Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Book Club: The Magic Half

The book selection for October was "The Magic Half" by Annie Barrows. This is a wonderful book--part mystery, part history, part fantasy, part realistic fiction. The main character is Miri, an 11-year-old girl with twin older brothers and twin younger sisters. Miri often feels left out, especially after they move to a new house on land that used to be a working farm. The best part of the old house is that Miri finally gets to have her own bedroom. One day as she is in her bedroom imagining how it will look with freshly painted walls, she spies a glass lens taped to the wall near the floor. Curious, Miri pulls the lens free and looks through it...and is immediately transported back in time to 1935! She is still in the same house but that's all that is the same. There's a different girl, Molly, living in her bedroom. Molly is badly in need of help to escape an abusive situation. Miri feels an intense connection with Molly and wants to help her. Molly, in turn, says she and her magical grandmother have "called" up Miri. Together, with many twists and turns and near-disasters, Molly and Miri construct a plan that eventually succeeds in bringing them both back to the present day where they find that history has been changed! It's as through Molly and Miri have always been twins. Only they have any memories of what really happened.