August 15th, 2010 by Karen
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a HUGE fan of Edward Eager, who wrote a bunch of sweet, playful books about kids who discover temporary access points to magical adventures in their everyday world. His books include Half Magic, Magic by the Lake, Magic Or Not?, and The Time Garden (which was my pick for our time travel theme). There are seven books in all, and I’ve read each one multiple times over the years. It’s always been one of my great disappointments that Edward Eager never wrote more.
But thanks to Laurel Snyder, I now have one more chance to feel the same delight that Eager’s books always brought me. Her book, Any Which Wall, is a wonderful tribute to Eager, who is also one of her favorite authors.
The story is about four kids who come across a mysterious wall in a field near their neighborhood. They quickly realize that the wall grants wishes, and so the adventures begin — with Henry, Emma, Roy, and Susan zipping through time and space to the destinations of their dreams.
We included Any Which Wall in our beach reads booklist, and it really is perfect for sunshiney summer reading. If you’re looking for deep magical mythology or dramatic and dangerous exploits, then this is not the book for you. But who needs all that stuff all the time? Not me!
A couple weeks ago, I took the book with me on an hour-long subway ride to go bike riding on a little island by NYC. Reading Any Which Wall on the way there was amazing, because it set just the right tone for my day of fun in the sun, and it also made the time go by super quickly. So thank you, Laurel Snyder! I guess you could say that the kids in Any Which Wall found magic through a wall, and I found magic through a book!
Have any of you guys read Any Which Wall or any of Edward Eager’s books? Leave a comment and let me know, or send in a review of your own!