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A Gift of Magic (1971)

de Lois Duncan

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685824,573 (3.69)1 / 16
Until she learns to control it, Nancy's gift of extrasensory perception brings her more trouble than she can handle.
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3.5 stars

Teen twins, Kirby and Nancy, and their younger brother Brendan, move to Florida with their mom, and learn that their parents are getting a divorce. Nancy seems to have a harder time of it then either of her siblings. At school, she discovers that she has a bit of “magic” in her in the form of ESP. Her sister has a talent for dancing and brother a talent for music. They all try to come to terms with their parents’ divorce while Nancy tries to figure out how best to deal with her “gift”.

I listened to the audio. It was a quick YA read, and things moved quickly, but likely due to being YA. I enjoyed it. I’m not sure any of the kids were particularly likeable, but they’re teenagers (at least the girls are), so... ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 21, 2020 |
A really sweet story about a family of two girls and a boy with gifts of different things. Kirby is a ballerina, Nancy has magic/ESP, and Brendon is a musician. ( )
  niquetteb | Jul 29, 2019 |
This is an older book, but I can't tell you how excited I was to read it once found. The back cover blurb simply intrigued me - I was into the magic thing as I just came off some other Urban Fantasy, and the thought of the different gifts of dance, music, and magic allured. I also was intriguing by the ending line, was there a creepy part of it or not? I was in the mood for more young adult and again, this is an older edition people likely won't hunt down, but if you run into it, it's highly recommended.

The writing style is formal and almost gothic, distant in style. Not dramatic at all like some of the other gothic stuff, but to fit the atmosphere.

It was like a childlike fairytale and ethereal, yet not childish in any way, either though dealing with younger audiences. Beautifully written, this magical tale was impossible to put down. Literally. I had to put it down after the first few pages this morning to go to work, but finished it in one sitting once picking it up again.

I do wish there was more and it was longer, and the epilogue WAS a bit cheesy. However, there was a clever mishmash of various personalities erupting with marvelous talents, and I dug the mother and all the children. At times I was wondering how dark it would go based on the main characters actions and internal dialogue, but it wasn't as dark and suspenseful as I imagined from the back blurb. More of a drama than anything, but still seeps into the brain all the same. I loved this book and am now curious about more Lois Duncan.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Listened to the audiobook on the recommendation of a teen patron . . . and i'm rather surprised that she liked it so much. Originally published in 1971, this book sounds old, despite an updated reference to email. The entire family felt a little shallow, possibly because the audio performance was so mundane.

14 year old Nancy is dealing with her parents' divorce in a very egocentric way. While her twin sister and little brother are adjusting to their new home and school in Florida, Nancy stubbornly yearns for the nomadic life they shared with their journalist dad as he traveled the world on assignment. Nancy is so convinced her parents will reconcile, she is exasperated when her mom rekindles a relationship with an old boyfriend.

In the meantime, Nancy slowly (and I do mean s-l-o-w-l-y) comes to realize that her psychic abilities, taken for granted by her family, are a rare gift indeed. Used spitefully to the detriment of others, Nancy's powers finally do something good and readers get a rather heavy-handed moment of character growth. This short book then ties everything up in a neatly packaged epilogue with a last line that feels like a wink from the author.

Frankly, the only reason I finished this book was because I was listening to it in the car. A Gift of Magic reminds me of a 70"s television show--an uncomplicated, wholesome family drama (think Brady Bunch without the laugh track). I may have liked it then, but I'm not the audience for it now. ( )
  lillibrary | Jan 23, 2016 |
I started this with great hopes, but it was predictable and I found the main character of Nancy overly whiny. None of the kids were very relatable, the mother was underdeveloped, and I kind of wanted to give the little brother a quick spanking. Overall an ok book, but I'm not a fan of the conceit the author used at the end. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Lois Duncanautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Stewart, ArvisIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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For my niece Heidi Lois Steinmetz
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Once upon a time in a house by the sea, lay on old woman, a special old woman who had the gift of magic.
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Until she learns to control it, Nancy's gift of extrasensory perception brings her more trouble than she can handle.

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