Three children in early twentieth century England have to spend the summer vacation staying at a private school in the country. They go looking for a cave and find it - then find it leads to a a castle set in parkland from a fairytale. In the park is a maze, and in the center of the maze a princess in an enchanted sleep. They wake her with a kiss, but soon realize she is a girl their own age playing a game. She puts on a ring which she claims makes the wearer invisible. She is as surprised as anyone when it actually does!
The rest of the story follows the adventures of Jerry, Jimmy, Kathleen and Mabel as they deal with the powers of the ring. Halfway through the book the ring changes from a ring of invisibility to a ring that grants wishes. The children always find that the ring makes life difficult, although exciting. They have to deal with burglars, living statues, and dress-up characters which come to life, as well as the practical problems of getting enough to eat when no one can see you. Along the way they get to know each other and learn to cooperate.
The review of this Book prepared by Ian Tupper
Gerald, Kathleen, and little Jimmy are out one day when they stumble on a secret passageway to an enchanted castle, where they find a princess sleeping in a garden maze. Actually, it's not really a castle, and Mabel is hardly a princess -- only dressed up like one -- but a magic ring they discover in the castle really works: Gerald makes himself invisible, they discover the stone statues of gods and dinosaurs come alive at night (but only if the ring is on your finger or very near), and lots of other cool things occur. Some not so cool things, either: magic can be a little difficult to manage. This pleasant, mostly upbeat tale for older children and relaxed grownups dates from 1907 but is surprisingly free of "datedness."
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus
A hundred years ago three schoolchildren discovered a secret way into a very grand old English stately home whose family is down on its luck. The sleeping princess they awaken with a kiss in the enchanted garden may be playing some tricks on them - to her all the magic is pure imagination - but soon they stumble across a magical ring that has belonged to the house for many centuries. It gives them wild adventures with invisibility, crooks who rob stately homes, and a giant dinosaur in the garden. Excitement mounts as they slowly unlock its powers, and get advice from the living statues in the garden on how to use the ring and things more strange then their wildest dreams come to life. When they finally learn that the ring grants wishes, their wishes are almost always not quite put perfectly, and get them into more trouble than they bargain for. It turns out to not be a good idea to just wish to be rich - the ring has its own economical way of balancing things out and determining precisely what it costs you to get rich. There are some funny-scary moments: the fake theatre audience that they make out of broomsticks, old overcoats, and painted faces on paper bags, who are accidentally brought to life, and after the performance, quite reasonably really, want to be put up for the night in a 'decent hotel'.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose
Four children, having an ordinary summer, find an enchanted castle, a sleeping princess, and a magic ring. Well, the sleeping princess turns out not to be sleeping or a princess, and the castle may or may not be enchanted, but the ring is definitely magical. The kids must figure out what the ring is and how to use it - and must deal with the consequences when the magic runs amok. This is one of the first children's books that portrayed realistic characters and that was not at all patronizing towards the audience. It's so good that even 100 years after it was written (in 1907) it's still wonderfully engrossing. Authors from H.G. Wells to Edward Eager praised and recommended Nesbit's works - read one and you'll see why.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy