Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Magic Half

The Magic Half

By Annie Barrows


Miri Gill is eleven years old and is the only child in her family who does not have a twin. Her older brothers Robbie and Ray are twins and her younger sisters Nell and Nora are also twins. When people look at the Gill family they look from Nell and Nora to Robbie and Ray leaving Miri in the middle with no attention. The Gill family has just moved to the countryside from the city and Miri feels even lonelier without the liveliness and excitement of the city.

One afternoon when an old man, Mr. Guest, tells Robbie and Ray that there are stolen items on the Gill family property, the boys start looking immediately, with dreams of enough reward money to buy an iPod. Miri's brothers refuse her help so she returns to her bedroom where, to her surprise she finds a piece of glass (from an eyeglass) taped to her bedroom wall. Miri looks too far into the glass and finds herself in 1935! Miri can time-travel! Miri finds herself in the same house, the same room, and in the middle of the Great Depression!

Soon after Miri arrives, she realizes that she is not alone.  There are four people living in the house: Flo; Sissy; Horst and an eleven year old girl, Molly. Sissy and Horst are Flo's teenage children and Molly's parents have abandoned her, so she was left to be cared for by her Aunt Flo. Molly works as a maid for her cousins and aunt. She is the only one who meets Miri, and they become best friends. 
Miri wants to go home, and she wants to bring Molly home with her and let her forget her past as a maid. Molly agrees. Everything is set, there is only one problem ... they don't know how to get back to Miri's home in the future...


I really liked The Magic Half  because of the time traveling side of the story, and because of the twins. I have never read a book with a character who time travels, and I don't know any twins so this was unique and interesting for me. Even if time travel is not true, it is an interesting idea for a story, and I enjoyed reading about the relationship between the twins.  I wonder what a twin would think about this book?

I think that Miri is an unusual character but she is a character that a lot of tweens would find fun. She is a tomboy and plays adventurous games with her brothers, but also plays nicely with her sisters. I love how the author made Miri's siblings two sets of twins, instead of four brothers and sisters. The twins makes the story a bit more engaging.  They are always fighting and doing things together in their own little worlds, and Miri just watches it all go by.  It shows the reader how lonely Miri really is and also makes the reader empathize with her and be pulled into the story.

The Magic Half is an interesting and unusual book which many tweens might enjoy as an easy and relaxing read.

211 pages


  1. I really like time travelling books. I find it interesting to read about how people used to live.

  2. This book seems like it is for younger kids. Do you agree?