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

Wet Magic

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  280 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
When four siblings journey to the seashore for a holiday, one of them unwittingly summons the sister ofa mermaid who is captured by a circus, and the children set out to save the imprisoned being. After a daring midnight rescue, the children's reward is an incredible journey beneath the waves and into the hidden kingdom of the mermaids. But they soon find themselves in a ...more
Paperback, 181 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Books of Wonder / SeaStar (first published 1913)
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 Wet Magic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wet Magic

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 20, 2010 Manny rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
I must have read this book when I was about 6... E. Nesbit was the first "real" author I discovered. I think it was the first time I had ever come across a metaphysical problem in a work of literature. The children have been captured by the cruel Sea-People, and the Queen offers them a deal. Anyone who wants can take a little pill, and they will immediately forget who they are, and that they were ever the Sea-People's enemies. They will be welcome as free citizens. But if they don't take the ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Kathryn rated it liked it
Wet Magic* follows the general pattern of Nesbit books: a family of very English children, two boys and two girls in this case, finds themselves embroiled in a magical adventure. In this case, they rescue a mermaid from a circus that had captured her. She takes them back to her own country, and hijinks ensue.

It's pretty typical Nesbit: a simple, fun adventure for kids. It doesn't stand out among the rest of her books in either a good or a bad way; I'd recommend it for someone who's already read
I think this is the weakest of the Nesbit books that I've read. I've given it three stars, but I probably would have given two stars to a different author.
Of course, the fault may not be with Nesbit but with me. This is the second undersea book I have given a low rating. Perhaps I just don't like that setting.
Cynthia Egbert
Oct 10, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Well...Ms. Nesbit hits it out of the park again for me with this one, with an especially wonderful thrill at her literary references. It was rather fun to pick up a sense of her political leanings with those literary characters that she chose to identify as evil. I would dearly love to see a battle fought with Boadicea, Jeanne, and Torfrida leading a group of Amazons against the "bad guys" in literature. This was so much fun! Oh, and there are a family of delightfully real children and mermaids ...more
Z Cat
Oct 05, 2016 Z Cat rated it it was amazing
Rescuing princesses. Or mermaids. Or both. Removable fish's tails. And don't forget the underfolk! The only downside is that the children forget all about their adventure. Well, you can't have everything.
Mark Dewey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leah A. A.
Nov 20, 2015 Leah A. A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of J.K. Rowling, Daniel Pinkwater, Edward Eager, &c.
Four young siblings on a seaside holiday rescue a captive mermaid and get caught up in a war in her underwater domain. Told in E. Nesbit's delightfully conversational style, this is a fantasy to appeal to children of all ages.

Nesbit's magical adventures were the early 20th century's answer to the Harry Potter series, and I highly recommend her books to anyone who enjoys J.K. Rowling, Daniel Pinkwater or Edward Eager. Even Lemony Snicket fans may find Nesbit to their liking, though she's not nea
Nov 17, 2011 Jessa rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
It's sweet. The length and speed I think prevent it from joining my list of truly epic children's stories, but I enjoyed it and am glad to have it as part of my collection. If nothing else, it's incredibly imaginative. I LOVED the parts on literature, though it did feel odd to have this satire pop out of nowhere, rather than have threads of satire laced throughout the story. If you're a fan of children's literature, or literature in general, it's worth the read.
J. Boo
Nov 10, 2015 J. Boo rated it liked it
Relatively weak Nesbit offering. A mermaid is rescued, and takes a group of children on an underwater adventure.

It felt... unreal? It's an odd criticism to make of one of the most fantastical authors of children's fantasy, but the book just didn't seem to ring true.

2.5/5, rounded up. May have more thoughts later.
Jennifer Heise
Apr 30, 2014 Jennifer Heise rated it liked it
Charming if fluffy story about children, a mermaid, and the sea kingdom. An easier read than, say, Four Children and It or The Magic City.
Mar 26, 2011 Mommalibrarian rated it it was amazing
Four nice British children have a magical adventure by and in the ocean. Published in 1913 but timeless.
Jul 15, 2014 Ottergirl rated it really liked it
I don't like this book a lot because it is one of the ones where the characters have great adventures then have to take memory drugs to forget it all. Otherwise it's a great book.
Feb 04, 2016 Yvonne rated it really liked it
A nice throw back, had some really great themes, and wasn't written for idiots, because children aren't idiots.
May 29, 2014 Nicola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a glorious read - I had forgotten how wonderful Edith Nesbit was at telling fabulous children's stories
Jan 20, 2012 astried rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
clunky & awkward, unlike other nesbit's I've read. A tad preachy as well. Maybe it's juet because I haven't read children book for some time and not used to it anymore.
Jan 11, 2014 Zora rated it it was ok
Recommended to Zora by: Edgar Eager, author of Half Magic
Shelves: older-than-me
Another in my week of middle-grade books. I liked the first half very well, but once they go to the undersea kingdom, I was a bit bored.
Heather rated it it was ok
Jun 12, 2013
Dominika Roman
Dominika Roman rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2016
Allison rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2012
Sarah Wilder
Sarah Wilder rated it liked it
Nov 09, 2012
Rachel rated it liked it
May 07, 2016
Shelby rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2014
Brandon Hoang
Brandon Hoang rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2013
Nicole T
Nicole T rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2015
Erin rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2012
Delaina rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2010
Nijole rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2016
Lanzecki rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2015
Anne rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2015
Kit rated it really liked it
May 28, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4)
  • Sky Island
  • Doré's London: All 180 Illustrations from London, A Pilgrimage
  • Thora: A Half-Mermaid Tale
  • Sukey and the Mermaid
  • Undine
  • Granny's Wonderful Chair
  • The Wildkin's Curse
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland - So Many Splendid Sundays
  • Dragon Magic (The Magic Series, #4)
  • The Court of Stone Children
  • Home to the Sea
  • Mermaids 101: Exploring the Magical Underwater World of the Merpeople
  • Reunion (Water, #2)
  • The Unicorn’s Tale (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, #4)
  • Water Tales: Aquamarine and Indigo
  • Eventide (Tales of the Dragon's Bard, #1)
  • Gemma and Sisters (Gemma, #2)
Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
More about E. Nesbit...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I'll tell you something," said Francis,urgent with shoe lace, "if we keep on saying things weren't when we know perfectly well they were, we shall soon dish up any sort of chance of magic we may ever have had. When do you find people in books going on like that? They just say 'This is magic!' and behave as if it was. They don't go pretending they're not sure. Why, no magic would stand it."

Book: Wet Magic, Chapter 2”
“And where are you going?"
"I dunno," said the Spangled Boy. "I'm running from, not to."

Book: Wet Magic, Chapter 5.”
More quotes…