Memory is a funny thing. Earlier this year I reread my Dear America books in order to determine which should be kept and which should be sold. I found that those books I remembered something from were worth keeping, and those that were a blur were…not.

Last Chance for Magic is an old book for me personally. I got it from the Scholastic Book Fair way back in grade school. I think I may have only read it once, but was compelled to hang onto it for the better part of two decades. But when I’m at a convention and need shorter books to read, it seems like an opportune time to figure out if my memory is correct or nostalgic.

Frankly, my hopes were dashed when I opened the book and saw how large the font size was. Still, I persevered and ran into the problem of “real kids don’t talk like that.” Not to mention that there should be a language barrier.

Last Chance for Magic is the story of Max and Terry, a brother and sister in New York who crawl through a mysterious tunnel in their backyard that takes them back in time to before Europeans came to the New World. They are informally adopted by the local tribe and live therefore for a season before magically being transported back home. Even though they spent months in the past, they return home mere hours after they left.

And that’s where the book ends. We don’t know what happened to the tribesmen, whether it was truly the past or another world, etc. I suppose it’s fine for nine year olds or younger, but I’m not finding enough here to justify hanging onto it any longer.


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