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Magic by the Lake (Tales of Magic #3)

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  3,463 ratings  ·  94 reviews
When wishing for magic, it's hard not to wish for too much.

If Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha had stopped to think -- oh, if they had only stopped to think! -- they would have ordered magic by the pound, or by the day, or even by the halves as they had in Half Magic.

But no, they asked for magic by the lake -- and now they have to deal with a whole lakeful of enchantment!
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Paperback, 190 pages
Published 1999 by Odyssey Harcourt Classics (first published 1957)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
oh, Edward Eager, you really seem like a swell guy. a family man but not one of those mawkish mewling types who always seem to be about to burst into tears when they talk about their fam. you get kids and you don't bring a lot of sentimentality to the table either; you capture the cheerfulness & the mood swings & the sweetness & a little bit of the sour as well. you root your adventures in prosaic reality but you manage to make prosaic reality not bad, not bad at all, its own sort of ...more
An Odd1
Exciting "gave chase" p 63. More silly than scary. Not too many old sayings. Just enough flapper era for fun.

Magic has rules, limits, misunderstandings. Not quite literal like Amelia Bedelia https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... But same, improved by illustrations. I could wish for color, but not too much in text to go by. Imitating mermaid (hands crossed demurely over front p 15), Jane was "combing her longish ungolden hair" p 30 is dark at 16. Not syrupy sweet, tempers do flare, accidents
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Elizabeth
The sequel to Half Magic just doesn't have the same kind of whimsical magic. Adriana and I devoured Half Magic, which I loved as a kid, but this one we kept putting down. Adriana loves to read series (Oz, Little House, Ramona), but this one was better off as a single book. I do like the references to other stories in it, which give me ideas about other things it might be fun to read with her, and I'm looking forward to reading other Edward Eager books with her.
Hope
If you are a fan of fine children’s literature, Edward Eager is an author you should add to your list. Eager was a British playwright who began to write his own children’s stories when he couldn’t find anything suitable to read to his son. Just as author C. S. Lewis credits George McDonald for influencing every one of his stories, Eager gives author Edith Nesbit the credit for igniting his own story-telling imagination. His books are a lovely combination of realistic children and magical adventu ...more
Jessica Mcmahon
Be careful what you wish for. When four children decide to take a normal summer trip up to the lake, the result is anything but. There's adventure, (somewhat cartoonish) action, and lots of charming quirks here an there to keep you reading. But will this trip end in tears? And will it change their live?

As a sequel to "Half Magic" I expected it to magical, charming, and cute. What I received is exactly what I expected. It's a fantastic follow-up to a wonderful book, I would definitely read it a
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Jessica
This series is a delight to read aloud, really crisp, well-done writing that makes the children laugh. Eager has really tight grammar, so passages are super for copywriting exercises, too.

The books are older, and in this one there is some questionable racist content (cannibal "savages" who speak in exaggerated stereotypical native " we no seeum") but it provides an opportunity to discuss how that sort of thing used to be common and why it isn't considered kind now.

We are reading these in chrono
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Dolly
This is the third book in the Tales of Magic series by Edward Eager. It's an entertaining, fast read and our oldest and I both read it independently. For some reason, we borrowed this book before Knight's Castle, so we'll plan to read that one next.

It merges the characters from the first two books and it didn't matter too much that we'd read the books in the wrong order. We especially loved the cantankerous old turtle who is magical and wise. The pirates made an exciting and dangerous addition
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Ashley
I enjoyed Magic by the Lake much more than I did the previous book in this series. It was great to read about the adventures of Martha, Katherine, Jane, and Mark again! They are characters who are becoming much more developed and have distinct personalities! I love how their personalities and relationships to each other seem so real (though I am sure there would be more arguing and fighting among four siblings).

In this book the children spend the last part of their summer (only a few weeks after
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Tricia
"Katharine noticed a sign by the front door. … 'Magic by the Lake,' it said.
Katharine looked at Mark, a wild guess in her eyes. 'Do you suppose?' For the four children had had experience of magic, or at least a kind of half magic, in the past.
(After the half magic was over, they wondered if they'd ever have any magic adventures again, and in the book about it it says it was a long time before they knew the answer. And here it was only three weeks later, and already Katharine was ready for mor
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Valerie
Just about the point where the children make the 'magic by the lake' wish, there's a panoramic scene forming a sort of catalog of what SORTS of 'magic' is in the lake. This is obviously strongly influenced by the children's formal and literary education, and especially the sort of library books they've read.

