Jane, Mark, Katherine, and Martha are bored. It's summer and they have nothing to do, except sit at home and clean while their nanny, Miss Bick, tells them what to do. Their father died years ago and their mother cannot stay at home with them. So, the four children think hard about what they can do to make their summer not so boring...and that's when they find a small little nickel on the ground. It looks like an ordinary nickel from afar, but when held up close, you can see the strange runes carved onto it.
Before they know it - and without them knowing it! - the four children are sucked into a great and terrible adventure, full of halves and doubles and gray houses and knights and jousts and being half-there and half-not. It is full of lessons and love and learning what it means to become a happy family.
For an advanced reader, the first chapter isn't amazing. Nothing really happens and Edward Eager's writing is very simple. When the charm (the nickel) comes into play, however, and begins working its magic, the story picks up. It was a laugh! There were so many funny one-liners that made me giggle out loud. Puns, ironies...it was all there. The children are all well-developed: Jane is the sensible one, Mark is the smartest (because he's the boy), Katherine is the romantic, and Martha is the most outspoken. Their mother and Mr. Smith were great additions to a great story with a great, lovable ending. The story had twists and turns that led you right where Eager wanted you...where you want to be, too. Happy. All in all, this was one great read and I highly recommend it to children of all ages - and adults too! - who want to laugh and smile with a lighthearted story that will always be loved.