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The Magic City Kindle Edition
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That said, I was a bit bemused by other reviews on this site. Many refer to this book being a favorite from some long past childhood. Many read as apologies for the book's old-fashionedness or as pleas to modern readers for patience and understanding. Well, I'm having none of that. Sure, there are some out-of-date references, a few things that an American child wouldn't recognize, and a few old-fashioned sentiments, but nothing that would have more than a light and passing bearing on one's understanding of or appreciation of the story. At the very worst there is sometimes an air of formality or primness to some of the dialogue and narrative. But this is minimal, doesn't slow down the action, is not at all annoying, and is actually consistent with the vaguely unconventional or unreal feel that juvenile magical adventure fiction can sometimes have.
That said, it will take a bit of patience to get in to the book at first. That's mainly because our hero Philip is presented as a lame and petulant mama's boy who is unrelievedly mean to the fair and decent step-sister Lucy. Don't let that dissuade you. The whole point of the first part of the book is to show Philip's transformation into someone loyal, brave and kind, and you can't very well have that unless he starts out otherwise. It helps that the worst of his behavior is tamped down early on before we get very tired of it. That said, once Philip and Lucy team up in The Magic City and start having their adventures the book takes off and never looks back, and that is where the real appeal and excitement are to be found.
So, don't be warned off by the vaguely musty feel of even the positive reviews. This is ripping stuff for both boys and girls, (because Lucy holds her own as an interesting heroine, even if she does already start off as a good sort). It is readable by and relateable to a modern youth, and is rewarding without being preachy. It's also free, and is formatted perfectly well for my Kindle Touch. There is no downside to taking a flyer.
Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to the publisher of this book.
It's a children's story, but anyone who can step back to the books they loved as children will love this.
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