Life After Harry Potter – Part One

posted by Gina

I know you’ll be shocked to hear me say this, but we will not speak of the films here. I am not a fan of books made into movies. I will not tire you with my various rants (way to take away all of Ginny’s awesomeness, movie people) or go on a teacher tirade (nothing’s better than a series that inspires struggling readers). We will merely discuss the BOOKS.

Now that that’s out of my system, let’s chat.

Not all readers embrace this genre, but for those who found themselves captivated by all that is wonderful about Hogwarts, let me help you out with what to give your magical reader next.

May I introduce you to the amazing, the delightful, the prolific Edward Eager:

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Edward Eager was a playwright and lyricist, who, rumor has it, started to write children’s books when he couldn’t find the kind of stories he wanted to read to his own children.

I stumbled over Half Magic, the most marvelous of all Eager’s magic books, in 6th Grade, and my sister and I became devotees ever after. Half Magic is where I recommend you begin as well. Because it’s just wonderful.


Half Magic tells the tale of four regular, average kids who love reading stories about magic, and bemoan the fact that regular, average kids never seem to have the kinds of magical adventures that happen in books. When they find a magic coin that only grants half-wishes, all kind of shenanigans occur.

Despite being written some time ago, the characters and situations are both believable and relatable, and readers will rejoice to know that the foursome returns in Magic by the Lake. There’s nothing like reading a magical book and thinking, “Maybe it could happen to me.”

My loyalty is forever with Half Magic, but a close second is Knight’s Castle.
Having a keen interest in all things chivalrous, as many fantasy lovers do, this adventure is super fun. Plus, it stars the offspring of the characters from Half Magic. Really, though, there’s not one book in Eager’s “magic series” that I didn’t love as a kid and don’t go back to periodically today. They all feature ordinary kids, in ordinary places, who happen upon (or create for themselves) extraordinary things. Even more fabulous is that all these books are still in print, and super easy to find.

A final bonus: Edward Eager never forgets to pay homage to E. Nesbit, his favorite children’s writer. Not a book goes by without one of the characters reading or referring to a favorite E. Nesbit tale, thus ensuring that any readers of Eager’s books will be introduced to Nesbit’s as well.

Super Bonus Math Tie-In: There’s some hilarious math in Half Magic, as the characters try to figure out how to make their wishes work. Coming up with your own wishes, requests, or demands and figuring out the correct wording makes the tie between fractions and multiplication that much more concrete.

Author: Gina L. Grandi

Moderately well-read. Fairly socially awkward. According to Greg, 'a sentimental cynic with artistic sensibilities.' Somewhat nifty.

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