Reviews and Awards (MH)


Awards for The Magic Half

2011 Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee
2010-2011 Mark Twain Award Nominee
2010-2011 Virginia Readers’ Choice Nominee
2011 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Nominee
2011 Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Nominee
2011 Sasquatch Reading Award Nominee
2011-2012 Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee
2011-2012 Sunshine State Young Readers’ Award Nominee

Reviews of The Magic Half

“The middle child between two sets of twins, Miri often feels left out, overlooked, and unremarkable. When her family moves to a new home, she feels lonelier than ever. She soon learns from an elderly neighbor of a legend surrounding her house. According to town lore, many years earlier a thief left buried treasure somewhere on her property. Quickly, the siblings race to uncover it. Soon after the hunt begins she notices a small piece of glass taped to her wall. Looking through the lens, Miri finds herself still in her room, but in 1935. It is here that she meets Molly, a girl badly in need of help to escape her abusive situation, but Miri accidentally returns to her own time before she can save her new friend. Alone again, she must figure out how to rescue Molly before it’s too late. This fast-paced story will delight anyone who has ever believed in magic, longed for a twin, or imagined the secrets their home might hold. The characters and setting are realistic despite the subtle elements of magic and time travel. Barrows conjures up a delightful tale brimming with mystery, magic, and adventure that will surely enchant readers everywhere.”

School Library Journal


“Not only is 11-year-old Miri a middle child, but she’s stuck between two sets of twins, neither of which will let Miri tag along as they explore the nooks and crannies of the family’s new house. Good thing Miri has a wild imagination to keep her company and a powerful belief in magic, too. She needs both for this clever take on the through-the- looking-glass(es) adventure that Barrows (Ivy and Bean) spins for her. “Magic is just a way of setting things right,” Miri learns after peering through an eyeglass she discovers in her room and then suddenly finding herself in the company of a girl who could almost be Miri’s twin, except that the year is now 1935. Barrows limits the fantasy to the simple but effective time-travel device, using it sparingly as Miri bravely sets about making things right for her new friend—and eventually herself. Readers will savor the author’s lively observations (thinking she is trapped in the past, Miri “consider[s] the fact that several of her favorite books would not be published for seventy more years. ‘Great…. When I’m in my eighties I’ll find out what happens to Harry Potter’ “), while the heroine’s adaptability and independent thinking endow her with the appeal of a Ramona Quimby or a Clementine.”

—Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2007