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A Gift of Magic: 07/23/10

cover art

I can't remember why I put A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan on my wishlist but I did. I've started to try to read through that list by locating the books at my local libraries.

A Gift of Magic differs from Duncan's typical young adult thrillers. This one has magical realism instead of a mystery. A mother recently divorced moves her three children into the home she's inherited from her mother. Along with the home the children begin to develop heightened skills: one gets music, one gets dance and the third gets ESP.

Mostly this book is about the children coming to terms with their new lives. They had been used to traveling all over the world and now they are grounded in a small town, in a home they have no emotional attachment to. For the most part the book is slow and different from other Duncan books I've read.

But there's an underlying twist that's foreshadowed throughout. A few details struck me as odd and I have to admit that I kept reading to see if those details would work themselves out. They do in the epilogue. For that tight ending I'm giving the book a perfect rating. If I did partial ratings, I would drop it down by half a star for the some awkward pacing earlier on in the novel.

Comments (10)

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Comment #1: Saturday, July, 24, 2010 at 02:58:41

Kah Woei

This sounds interesting. I like the thought of music, dance and ESP as equal skills. :-)

Comment #2: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 14:33:25


It was interesting, especially because some of the children didn't get the gift they thought they wanted.

Saturday, July, 24, 2010 at 10:47:08

Laura @ I'm Booking It

I loved this book when I was young. Oddly, I remember nothing about it but an impression of the cover and that I loved it :-). I should find a copy for my daughter — I don't think I have mine anymore.

Comment #4: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 14:39:04


The book is still in print so it should be easy to find.

Comment #5: Saturday, July, 24, 2010 at 15:12:45


You are convincing me to read this. Another one added to the list.

Comment #6: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 14:44:51


Yay! Happy reading.

Comment #7: Saturday, July, 24, 2010 at 18:46:05


Just want to say Hey. I am a new follower. If you get a chance you can check out my blog.

Comment #8: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 14:47:48


Welcome to my blog.

COmment #9: Sunday, July, 25, 2010 at 11:42:56

Wisteria Leigh

Good thing you kept reading. I'm glad to see it turned around for you. Lois Duncan was very popular when I was a media specialist in at the middle school level. Thanks for the review.

Comment #10: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 14:47:48


I am more patient with shorter books. Since this one was on my wishlist I figured I must have had a good reason to want to read it.

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