Friday, March 12, 2010

Featured Book: The Summer Is Magic, by Joan Howard

The Summer is Magic is a sequel, following The Thirteenth is Magic. Inexplicably, considering how highly-sought both titles are, they have never been reprinted. So they suffer from what I think of as children's-book syndrome: as the population that remembers a particular title from their childhood comes into their own and finds themselves with both money and nostalgia for their youth, they snatch up every copy of a great read that comes onto the market. And the value skyrockets. Though it might be frustrating for the reader trying to pass on to a new generation the joy they remember, they can take some comfort in the knowledge that the books are a phenomenal investment.

The Thirteenth is Magic follows two children who, after befriending a black cat, learn of a mysterious thirteenth floor in their apartment building that can only be reached on the 13th of the month. The Summer is Magic follows the same children as they head to their aunt's country home near the coast; once there, the cat disappears, and the story takes off from there.

Most copies on the market are ex-library, which makes them far less valuable as collectibles. Our copy is NOT ex-library. The interior of the book is unmarked, save for a couple faint fingerprints on the page edges, some acid transfer from the dustjacket to the endpapers, and a crayon mark on the pastedown. Pages are minimally tanned. There are a couple faint fingerprints on the front board and the corners lightly bumped. Mild shelfwear. Boards otherwise clean. Dustjacket has some chipping and creasing to edges and the head and tail of spine have open tears (see photos). Some foxing to jacket and a crayon mark on the back of DJ. It's a great copy for the reader or collector and would make a phenomenal gift.

More photos on Flickr

The Summer is Magic, by Joan Howard
First Edition
New York: Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard, 1952.

$185.99, domestic shipping included

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