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Magic by the Lake: 01/21/15
Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager is the third of the Tales of Magic series but the moral sequel to Half Magic. It's only a few weeks after the end of the sibling's first adventures, and now they are being whisked away to a lake for summer vacation with their mother and new step-father.
The children, desperate to avoid a boring summer of swimming and nature hikes, look for anything magical. Their prayers are answered in the form of an annoying, and officious turtle. The turtle's magic is their access to a summertime of adventures.
As it's a lake, most of these new adventures are water related: mermaids and pirates, and a rather unfortunate chapter with island savages. Then near the end, the book takes a preverbal left turn at Albuquerque and does some completely unexpected and extremely satisfying time travel.
Thematically I'd say this book is most like Drift House by Dale Peck, except without the underlying depressing subtext of a post-911 America. The children's adventures here aren't as an escape from real world terror.