Not surprising, perhaps, since it's initiated by their wish. But it indicates not only the scope but also the limits of where the magic can take them. Though they resist being made to learn
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Donna
One of my favorite books growing up was Half Magic by Edward Eager. I loved the crazy adventures the four funny siblings got into, the novelty of the old-fashioned setting, and the peculiar nature of the magic they encountered.

This book, which serves as something of a sequel to Half Magic, continues all of those wonderful traits. Jane, Katherine, Mark, and Martha have concluded their adventures with the strange coin that only grants half wishes, and have gone to the countryside with their mother
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Roy
After reading Half Magic I was delighted to learn, as was my daughter, that Edward Eager wrote a sequel to it. Unfortunately it was considerably less charming than the original. I got the feeling that Eager felt pressured (maybe by his publisher, maybe by himself) into writing this book to capitalize on the success of the first one. But he'd already accomplished what he set out to do in Half Magic, so Magic by the Lake feels forced. In the first story the children do not realize initially that t ...more
Danica
Feb 08, 2013 Danica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who wants a fun, fast, comical, classic childhood read.
Aha! this is where this passage is from, that I think about all the time - especially in summer:
'"Coolth,' said Katharine. 'Blessed, blessed coolth.'
'That's no word,' said jane.
'It ought to be,' said Katharine, pressing on."

Edward Eager is a particularly interesting addition to the "kids finding magic" genre, because half of his books just plain HAVE magic, and in the other half, the kids and even the reader are never quite sure whether everything that happens is pure magic or just coincidence.
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Charity
I've really enjoyed reading Edward Eager's books to my kids, and Magic by the Lake is no exception. As in his earlier books, Eager's descriptions of place are vivid and detailed. They draw me in until I feel almost as though I'm in a cottage on a midwestern lake in summer rather than in a split-level in a suburban neighborhood with a foot of snow on the ground.

My daughter loves how the books link together (and I love that they do so relatively subtly). I won't mention the big link in this one be
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Karen
This book was not quite as good at Half Magic. The characters were not quite as likable or interesting. And the story was not quite as compelling. Although, I did rather love the turtle. The ending was good, but again, not as good as the first book's.

Magic by the Lake is worth reading, but don't skip reading Half Magic first.



Actual rating: 3.5 stars, but I round up.
Luvbooks
Jane, Mark, Katherine, and Martha were at the lake and when they were playing there they discovered a magic turtle that could talk. The turtle said they could wish a few more wishes with the magic charm.
Jane and Katherine wished that they could be twelve at very moment and as soon as they wished it they were taller and they were twelve. Mark and Martha tried to make them turn back to there own self again. They tried talking to them but Jane and Katherine just acted like a twelve year old since t
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Hyzenthlay
This is probably my second favourite in the Tales of Magic series, because it follows the kids from Half Magic as they spend their summer in a rented cottage by the lake (obvs).

The title is punny, but I won't tell you how, cos that would ruin the chuckle you'll get out of figuring it out for yourself.

I loved these books so hard when I was a kid, I'm thrilled they still hold up. Time to start forcing them on my own kids.
Natalie
We're reading this out loud now. I know we're not reading them in the order they were published but we're shooting for more of a chronological sort of thing :-) The chapters take about 50 minutes to read out loud though so it's slow going.

*** We just finished this. It took over a year and that really hurt us. We've read a bunch of other books in the middle. Now my youngest is old enough to basically sit through a chapter (not all take a full 50 minutes) but the language is old and at times sort
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Peytie
Only two stars because this book contains some racism. The parts that don't contain racism are lovely, but I wouldn't read this one to my kids.
Melody
Time bobs and reels for Eager in the most interesting way. There's a magic turtle in this one, and many familiar children. There are pirates and mermaid and explorers and some over-the-top cannibals who wouldn't be allowed in any modern book. The parents are agreeably clueless but not idiotic, and the children are prickly and engaging and above all, real. The magic is, well, one would have to call it magical. I keep reading that Eager wrote these in homage to E. Nesbit but I never could get into ...more
Sarah
This sequel to Half Magic is something I read out loud to my children. But it's instructive from a plot perspective. Half Magic introduced a brilliantly simple magical device, and much of the humor and plot spun from its tidy rules. (The gorgeously witty omniscient narration didn't hurt either.)

