Penelope's Pendant

Douglas Hill, Author
Douglas Hill, Author Doubleday Books for Young Readers $12.95 (103p) ISBN 978-0-385-41641-2
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One day at the seashore, 11-year-old Penelope finds a dented old pendant, which soon leads her into trouble as it grants her wishes. Like the fantasies of Edward Eager ( Half Magic ) and E. Nesbit ( The Three Children and It ), this story involves magic in an ordinary child's life and how it must not only be used cautiously, but kept secret from adults. Unlike the youthful heroes and heroines of Eager and Nesbit, however, Penelope is alone in her secret. When the magic puts her into a moral predicament, she alone decides to do the right thing by not using it to spy on her friends. Without the sibling conflict common to similar fantastic stories, Penelope comes off as a rather flat character, whose solitary adventures have the palpable feel of wish fulfillment. Readers in search of a good story of enchantment would do better with the classics. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
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