Seven-Day Magic

by Edward Eager

Other authorsN. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2016



Local notes

PB Eag




HMH Books for Young Readers (2016), Edition: Reissue, 224 pages


A seven-day book of magic proves to be fractious for five children, who must learn the book's rules and tame its magic.


Ohioana Book Award (Winner — Juvenile Literature — 1963)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

224 p.; 5.13 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member eilonwy_anne
I loved Edward Eager books as a child, and they're still fun. [book:Seven Day Magic] is charming because it's about the magic of books and a bookish sort of magic. Eager certainly is, as Bellow said of writers, "a reader moved to emulation," and this one drips with his love of books. It's sweet,
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good fun.

That said, when I was a child, I was like Fredericka in this book (actually, I suppose I WAS Fredericka, down to long, funny F name and favorite Oz book) and liked "magic adventure[s], with wizards and witches and magic things in it" that are "for certain" magic, "not just a coincidence". Fredericka's wish aside, much of this book is the gentler, less flashy sort of magic - more [book:Magic or Not?] than [book:Knight's Castle] and [book:Magic by the Lake]. I'm well aware (as Eager depicts) that children vary from Susans to Frederickas, so some may relish the incidental and subtle magic more than the perilous adventures. Well worth the trip to the library for any magic-loving child.
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LibraryThing member skcramer
Five children check a magical book out from their library and embark on a series of fantastical adventures. This chapter book, the last in Eager’s Half Magic series, once again draws on the fantasies of E. Nesbit in depicting everyday children in a familiar world who acquire a magical object and
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must learn how to control it, yet what makes this book so delightful is the characters’ perfect awareness of this Nesbitiness. Indeed, not only do the children reflect on how their lives are becoming like an E. Nesbit novel, but they also use stories like the Oz books, the Little House on the Prairie books and Eager’s own Half Magic books as the basis for creating their own adventures. Lovers of classic children’s literature will delight in these allusions, and a genuine love of books radiates from the page. Sadly, these allusions may easily be lost on young readers who are not yet familiar with these other books. Recommended for readers age 6 to 10.
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LibraryThing member debnance
"The best kind of book," says Barnaby, "is a magic book." Oh, yes, I thought, nodding, of course. I remember reading this book when I was a little ten year old girl. I found Half Magic on the bottom shelf, dusty, almost unread, and felt like I'd discovered a whole new world. Imagine how sad I was
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to find that there were only two more Edward Eager books in our library, which composed for me the entire extent of my book world! The book was every bit as good to me as a forty-seven year old as it was so many years ago. I'm "Eager" to read more Eager magic.
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LibraryThing member aulsmith
While all the Edward Eager books are excellent, this one is far and beyond my favorite. I think it has more depth and an important lesson about friendship at the end.
LibraryThing member satyridae
One of my favorites! I love the bookishness of the seven-day magic. The self-references are great too- Eager brings up all his other books herein. Or a lot of them. There's even some character crossover. I love how the kids in this book have such definite ideas about how the magic will and will not
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work. Of course, they're right. And the magical book itself is a delight.

Read Edward Eager, pick any one. You can't go wrong.
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LibraryThing member Inky_Fingers
I remember being so angry with Edward Eager when I began to read E Nesbit and realized how many plots he had stolen that I could never quite forgive him. However, Seven Day Magic was one of his more original creations, and I loved it.
LibraryThing member NadineC.Keels
"The adventures that are written down in books have already been. If we try to horn in on them, we'd just be tagging along. So we have to make our own adventures."

Well, I gotta say, revisiting this classic children's fantasy book was quite a big adventure for me—in large part because finding the
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book took decades.

It's one of the first fantasy books I read as a child. A checkout from the library. But in the years that followed, when I wanted to find the book again, I couldn't remember the title. I couldn't remember the author's name. I couldn't remember the plot. I had no idea what year or decade the book was published in, especially given that pretty much all books are new-to-you when you're a little kid.

I only remembered one of the illustrations inside, along with the reddish book cover but not the cover art exactly, and most of all, I remembered how much I liked the story...whatever it was about.

So. It took combing through books and books of vintage fantasy KidLit, hoping to come across a reddish cover that might ring a bell in my unclear memory. Even once I found a blurry thumbnail image of the cover and took a chance to buy a newer edition with different cover art, I still wasn't 100% sure I'd ordered the right book.

Not until I received it, flipped through it, and found the one inside illustration I remembered.

I wound up making my own dust jacket for the book, using a high-res copy of the old, reddish cover image because every element of the artwork on it is such a significant reflection of the story.

A story in which the main characters discover the significance of a certain shabby, red book. A library checkout. Even though they can't make out the book's title—much like my memory couldn't.

Wowzers. I enjoyed rediscovering the oddness, the humor, and the delightfulness of this old-fashioned tale.

Granted, not everything I now recognized as an adult was a pleasure to find, namely the two instances of dated slurs in the book. (i.e., "gyps" and "Indian giver") However, it was satisfying to recognize more of the influences that factor into the story, like that of George MacDonald and Wordsworth. And I appreciate the way the tale speaks to the magic of books.

There's one more I read in this series as a kid (without knowing back then that the books are in a series), with vintage cover art I vaguely recalled after finding this book. But I think I'll go back to the beginning of the series first and read it in order, including the other books I didn't those years ago.
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