Fantasy writers take note--without the inspired "rule" which governs Half Magic, the sequel fails. The magic of this second book is scattershot, and the logic crumbles quickly. Of course I finished readin
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Alexis B
I liked I want to go on the magical adventures with them!
Rainier
The moral is do NOT TALK TO TURTLES!
Krystle
Oh, chapter 6...
And here I was, like a fool, thinking that Half Magic's chapter 3 was the worst it got. (My childhood memory was even more selective than I realized...)

What really makes this book subpar on a whole, though, is the lack of whimsy or fun. This is basically a poor retread of Half Magic.
Lisa
Fantastic family read. :)
Lisa Wolf
I read Magic by the Lake with my 10-year-old, and unfortunately, we were both disappointed. After reading -- and loving -- Half Magic, we expected great things from this sequel. Sadly, Magic by the Lake just doesn't hold up in comparison to Half Magic. The magic in the story is rather amorphous, with weird rules that shift and make little sense, and the entire plot feels a bit haphazard. I've loved a few of Edward Eager's magical books, but Magic by the Lake is not one of the best.
dogluvers867
Jan 11, 2009 dogluvers867 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to dogluvers867 by: Ms. Moulin, my school librarian
Shelves: audrey-s-books
I really liked this book. It was like the Penderwicks, in that it was about siblings going somewhere for the summer and run into adventures there. And I liked how this one included magic and that made more possibilities of what the siblings could run into. The plot was good, but the only thing that I didn't like about it was that there wasn't a lot of description, so as a result sometimes I couldn't imagine what things looked like.
Wendy A
Fun fantasy read that takes this family from Toledo, Ohio, and places them in a cabin by a magical lake outside of Angola, Indiana. Neat reference for Hoosiers and Buckeyes who might never thought of looking for magic in their own backyards! :) This book centers around the idea that it's always wise to be careful for what you wish...
Mitchy
หนังสือของนายคนนีจะเหมือนแนว Five children & it เกือบทุกเรืองเลยหริอไง
(ทีจริงเพิงอานมาแคสามเรือง)
คือจะตองมีกลุมเดกพีนองชายหญิงคละกัน เจอกับตัวอะไรสักอยาง หรือวัตถุอะไรสักอยางทีบรรดาลเวทมนตใหได
แลวพวกมันกจะใชเวทมนตแบบเหียกๆ จนพาตัวเองไปพบกับความเดือดรอน

กไมแปลกหรอก กนายคนเขียนเขากบอกอยูแลววาหนังสือของเขาเขียนเพืออุทิศให E.Nesbit
พูดแลวอยากอานซีรีส five children & it ใหมแฮะ
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Vecchio Book Club: Magic by the Lake. 1 1 Jul 27, 2012 07:45PM  
  • The Magic City
  • The Witch Family
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #5)
  • Return to Gone-Away (Gone-Away Lake, #2)
  • The Diamond in the Window (Hall Family Chronicles, #1)
  • Shadow Castle
  • No Flying in the House
  • Magic Elizabeth
  • Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine (Danny Dunn, #3)
  • The Magic Summer
  • Fergus Crane (Far-Flung Adventures, #1)
131683
Eager was born in and grew up in Toledo, Ohio and attended Harvard University class of 1935. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he lived for 14 years before moving to Connecticut. He married Jane Eberly in 1938 and they had a son, Fritz.

Eager was a childhood fan of L. Frank Baum's Oz series, and started writing children's books when he could not find stories he wanted to read to h
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More about Edward Eager...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of Magic (7 books)
  • Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1)
  • Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2)
  • The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4)
  • Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
  • The Well-Wishers (Tales of Magic, #6)
  • Seven-Day Magic (Tales of Magic, #7)
Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1) Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2) Seven-Day Magic (Tales of Magic, #7) The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4) Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)

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