Five Children and It In this classic tale of adventure and wish fulfillment, five city kids find the countryside to be filled with magic and wonder
Be careful what you wish for.
After two years cooped up in London, Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother, “the Lamb,” are thrilled to be living in the country. The best thing about their new home is that there are no rules, no places that are off limits. One day while playing in a gravel pit, they uncover a fat, furry creature that has been asleep for thousands of years. The Sand-fairy, also known as It, grants them one wish a day, to be shared among them. At sunset, the wish will turn to stone.
But every wish brings a disastrous result. When the children wish to be beautiful, no one recognizes them. When they wish to be rich, their gold doesn’t buy them anything. When they wish to be able to fly, they end up stuck on top of a church tower with no way to get down. Other wishes lead to a confrontation with Indians, a scuffle with kidnappers, and accusations of thievery. When the children beg the Sand-fairy for more wishes to set things right, It agrees—on the condition that they never ask for another wish again.
E. Nesbit’s pioneering fantasy novel continues to delight new generations of young readers.
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“I love E. Nesbit—I think she is great and I identify with the way that she writes. Her children are very real children and she was quite a groundbreaker in her day.” —J. K. Rowling
“Portrays the innocence of childhood . . . Young readers will enjoy their wishes and the strange creature that grants them. . . . This book is a classic that should be on all library shelves.” —Children’s Literature
E. Nesbit (1858–1924) began writing for young adults after a successful career in magazines. Using her own unconventional childhood as a jumping-off point, she published novels that combined reality, fantasy, and humor. Expanded from a series of articles in the Strand Magazine, Five Children and It was published as a novel in 1902 and is the first in a trilogy that includes The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet. Together with her husband, Nesbit was a founding member of the socialist Fabian Society, and her home became a hub for some of the greatest authors and thinkers of the time, including George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells.