Edward Eager was born in 1911, went to Harvard, married a woman named Jane, and worked as a playwright and lyricist for most of his life. In 1951, when he had his first son, Fritz, he began reading through classic kids' books. He discovered a lot of good reads, particularly E. Nesbit, whose prose stole his heart immediately.

The same year, he began writing children's books of his own. The first, Red Head, was accepted and published immediately. It has since gone out of print - as did all of his books, actually, until a bunch of them were re-released in the 80s, with new illustrations by Quentin Blake.

Always grateful for his first inspiration, he mentioned E. Nesbit in the text of every one of his books.

In Half Magic, the kids divide grownups into four groups: those who aren't good with children, those who pretend they are children, and those who pretend children are grownups.   "Last and best and rarest of all were the ones who seemed to feel that children were children and grownups were grownups and that was that, and yet at the same time there wasn't any reason why they couldn't get along perfectly well and naturally together, and even occasionally communicate, without changing that fact."   I'm pretty sure Edward was one of those.

Edward died in 1964. His widow began the Edward Eager Memorial Fund at Harvard, awarded to the best creative writing by an undergrad, preferably children's literature.


Half Magic

Knight's Castle

Magic by the Lake

Magic or Not?

The Time Garden

The Well-Wishers

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