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Fog Magic

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,122 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Originally published in 1943, this edition features a rare cover by the ground-breaking illustrator Lynd Ward.

Greta had always loved the fog—the soft gray mist that rolled in from the sea and drifted over the village. The fog seemed to have a secret to tell her. Then one day when Greta was walking in the woods and the mist was closing in, she saw the dark outli
Paperback, 107 pages
Published 1969 (first published 1943)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,122 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Greta lives in a village in Nova Scotia during the 1940s. This costal village has sea mists and fog that covers the community, sending them indoors, but not Greta, from a young age she is drawn to the fog, and explores the changed landscape finding that during these foggy hours it has changed more than expected.

Greta finds that an old part of the village, where the houses have burnt down leaving only cellar holes (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
My mother took care of Mrs. Sauer before her death and as a gift she gave her the three books she wrote, autographed. After my mother moved she passed these books onto me because she knew I enjoyed reading them growing up. It was a treat to re-read them now as an adult.

Fog Magic was one of my favorite books as a child. It's a wonderful "ghost story" that I think has gotten better since the first time I have read it.
Personally, with regard to the exquisite and delightful reading and emotional atmosphere that Julia L. Sauer creates in her Newbery honour winning Fog Magic (and yes, how her writing style so totally and wonderfully does remind me of Lucy Maud Montgomery, which is most definitely very high praise from me), Fog Magic is most certainly a five star book (for I do love that sense of magic created by the fog, the effortless time travelling scenarios and how Greta feels right at home in the past and how the pas ...more
“It’s the things you were born to that give you satisfaction in this world, Greta. [ . . . ] And maybe the fog’s one of them. Not happiness, mind! Satisfaction isn’t always happiness by a long sight; then again, it isn’t sorrow either. But the rocks and the spruces and the fogs of your own land are the things that nourish you. You can always have them no matter what else you find or what else you lose.”

Greta Addington is 10 and lives in Little Valley, Nova Scotia. Unlike most in her small coas
Heather Rose
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-again
Ive read this a dozen times at least, it was favorite of my mothers and now a favorite of mine. Truly an escape, wonderment but not in a fantasy land, fairies and dragons kind of way. This small girls fascination with the fog takes her back in time...but not very far back, historically speaking, making it all the more tangible. Pick a foggy or rainy afternoon and read this.
Rebecca McNutt
This book was absolutely beautiful, and in many ways it reminded me of the 1988 film Paperhouse. Its elements of magic and mystery entwined in a story of friendship, Fog Magic is a book that everyone should read.
Elizabeth Drake
Title: Fog Magic
Author: Julia L. Sauer
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 1943
Rating: 5/5

Cover Impressions: This is my favorite cover of this book and the one that I remember. It gets the old fishing village just right and has the beautiful, soft and ethereal quality of the fog.

When I was a little girl I discovered this book on the shelf of my tiny school library. I read it at least twice a year for the rest of my time at that school. It wa
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
One of those awesome atmospheric children's books, with an unusual setting (or at least it was unusual to me)--maritime Canada.
I love this enchanting and magical little book, and decided to treat myself to a first edition (1943) which arrived the day after Christmas, Boxing Day! It reminds me so much of Greenwillow, about another magical little village, another one of my favorite books (can one have too many "favorite" books?!) I lose myself in another world whenever I read these two books.
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Despite the title and the magical device of the fog allowing time travel, this book isn't really much of a fantasy -- it is about everyday life, family relationships, and the bittersweet experience of growing up.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

On foggy days, 11-year-old Greta is able to travel back in time and visit the long-lost village of Blue Cove. There she meets Mrs. Morrill and her daughter, Retha, who become Greta's close friends. The visits continue for some months, giving Greta special glimpses into a past she has heard stories about her whole life. All the while, though, Greta's twelfth birthday approaches. On this day, everyone seems to know, Greta will grow too old
Sheetal Dash
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My favorite thing about Fog Magic is when the fog comes in, Greta saw a different world. When she discovered the fog had magic in it was when she was looking for the milk cow and thought she saw a house in the fork of the road. Then Greta found friends on the other side of the mountain called Blue Cove. Her new friends name was Retha and Mrs. Morrill. My favorite part of the book was when Retha and Greta were picking berries and it was time for Greta to go home and Mrs. Morrill gave Greta a piec ...more
Producervan in Cornville, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.
Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer, ©1943. 5+ Stars. A wonderful middle grade book featuring irresistable fog as a means for a girl to time travel! A tale of a Nova Scotia family and their girl who is about to turn twelve, this book explores magical realism and takes us with it as it bends time to give us a peek of the main character Greta’s newfound world. Will reality and responsibility make her a different person when she grows up; will she forget? This book was so good it was a Newbery Honor recipi ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-honor
An only child who loves the fog and lives in Nova Scotia by the sea circa 1940 (although it could have been earlier; there are minimal references to cars and that's about it) ... it has to be good. But, it falls short. This reads like an early draft ready to be developed. A little more depth to the characters. A little more to the plot. As it stands, I doubt that it will be one of those books that stays with me for very many years. (view spoiler) ...more
Tamora Pierce
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
It's very old-style, a series of visits from a girl who lives in one island village to the families and village that existed on another part of the island two generations ago (it's now vanished). There's no violence or big action, just interactions between people.

