The Magic Summer
Noel Streatfeild, auth
Edward Ardizzone, ill

When I see an obviously old children’s novel by two such recognizable names (Streatfeild is the author of the shoes books–Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, etc.; Adrizzone wrote and illustrated books like Tim and the Brave Sea Captain), I just cannot resist! Sadly this book is out of print; look for it in your local library.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book chronicling the adventures of 4 English children sent to live with their crazy great aunt in Ireland. Throughout the book, the children (two boys and two girls, ages 9-14 or so) learn to do for themselves and learn about all kinds of people. The crazy great aunt is exceedingly fond of spouting off random poems and lines from many familiar children’s stories and poetry; the more well read you are (or your child is), the more you will enjoy it. You’ll be ready to pick up a book of poetry and go fishing or rustle up some scrambled eggs for dinner after reading about these children’s adventures! This is sort of a predecessor in a way to books like The Penderwicks.

Recommended for elementary/middle