascinating to read about a boy growing up at that time period. Not that it had any political feel. Just a world without TV, phones, internet, and video games permeating the environment. I think my 9 year old son will enjoy this book.
Chas
I think my brother gave me this book. I really need to go back and read it again, but I remember dreaming about this book for a long time after I was finished. The setting and feel of the story are so real. Above all the fantasy and sci-fi I read in school, this book sits on top.
David Andrews
I found this book by accident when I was a child. It wasn't one of the mysteries I was expecting. Didn't follow any of the formulas that had hooked me into reading. But it was the first book that I remember liking for more than entertainment.

Recently I reread, reading to my young son. It was even better than in memory.

This book would make a brilliant film. It should happen, and that film should be directed by one of the greats:
Brad Bird (Iron Giant), Peter Chelsom (The Mighty), Gary Winick (Ch...more
Gwen Haaland
I am referring to the 1966 version of "Black and Blue Magic."
I remember being brave enough to sneak up to the hayloft over the art barn at sleep away camp to read "Black and Blue Magic!" A magic potion enables the main character to sprout wings and fly for about 6 hours before the wings disappear and the potion had to be reapplied after the boy's Mom is asleep each night to regain the giant wings. I had lots of dreams about flying afterward! However, there was a lot more to this book than mere...more
Robyn
This was a cute little story, sure. It was well told, and the pacing was never really flagged. It was an alright way to pass a few hours. If I had read this when I was 8, I might have been more entertained. But I just couldn't bring myself to give it more than two stars.

Compared to the author's other works, this is just too simple, and it's missing that essential something that books like The Witches of Worm, or The Egypt Game had. There's no real tension for one thing. I'm not going to insist...more
Amanda
When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my mom recommended this book to me because she read it as a kid. So I read it, and I loved it. I think i also had a connection to it because I am from San Francisco, where the book is set, and the special nostalgia for Fleishhacker pool, Playland at the beach, and the old zoo is something everyone from San Francisco has. This book captures childhood for me in so many ways.
Ferne Merrylees
This story reminded me of vanilla spiders and the smell of summer when I was kid visiting my grandparents. The hero is the rare type of boy who used to be more common fifty or more years ago: kind, selfless, brave and thoughtful. A thoroughly enjoyable book that inspires one to be just like Harry.
Caroline
My 4th grade teacher read this out loud to my class. She would read a chapter at a time and I couldn't wait to get to school the next day to hear what would happen next. This is not a well known book, but such a fun read aloud with kids from 4th-6th grade. I still love it.
Marcia
Zilpha Keatly Snyder was one of my favorite authors as a child. And I still enjoy her books today. This one is about a boy who's loyalty and hard work are rewarded with the gift of flight (but only for one summer). Just the right balance between magic and real life.
Mark Dellenbaugh
I read this as a child and loved it! Don't know why it popped into my head the other day. I will check out from the library to see if it held up over time. The fact we have a copy in 2012 is a good sign. I thought I'd have to ILL it to re-read!
Linda
This is very much a book for children. It is about a boy who gets magical wings for a summer and how he uses them. It is absolutely adorable and fun read. If you have kids read it to them or have them read it.
Emily
This was one of my favorite books when I was young. I kept it (pretending it was lost!) WAY beyond the library due date. Several years into our marriage, I found out it was one of my husband's absolute favorites, too!
Magda
I think most books with this plot idea would be cutesy, but Ms. Snyder manages to make this almost believable, with a rather good kid who is at the same time thoroughly likeable.
Shane
Loved this book when I was a kid. It's about a boy who finds a cream that allows him to grow wings which vanish with the dawn. Imaginative and exhilarating.
Denise
I read this in middle school and loved it then. I just found it again on Amazon and still love it. Such a nice fantasy.
Jm
Enjoyable - the story is original, with classic elements for a young adult adventure. I enjoyed familiar references (growing up as a kid in the 1960s/70s around San Francisco).

A great book about possibilities and how some people have room for magic in their life. This book was written by someone who remembers being 11 and knows about what kids are like before they hit their teens.

My own very picker reader tween daughter went from refusing to touch the book to begging me to read her nightly insta...more
Amber
Read this one when I was real young-I loved it and read it over and over again. started me off on Science Fiction.
John
Read this as an Arrow Book in 1967. Best book ever written.
Sarah
This book has still got it, after all these years.
Christy
Jul 01, 2009 Christy marked it as to-read
Ms. Thompson's favorite book
Denise Schiller
Maybe I'm Harry....
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Back in the sixties, my brother owned a copy of this book. That doesn't say much until you realise that he was dyslexic at a time and in a place when that was not at all understood or helped, and he read this book of his own free will. I managed to read the first few chapters, he caught me and said "That's MY book, give it back!" and I did. (Ironically, I began to read at age 3 and haven't stopped yet.)

Fast forward about 40 years. I've just read the whole book, and I see why he worked his way th...more
Phoebe
Clumsy Harry can't believe how lucky he is when a strange new boarder gives him a wonderful gift, in exchange for Harry's help. Written in the 60s, the story may feel a little dated in some aspects but overall this is an entertaining adventure story with some magic thrown in. And Harry himself is just a regular kid that other kids will relate to. The illustrations are not very appealing but they are energetic.
Middle grade readers.
Kate
I remember the dedication of this book, for her son who wanted her to write a book because boys read, too. It was a fun kind of adventure story. At this point I think I was just trying to read every single book Zilpha Keatley Snyder had ever written.
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The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for "The Egypt Game", "The Headless Cupid" and "The Witches of Worm", Zilpha Keatley Snyder has been writing books for children since 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies", was published. Since that time she has completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for younge...more
More about Zilpha Keatley Snyder...
The Egypt Game (Game, #1) The Headless Cupid (Stanley Family, #1) The Velvet Room The Witches of Worm The Changeling

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