And I can't really complain about why I didn't like it without spoiling the end. I apologize!
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
An intriguing story about what a young girl finds when she studies the fog that rolls into her community. Very enjoyable.
A long time ago when I was in 6th grade, I was digging through the bookshelf in our English classroom when I encountered this little gem.


It had old-fashioned cover art, on top of which a gray Newberry seal was printed. Because I was obsessed with dates back then, I checked the published date for this one and discovered it was 1943.

To me, that was obsce
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A sweet, simple, magical story about a girl who loves the fog and discovers in it a way to time travel to a nearby community in the past. I enjoyed how a number of plot threads are so realistically left unresolved as an explicit theme of the book. I understand the ending is a sore point for some readers, and I think I can describe the problem vaguely enough to not spoil it badly, but I'll put some spoiler tags around this anyway: (view spoiler) ...more
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely little book. I read it as a child and it stayed with me--every time I see fog I wonder if I could walk into it at just the right time and find a different world. I found it again in a box of books I had stored away and was glad to see it was as good as I remembered. It's well-written, and doesn't talk down to the young readers for whom it was intended. And any book that stays with you for 40+ years deserves 5 stars.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's something peaceful and gentle about this book, much like the nature of the fog itself. While most of Greta's little seaside village grumbles when the fog rolls in, Greta is drawn to it. On her frequent walks, she often goes through a deserted village... only in the fog, it's not so deserted anymore. Somehow, through the mist of the fog, she has stepped back in time. The story is a wonderful escape, worthy of the awards it earned when it was first printed in 1943.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mom, other fog-lovers
This book was recommended by my mother in law after I noted how pretty the fog was while at her house for Christmas. It's a young adult novel, written in 1943. It's about a Nova Scotian girl who discovers that when the fog rolls into her fishing village, she can actually visit the neighboring village--which has been gone for decades and in her present life is just a bunch of cellar holes. It's a great story for those of us who love nostalgia (and fog).
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper-books
I've loved this book for years, and it didn't let me down now either. While the end speeds up and comes too quickly, the book itself is still eerie and magical, and makes me want to live on Nova Scotia (or whatever island it's set on that's all foggy). Read this one with a girl who's a quiet, magic-lover.
Leslie Nienaber
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book on my second grade teacher's shelf and absolutely fell in love. The story completely grabbed me -- enough so that I read it a second time later on and still think about to this day.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: auryn-s-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a cute old-fashioned timeslip story. If you like that sort of thing (think Tom's Midnight Garden, Charlotte Sometimes, or A Traveller In Time) then you'll probably like this as well! If that doesn't sound like your sort of thing, then maybe you'll find it a little slow.

Just a warning: this is called Fog Magic, but the fantasy is pretty low-key here. The magic simply involves going back (100 years?) in time. I'm sure that for modern readers, life in a 1940s or 19th century Nova Scotia fishing villa
Thomas Bell
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery-honors
I thought this was a pretty darn good book - and what to expect from 1944, the year that also brought awards to Rufus M. and Little Town on the Prairie?!

This book really is magical, but it's a ghost story as well. I thought that all the little stories throughout the book would tie in together at the ending, but really they stood on their own and had little to offer. Fog Magic was a clever way to introduce both the sorrows and simple joys of centuries past, and some of the stories wer
Cristina Rose
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book although it had a few flaws.

I loved that it is beautiful written, you get lost in the language of Greta's Little Valley and where she "travels to by fog" - I loved the characters, especially her father (I wish there had been more of him) and the cat. It covers some topics lightly like the consequences of war, growing-up, & time-travel (some reviews call it is a ghost story, but it is not**)

The negatives, some "stories" weren't tied up, there
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Terrific prose and imagery are the hallmarks of this fine little novel. A child discovers she can travel back in time when the fog is thick enough and for an eventful year she makes several visits to the village of Blue Cove [the story takes place in Nova Scotia, Canada during WWII]. The friends she makes are charming and warm hearted. She listens to the stories of the people from Blue Cove and comes to love them. This is a "small" fantasy. The story plays out in a series of vignettes - each vis ...more
Gretta lives in a village where fog is frequent fact of life. Most people hate it, as it means things never dry and makes it far more dangerous for the sea-fearing menfolk, but Gretta has always loved the fog. She is out walking one day when she sees buildings in the fog. A woman in a buggy picks her up and takes Gretta to the village of Blue Cove, a village that is deserted in Gretta’s time. This is a sweet, somewhat enchanting fantasy tale of a girl who is able to visit another place in anothe ...more
Mary Schneider
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I remember this book from when I was a little girl. I read it in school, and it had me going out on foggy days, hoping to find my own magical village. I never did find houses or friends in the fog, but I did do a lot of exploring and discovering, which was almost as good.

Just finished re-reading the book, and the richness of the story, as well as the life lesson, that each part of our lives is a season, and though things change as we grow, and we leave some things behind, new things will come i
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Born in Rochester, NY, Sauer was a librarian and writer who attended the University of Rochester and the NY State Library School. She worked at the Rochester Public Library for 37 years, but her occasional vacation home in Nova Scotia gave her the setting for both Fog Magic and The Light at Tern Rock.
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“Satisfaction isn’t always happiness by a long sight. Then again, it isn’t sorrow either. But the rocks and the spruces and the fogs of your own land are things that nourish you. You can always have them. No matter what else you find, or what else you lose.” 1 likes
“Most of us live in two worlds—our real world and the one we build or spin for ourselves out of the books we read, the heroes we admire, the things we hope to do.” 0 likes
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