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Author Nesbit's Book Reviews

Five Children and It
This classic of children's literature dates from 1902. Four children -- Robert, Anthea, Jane, and Cyril (the fifth is their infant brother known as Lamb) -- are playing at a sand pit when they stumble on a Psammead: an ancient sand fairy that will grant a wish a day, which lasts only as long as the sun is visible. Over the succeeding days, the kids learn how many ways that wishes can backfire on them -- they wish for money they can't get anyone to accept...
Magic City
Philip Haldane, 10, is not happy when his older half-sister Helen marries a widowed man with a daughter named Lucy. In a sour mood because he has had to give up his exclusive relationship with Helen, Philip makes a bad impression on everyone, who in turn treat him badly. Left alone one day, he builds a huge city with Lucy's toys, then awakens to find himself inside it! Much to his irritation, Lucy shows up too. At first placed under arrest, Philip is the...
The Enchanted Castle
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 th...
The House of Arden
The once great English House of Arden has fallen on hard times and much reduced circumstances, and although they are not yet starving, life is not too pleasant for the children. In an exciting story set one hundred years ago, Eldred, the young Lord Arden, who is nine years old, and his sister Elf, who is eleven, adventure into the past to recover the lost treasure of Arden. With the aid of the magical Mouldiwarp, or white mole, they journey into history....

Nesbit booklist

The Incomplete Amorist
The incomplete Amorist by Edith Nesbit is the tale of a complicated love quadrangle between four people, full of melodramatic moments. The story begins in England when the eighteen year old Betty Desmond a pretty, naive girl bored out of her mind by the monotony of her country life, goes out to draw and meets Eustace Vernon, a thirty-something painter the amorist himself, who means no harm but goes to great lengths to win the ladies just to appease his ...
The Phoenix and the Carpet
In their second adventure, published in 1904, Robert, Anthea, Cyril, and Jane (not to mention Baby Lamb) encounter the legendary magical creature, the Phoenix, as well as a magic carpet that grants three wishes per day. They travel to a French castle, to a tropical island filled with copper-skinned natives, foil a burglar, arrange a marriage, change people's disposition, and have to figure out how to get 199 Persian cats, 398 muskrats, a cow, and a polic...
The Railway Children
This is a story of three children, Roberta, Phyllis, and Peter, who live in a respectable suburban villa with a wonderful mother and father and a cook and servants, until one day great disgrace and poverty befalls them. Father is taken away to prison (but they do not know this at first), and they have to move to a poor cottage in the country near a railway line. Mother writes stories to earn what little they live on and they get used to being poor and ha...
The Story of the Amulet
In their third adventure, published in 1906, Robert, Anthea, Jane, and Cyril discover their old friend the Psammead in a pet store in London. The magical sand creature can no longer grant them wishes, but it can do it for others, and it leads the children to a magical half amulet that lets them travel through time and space. They search for the rest of the Amulet, which will grant them their fondest wish, to go to prehistoric Egypt, Babylon, Atlantis jus...
The Story of the Treasure Seekers
This is a very funny story set in London in Victorian time, when children learned Latin and went to boarding school, and the fortunes of the honourable house of Bastable have fallen low. There are six Bastable children: Dora the eldest, then Oswald, Dicky, Alice and Noel the twins, and Horace Octavius the youngest who is sensibly called H.O. Not having money is no fun, so the children decide to make their own by seeking their fortune to restore the lost ...


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