Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5) by Edward Eager

Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)

The magic begins when Laura and her family--brothers James, baby Deborah, and her parents--move to a country house in Connecticut. There is a well in the yard, and Laura is the kind of girl who believes in making wishes. Her first wish comes true, and this sets off a round of adventures for Laura, James and two neighbors, Kip and Lydia, who mix what seems to be genuine magic with good deeds: saving old Miss Isabella King's house from a mortgage f...

Details Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)

TitleMagic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
Release DateSep 1st, 1989
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt P
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Fiction

Reviews Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)

  • Qt
    Charmingly written. I've always liked Edward Eager's writing style.
  • Charity
    Although it's listed as Book #5 of the "Tales of Magic" series, this book features all new characters and no cameos from the children from the other books at all.I have the sense that Eager really hit his stride with this book. It flows more smoothly from chapter to chapter, and the adventures in the story link together better than in the previous four books. I loved the other four, but this one is just more tightly written and more satisfying to...
  • CatholicBibliophagist
    Edward Eager was one of my favorite authors when I was a child. However, I only read Magic or Not and its sequel, The Well Wishers once or twice. (The others I read countless times!)What I liked about Eager's other books was that magical adventures befell ordinary children living in ordinary neighborhoods in the United States. But in Magic or Not the very existence of magic is very ambiguous. In fact, the characters themselves aren't sure whether...
  • Karen
    This book, and "The Well-Wishers," were probably my two least favorite Edward Eager magic books, because he started waffling about whether the magic was really happening or not. I *hated* that! The thing that made his other books so much fun (especially when I first read them as a child) was that he wrote about ordinary kids who had real magic adventures. I don't know what made him suddenly start prevaricating about the magic, but I found it very...
  • Meghan Francisco
    Half Magic is still my favorite of Eager's books, but in Magic or Not? he hasn't lost his signature touch with characters or plot. In this book, I enjoyed the play with the concept of magic as fate or magic as coincidence in the real world and the ultimate pleasure that the children took in considering that the adults had set all of the magical adventures up for them. All in all, a sweet book that I'm glad to have read, magic or not!
  • Janelle
    Probably my favorite book in this series so far. I really liked the back and forth question of whether or not what was happening to them was magic or just coincidence. I loved how the author used this as a theme, like, even if there isn’t magic, (but maybe there is) things can still be magical. I also loved the idea in that magic is fueled by, comes from, or maybe just is “good turns.” It’s a good message. And, of course, like all books i...
  • Rick Stuckwisch
    Reading aloud to my own children these wonderful books that my Dad read to me as a child, or that I read to myself when I was younger (or even to my older children when they were younger), awakens such fond memories within me. Marvelous. This book is, in some respects, more poignant than the earlier Edward Eager books, in large part because it's not clear whether there's any magic involved or not, or simply a case of children befriending each oth...
  • Jannah (Cloud Child)
    So I seem to be reading this series backwards. Anyhow it was lovely charming story. But I was a bit put out by one thing in the end. Did they or did they not return Mrs T Witherspoon's desk? And did she find out? I would bloody like to know because my heart was racing when they (the 5 children) carried it away in the middle of the night. Yes its fine and well to say magic was in the air and the identical desks needed to be reunited. But I kinda h...
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    One of the Edward Eager books I missed as a child. Laura moves into a new home with a well that, according to knowledgable sources, grants wishes. What wishes will the well willingly work?
  • Flyingzebras
    I gave it 4 stars for general Edward Eager love. But truth be told I didn't love it as much as his other magic series. The main problem is that the magic is not clearly magic. It has sweet characters and a sweet story. But is it magic? Or not? It isn't clear, and that is not what you are expecting from an Edward Eager book. I do wish the name of the book was not the theme all the way in. The abiguity lets you believe what you want, but doesn't ma...
  • Courtney
    While I agree with one reviewer who said that this one is not as good as it's predecessors because it makes you doubt whether the magic was real or not I still have to say I found it delightful. I'm okay with the idea of making your own magic. Also, there were some really good lines in this one and Kip was a stand-up character.
  • Maria Antonia
    I love Edward Eager's books! This is the story of twins, Laura and James, who move with their family to the country. On the train ride up, a strange girl (Lydia) tells them that the well in their yard is really a magic wishing well. Laura tries it out and her wish comes true! This leads to the children having some magical adventures for the summer. Or maybe it's all a coincidence... Magic or not, this book is definitely a fun romp :)
  • Johnny Bennett
    Magic or Not has "By all odds his best" from the Chicago Tribune on the front cover. Good thing that was editorializing and not news reporting because they forgot to check their facts. While enjoyable, Magic or Not does not deliver.
  • Daniell
    historical fiction combines with fantasy. It didn't convince me to suspend belief and go with the magic. Maybe because they kids themselves doubt it all along? And the children seem unrealistically altruistic. Although maybe that's how kids were in the '50s...LOL
  • Gable Roth
    I liked this one better than the other books in the series. However, I am not sure if I would have appreciated it as much if I hadn't read those books. I really like Eager. He is a fun author.
  • Brighid Hughes
    3.5 🌟
  • Helena Sorensen
    We are big Edward Eager fans, but this one fell flat for us.
  • Easton
    I didn't think it was great, I would only recommend it if your interested in books about magic.
  • Jane
    Amusing, perfect (almost!).
  • Ashley
    http://readfantasybooks.wordpress.comMagic or Not? is a bit different than all of the other Tales of Magic books, but it is still quite enjoyable and a great addition to the series.In this novel their are four children, later on five, who go on what they believe to be magical adventures given to them by a wishing well. However, they are never sure whether or not it really is magic or if it is just a coincidence. This is what made the story intere...
  • Pica
    I've recently begun re-reading Edward Eager's series of juvenile fantasy books for the first time since elementary school, and have come to the conclusion that they are every bit as good as C. S. Lewis's Narnia books. I've now read five out of seven (all except The Well-Wishers and Seven Day Magic), and just this minute finished Magic or Not?, which I think may be my favourite of the series so far. This surprised me, since -- as the title suggest...
  • Tiff
    Magic or Not? is quite an endearing book; it made me feel like magic is possible if we choose to believe in it. The overall theme concentrated on, just as the title suggests, the kids' (mainly Laura and James) frames of mind and their search for whether or not magic really existed? The scariest part might have been when they found themselves in an empty cottage with the presence of someone they couldn't quite see. Otherwise, the book is very down...
  • Bart Everson
    I found the central conceit of this book somewhat charming. A group of children have a series of magical adventures over the course of a summer, yet after each episode they ponder the possibility that the seemingly wondrous events might have a more mundane explanation. And does that really matter? It seems like a metaphor for the "disenchantment of the world" as described by Max Weber. It's handled with such a light touch, though, I have to wonde...
  • Dolly
    This is the fifth book in the Tales of Magic series by Edward Eager.I thought it was pretty humorous that the first book in the series, Half Magic, is mentioned as one of Laura's favorite books and that "just about everyone has" read it. (p. 25)interesting quotes:"It was a creaking sound, just the kind of noise that magic might make if it were winding the bucket up from its watery depths to get at the wish." (p. 17)
  • Robert
    Magic or not? by Edward Eager is a book with lots of uncertainty and mysteries. Laura and James move to a new house, and with it, a well. It all seems quite ordinary, until Lynda rumors about the well. After meeting new friends, they explore the mysterious and legendary properties about the it. The well may be magic... or not?Edward organizes everything in a neat way- from the strange rumors about the well to the exploration and discoveries of i...
  • Tiffany
    Wow... so I did read this book already! And I actually gave it 3 whole stars? Well, at the moment, I'm reading it again, because I wanted to see whether or not to donate it away. It looks like I'm going to because it's really boring, just like Half Magic. The Chicago Tribune says, "Inventive..... by all odds his best." So true, considering how BAD all the other ones were. It was even funny when Laura, the main character said that she loved the bo...
  • Eowyn
    Hmm, this was fun to read out loud and very well-written as all Edward Eager's books are. Great girl and boy characters and I love how they work together and interact, especially since two of them are siblings. But there really isn't any magic in this book--it's more about kids creating magic and adventure for themselves. And they do have adventures and meet all sorts of people and effect change in their community and it's all very fun and charmi...
  • Audrey
    Cami brought this home from school; it was given to her as part of some reading initiative. The author's name was familiar to me, in the same vein as Joan Aiken or E. Nesbitt. And even though these were quite the kinds of books I would have ADORED as a young reader, I don't think I read many of them. Perhaps Half Magic? That one sounds familiar, but I'm just not sure. Anyway, this one was great fun -- it's the nostalgic kind of magic realism that...
  • Celeste
    The first four books in this series gets 5 stars from me, but this third pair (along with The Well-Wishers) is my least favorite of the groupings within the series. That's not to say it isn't great, but — maybe because the whole point is the ambiguity of the magic — it's not quite as exciting or, well, magical as the others. I really like one little detail Eager threw in, though — the characters in this pair have read the earlier Eager book...
  • Jared
    Another wonderful book by Eager! I simply can't say enough about these magical books by Eager. Every one I've read so far has been thoroughly enjoyable. In this book the children encounter a wishing well and begin making wishes, but are their adventures a result of the wishes or just coincidence? One thing that is so great about these books is that the children really act like how kids should be in summer time: adventuresome, imaginative and full...