What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Query abandoned by poster > ABANDONED. Childrens/YA book about a family of magic users

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message 1: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments Hi I remember reading this book as a kid and really liking it - it involved a family of about 4 (maybe 5?) siblings who had inherited magical gifts from their father (references made to the fact that he was part of 'the old magic'). The mother didn't have any powers but magic didn't work around her i.e. a broken vase which one of the kids put together with magic fell apart when she touched it. Father starts becoming sick and struggles to use his powers (i.e scene where he's too weak to turn off the light in the bedroom or close the curtains, something along those lines!) The siblings discover there is some kind of convention happening in town and realise that this gathering is having some sort of affect on 'the old magic' like the visitors are drawing on this source of power so they go to investigate it/stop it before its too late for their father - wow what a ramble! It just bugs me that I can't remember the book!


Jackie "the Librarian" | 219 comments Possibly Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones?


message 3: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "Possibly Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones?"

Thanks I'm a huge DWJ fan too but this story was less fantastical and more that this family was set in a regular world where everyone around them was ordinary. They also didn't refer to themselves as being wizards or witches, but just regular folks who also happened to have special gifts. I can remember the first few pages of the book revolving around a fight between two of the siblings (where I think someone's shoe was set on fire) they were arguing over something fairly mundane but using their powers against each other, it results in a vase tumbling over and breaking which forces them to stop and talk about how they can't fix it because if their mother touches it it'll just fall to peices again, since she has a nullifying effect on magic


message 4: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
The Spellcoats perhaps? Er--as you can tell--I too am a big DWJ fan. :o) Love, love, LOVE her sense of humour and writing style.


message 5: by Kaion (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 389 comments I love The Spellcoats, but I will eat my hat if there's stuff about fixing a vase and electricity and helping dad. *laughs*


message 6: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments Kaion wrote: "I love The Spellcoats, but I will eat my hat if there's stuff about fixing a vase and electricity and helping dad. *laughs*"
@ Kaion - no need to eat that hat of yours, that definitely isn't the one - but thanks for responding Ann! I haven't actually read the Spellcoats just one more book to add to my pile of must reads


message 7: by Mir (new)

Mir | 712 comments How long ago were you a kid, Bess? (I.e., before what date would this have to have been published?)

This sounds a bit like Savvy, but I am guessing you are looking for something older than that.


message 8: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments I read it when I was about 7ish so we're talkiing late 80's? I also remember that the group that was gathering in town were like witches etc but evil. The siblings sneak into the place where they've gathered and spy on the group to try to figure out how to stop them. When they finally make it home in the end I remember the mother commenting that the father had made a miraculous recovery (because they'd obviously stopped the evil shenanigans!) but once again, aside from their own magic usage and this bizarre convention in town, everyone else around them was completely ordinary - it was set in the 'real world' so to speak.
On that note I'm adding Savvy to my list of books to read thanks!


message 9: by Mir (new)

Mir | 712 comments Dang, I'm pretty sure I did read this, back in the 80s.


message 10: by Michelle Mulford (new)

Michelle Mulford | 112 comments This sounds so familiar to me, too, but my brain is unhelpful. Are you sure it was a full-length and not a novella/short story?

This sounds kind of like one of the Armitage Family short stories by Joan Aiken.


message 11: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
hum, what about The Magicians of Caprona? Its sort of, kind of fits the description. Er, did I mention earlier that I LOVE DWJ? :o)


message 12: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments I don't recall it being a long book but it definitely wasn't a short story.

And also definitely not Magicians of Caprona (which I love too) the setting was either American or British

I'll post up any other details I can recall!


message 13: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments Hi I just had a flick through but it doesn't appear to be his (his name didn't really ring a bell and nor did those titles) it was a standalone story too - not part of a longer series. Thanks for the input though, I appreciate the help


message 14: by Leela4 (last edited Apr 07, 2010 04:29PM) (new)

Leela4 | 117 comments Bess wrote: "They also didn't refer to themselves as being wizards or witches, but just regular folks who also happened to have special gifts. I can remember the first few pages of the book revolving around a fight between two of the siblings (where I think someone's shoe was set on fire) they were arguing over something fairly mundane but using their powers against each other"

I believe you're scrambling two books. The bit you're describing here is definitely "The Dragon Circle" by Stephen Krensky. But it has a completely different plot (and no mother) other than it does concern magical interference and the sort of family you remember.

"The Dragon Circle" begins with Jennifer chasing Perry around the living room throwing fireballs at his sneakers because he pulled her hair and yelled "All aboard!" --Sound familiar?


message 15: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments Leela4 wrote: "Bess wrote: "They also didn't refer to themselves as being wizards or witches, but just regular folks who also happened to have special gifts. I can remember the first few pages of the book revolvi..."

No that's not it - and I'm definitely not confusing two books together, I've never read the Dragon Circle so unlikely to be confusing it with the book I'm trying to track down. I read this book a number of times when I was a kid so the plot was as described, I just couldn't remember what it was called. Thanks for trying to assist though.


message 16: by Mir (new)

Mir | 712 comments The bit about the vase sounds like something from the Pure Dead Magic series, but those probably aren't old enough. And I think there are only 3 kids there.


message 17: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 22 comments Anna wrote: "Bess, I'm so glad you posted this. I definitely remember this book and I would have read it in the mid/late 80s as well. But, I don't remember any more about it than you do. I hope someone else doe..."

It's a relief to hear that someone else thinks they read this book too - it isn't all in my head! lol


message 18: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ashinscribbleland) | 64 comments Lynda wrote: "Was it one of Edward Eager's books? He did Half Magic which had sequels like The Time Garden, Knight's Castle and Magic by the Lake. He also did lots of other books about magical families like Magi..."

Love all of these and I thought of them too, but didn't remember much of a tie in with a dad. (Half-Magic I believe mom was widowed?). Though later the characters change a bit (they go visit cousins I believe?)


message 19: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39848 comments Mod
Bess, are you still looking for this book?


message 20: by J. (new)

J. (mamalaoshi) | 56 comments I think this book sounds like a lot of fun. Bump for you!


Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) Bess, last chance to chime in and say you're still looking - next mod move to Abandoned. :(


message 22: by SparksofEmber (last edited Aug 06, 2014 09:11PM) (new)

SparksofEmber | 956 comments I bet it's The Witching Hour
Cute story about a family of magic children (taught by their father). A "conference" of witches come to a small town at Hallowe'en and the Wynd family pits its forces to foil their plot to turn all the kids into the things they dress up as.

Edit: It's definitely it. You can read it online here and they definitely have a vase almost break in the first few pages and mention how if they used magic to fix it, it would fall apart when their mother touched it.


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