Welcome back to my bookshelf! Today we are going over the last of the Edward Eager books: Seven-Day Magic. In several ways, this is the weirdest book in the series – certainly the most unique – and in several of those ways, it’s a definite contender for my favorite.
First of all, Seven-Day Magic is the only book in the series with a set of children who aren’t present in the other books. I won’t say that it’s a stand-alone story, because their adventures intersect with the adventures from previous stories (as we have become accustomed to in recent books). Still, we aren’t getting a pair of stories. This may have been his original intention, to have another, eighth book with these same four children, however Seven-Day Magic was the last book Eager ever wrote, so we will never know.
The story surrounds four children who check out a book on their summer holiday, and they find that it contains magical power. If you ever wanted a book to introduce children to the magic of reading, this is a good place to start. The actual book they check out has magical properties, containing the adventures they inhabit, including the tales of previous books.
The appeal of this to a chronic reader is obvious. While I have developed a wariness of libraries among my other phobias (because there is just something unnatural about a building that quiet), the idea of a book that holds the secret to magical adventures is definitely an idea any bibliophilic child would appreciate. I don’t know how many public libraries still have summer reading experiences for children, to encourage reading lots and lots of books, but that was literally the only thing that ever got me into a library (except the occasional book sale, because those used books are just SO CHEAP it’s worth braving the library and its eerie silence, in groups, naturally). It inspired me to devour books at a rate that alarmed many an adult, something I wish I still had the time and energy to do.
Some of the most magical and influential reads of my life were devoured during summer reading. Finnish Folktales, for example, which later led me to the Kalevala. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was drawn into reading by the promise of prizes and, you know, beating all my siblings and friends.
Even if your library doesn’t have this program – or your community somehow doesn’t have a library – you can still get your children interested in reading, through the immortal excellence of Edward Eager, capped off with this excellent addition to his work: Seven-Day Magic.