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15092Magic by the Book and adult vs. child p.o.v.

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  • Pauline J. Alama
    Jun 14, 2005
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      I'd be interested in seeing people's comments on a children's/YA
      novel that recently received a glowing review in the NYTimes, Nina
      Bernstein's MAGIC BY THE BOOK. I was reading it over to see if my
      niece might like it -- not that it usually takes much of an excuse
      for me to read good YA or children's books -- & I had a mixed
      reaction to it. I'd be particularly interested if anyone can speak
      for readers at the age level for which the book was intended (about
      age 11, I think).

      MAGIC BY THE BOOK has a good premise -- three children accidentally
      take out a magical book from the library and fall into its portal to
      a series of adventures. Just the sort of thing I would have lapped
      up in my childhood -- except that, in the execution, the book
      struck me as a kid's book written to please adults. There was a bit
      much of the air that all this was the author's nostalgic return to
      her childhood of blissful, carefree reading. I did not have the
      sense, as I do with the Harry Potter books, that the author really
      knew how to get inside the point of view of the children at the
      emotional level of the ages they're supposed to be.

      I would be curious to hear whether others (especially actual kids)
      had the same reaction.

      Pauline