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Waiting for the Magic

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,978 ratings  ·  424 reviews
People may drift apart
But love can hold them together.
Sometimes we find that love through magic –
Sometimes that magic is all around us.

This is a story about all of these things.

But it's also a story about how
four dogs
and one cat
help one boy
and his sister
save their family.
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Mary NEO!!!!!! NEO!!!!!! NEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anderson Lopez LULA was the name of the cat in the story WAITING FOR THE MAGIC

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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,978 ratings  ·  424 reviews


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Heather H
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
SPOILER!!! First i would like to point out that this book is super cute especially if you like or believe in magic yourself. In waiting for the magic, There are two kids, William and Elinor and their father leaves them to their mother. Their mother then decides that bringing home a cat and four dogs will help the children feel better. These animals are unique in a way because they are able to communicate with people telepathically if they believe in magic but William doesnt believe in magic. How ...more
Sarah Grace Grzy
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All ages and all peoples!
Lovely. Adorable. Heartwarming.
Olivia Z
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great book. It will be a favorite of mine for years to come. Bitty was my favorite character, he reminds me of my dog.
Ms. Arca
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 for good writing, and characters with complex feelings in an actual early middle grade book. It’s hard to find well written books that are truly at this reading level and this one was done well. Kids can relate in this one for complicated feelings towards a family member, a love of dogs:) (it’s super cute), or they may just delight in the sweet dusting of magical realism.

Read the free sample of this for a project, and was so curious about how it might go that I requested it from the library
...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
When William's father suddenly leaves the family, no one is sure he will come back. To cope, William's mother takes him and his sister Elinor to the animal shelter, where they adopt 4 dogs and a cat, to "replace his father." While the animals do provide a focus for their love and attention, both children worry that their father will never come back. When he does, Elinor immediately forgives, but William must come to terms with how he feels about his dad. This is a sweet story about family dynami ...more
Chelsea N. Smith
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-talk
Waiting for the Magic tells a story about a fact of childhood that has become more and more prevalent in American culture. William and and Elinor's father leaves one night, unannounced and doesn't come back. This comes at a time in William's childhood where he is questioning whether or not magic exists. After his dad leaves, all magic is lost on him. His mother, in an attempt to keep the family together, decides that a pet is what is needed to bring her mopey kids back to life. The whole family ...more
Melissa Wine
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Fantasy Novel:

I love the magic in this book! Readers at any age should have their imaginations alive. And what kid doesn’t dream of communicating with their pets?! In this story, William and Elinor’s father leaves them so he can “find some magic” and write a book. He never wanted pets in the house, so one day their mom decides to take them to an animal shelter and adopt some pets to help them feel better about everything. These animals are special because they are able to communicate with people
...more
Kristin
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I realize that this is a children's book, and I was hooked at the start. I read, experienced the "magic" that animals bring to a family, broken when papa leaves for a while. I continued to read, as mom discovers a secret that leads to his return, and the family begins to mend and heal. But I still felt like I was waiting, even as the book ended, for the plot to reach a climax. It never really happened, and I don't feel like the main character, William, really resolved his conflict with his fathe ...more
Asma
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
smetimes u need a little read.....
Mikayla
I'm not a fan of talking animals (even in the cute way it was presented in this book) so I didn't really enjoy this book. But MacLachlan has a style that is like a warm blanket. It is comforting.
Rogene Carter
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, favorites
One of the sweetest stories I've ever read with an impressive message of forgiveness and love.
Josiah
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I give two and a half stars to this book, and there's plenty about it that makes me want to round that rating up instead of down. The beautiful sensitivity of author Patricia MacLachlan's writing is as evident as in any of her greatest stories, and the characters seem to sparkle with a certain indescribable magic even while clearly being rooted in the same imperfect world in which we all live. Few other authors can pull off a trick like that, and I don't know if I can think of a single one that ...more
babyhippoface
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction, fantasy
Honestly, I'm still not sure what I think about this one. It's cute, it's sweet, it's funny, it's...odd.

I'll just say it: It has talking doggies. Telepathically talking doggies.

William and Elinor's father just left. Again. Only this time was different. This time, he didn't slam the door on his way out. This time, he closed the door slowly, with just a >click<. This was significant to William (he's a smart boy). Their mother is so upset that she loads the kids in the car, drives straight
...more
Bdalton
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is slightly longer than a beginning chapter book, the reading level seems pretty low, but the topics covered will resonant with older readers. This would make this a good hi-low reader despite the cover which may not appeal to older readers.

This is a story of grief and forgiveness. William and Elinor's father leaves his family after fighting with their mother with no true explanation. The children and mother are shocked and saddened. The mother heads to the pound and adopts all of the
...more
Carol Royce Owen
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There's no better word for this book than magical. I shouldn't be surprised, because Patricia MacLachlan enthralls us every time, but I just loved, loved, loved this book. William is the story teller. He's a boy whose mom and dad separate at the beginning of the story, and he's truly hurt, but won't admit how much. The very same day his mom takes him and his sister to the pound where they get, not one dog, but four dogs and a cat. That's when the magic begins. You will love these dogs and cat as ...more
Kim
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I cannot categorize this book. Maybe I need a shelf that says "MacLaclan." It's already a shorthand, for me, anyway, of exquisitely written stories, slight on plot, but huge in character, emotion, and import. Not much "happens" in a MacLachlan story--and EVERYTHING happens. Waiting for the Magic is peopled with Mom, Elinor and William. "Papa" has left and no one else knows much what to do til Mama adopts ALL the dogs (and a cat) at the local human league. The four dogs and cat settle in and help ...more
Amber
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks-library
When William and Elinor's Father leaves them, their mother takes them to the animal shelter to pick out a dog and cat. They come home with four dogs named Bitty, Neo, Grace, and Bryn along with a cat named Lula who can talk to the children because of a magic they have with them. Can their magic make their household peaceful and take away the pain of their father leaving? Read and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read that I read at the ebooks library through my local library and the
...more
Lindsay
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is not at all what I expected. My son read this when he was in elementary school, and my daughter found it on her own at the library and read it as well. They both told me they loved it and I should read it.

It surprised me quite a bit when it was about a family struggling to say together and also talking dogs. ? (...but not like Disney dogs...really). Like most of MacLachlan's books it is evokes emotions and is rather poetic. Very different, short, and fascinating.

My daughter ha
...more
Cara Ball
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 3rd-5th graders
Recommended to Cara by: Kirstin
A story with 4 dogs in it--and none of them die? FIVE STARS, right there!

This is hands down my favorite 3rd-5th grade book I've read this year. Wonderful, wonderful story about a family on the brink of being torn apart (but does not go into much detail--perfect for this age group) when Jane, the mom, goes to the nearest animal shelter and takes home four (yes 4!) dogs (and a cat!) to help the family get through this very tough time.

What Jane doesn't realize is the animals can talk--but only if y
...more
Erika Gentry
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Typical Patricia MacLachlan-pulls at your heartstrings. When Elinor's and William's father leaves, their mother adopts 4 dogs and a cat to ease their suffering. They become 'magical' companions as they cope with their father's absence. Loved the charcoal pencil illustrations-especially p.126. Made me want to adopt a dog cause PM made it seem like caring for animals was so simple-until I reminded myself of the barking, accidents, home destruction, shedding fur, smell, poop pick-up, and endless ve ...more
Inhabiting Books
Oct 17, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2011
I LOVE this book! This is the story of a family whose father walks out, and then back into their lives, and the four very dissimilar adopted dogs (and one cat) who help them all to heal. I love this mature, funny, touching story of family relationships and forgiveness. I love that the parents work on healing their differences, and I love the touch of magic that the dogs bring into their lives. The dogs are as much the main characters as the humans. This story made me want to go to the animal she ...more
Rachel Seigel
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was an incredibly sweet and satisfying story about how four dogs and a cat brought a family back together. The writing is excellent, and the characters- including the dogs all have distinct personalities. It made me laugh and it made me cry- not from sadness, but because I was moved by the story. It's an absolutely worthwile read for those who are slightly too young to appreciate Spinelli or Laurel Snyder, but the same amount of magic.
Amber the Human
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Like all of MacLachlan's books, this one is very sweet. But ... it's a little too "magical" for my liking. The dogs can talk? To everyone? Hrm ... and the reasoning behind some of the characters motivations leaves a lot to be desired. But, at it's core, it's a story about family (as almost all of hers are) and it does okay for itself.
Suzanne
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-kid-lit
One of my students, Evelyn, recommended this book to me. She brought it into the library and asked if I had read it, then loaned me her copy. I showed her all the other books by Patricia MacLachlan and she chose one to check out and take with her.

Thanks for the loan, Evelyn, You were right - I really enjoyed it!
Kimberly
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm not much of an animal lover (despite having 2 dogs) but I find it odd I've recently read this title and Ask Bob and both were satisfying reads and I enjoyed both for guiding the reader to a place of happiness for the characters.
Marianne
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adore Patricia MacLachlan's writing ever since Sarah, Plain and Tall. This story is just magical with its set of pets that bring wholeness to this family. Just perfect for Grades 1-4.
Barbara
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent juvenile fiction. Sweet, sweet story about a family survivng and over coming difficult circumstances with the help of four loveable dogs and one very patient cat.
Debra Marshall
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A broken family comes together through the magic of talking dogs and a cat who seem to be wiser than their human family.
April
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: child-lit, 2011
Super sweet heart-warming story.
Courtney
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: obob
When I started this one I thought I was NOT going to like it. Happily it changed my mind, it was magical.
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Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western Massach ...more