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The Search for Magic

Ive been on the lookout for magic for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I regularly tested myself to see whether my incipient magical powers had arrived. For some reason I cant now remember, the test itself was always the same: I would close my eyes and attempt to conjure a tiny swimming pool (the ultimate wish for a city kid, perhaps). I imagined that the pool would have a bright blue liner and a twisty slide about the right size for a baby gerbil. I was a strange kid–or at least one who was open to the worlds possibilities.

As I got older, I performed the swimming-pool test less and less often. Meanwhile, I read more and more books. I was accepting what wasnt possible and learning at the same time what was.

Books were portals for me. I loved to read them, but hated to talk about them with anyone. The truth is that I hated to acknowledge that other people had read them, that they had walked through those same doors, met those same people, ridden those same dragons, and afterward sat down at those same tables and eaten those same snacks. It was, for me, a terrible violation of privacy.

Like so many passionate readers, I decided to try to write a book of my own–to open one of those magical doors myself. It turned out to be very hard. The door did not spring open at my touch the way Id secretly hoped it would. The knob was greasy and the frame had swelled in the heat. But as I struggled with it, I caught a few glimpses of what was on the other side–snow, and dogs, and people flying by on ice skates. And those images kept me from giving up.

The wonderful thing about writing fiction is that you can be inspired by the real world without being limited by its facts. You are allowed to imagine and embellish (particularly when one of your main characters inhabits an invented world of ice). I decided that my story took place in Greenland, where dog sledding is part of everyday life, and suddenly I had a cast of dogs. I discovered that a glacier could conceal a freshwater lake. I read about fireflies and learned that their light is triggered by oxygen. A glaciologist told me how to scare a polar bear with a flare gun, and why he loved his bread maker. And then I made a few things up.

With help from several people, I got that first door open. Now Im standing in front of another one. This time its locked, and the bolt feels a little bit rusty. But if you need to find me, thats where Ill be.

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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead 0375850872 9780375850875 Liar & Spy
Our Price: $3.85
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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead 0307980863 9780307980861 Goodbye Stranger
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The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead 1101938099 9781101938096 The List of Things That Will Not Change
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The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead 1101938129 9781101938126 The List of Things That Will Not Change
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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 0385737424 9780385737425 When You Reach Me
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First Light by Rebecca Stead 0440422221 9780440422228 First Light
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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead 0385737432 9780385737432 Liar & Spy
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First Light by Rebecca Stead 0375840176 9780375840173 First Light
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First Light Rebecca Stead 0375940170 9780375940170 Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland, where his father studies global warming. Peter will get to skip school, drive a dogsled, and- finally- share i First Light
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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead 1783443197 9781783443192 Goodbye Stranger
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The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead 1101938102 9781101938102 The List of Things That Will Not Change
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First Light by Rebecca Stead B002NPCTRW B002NPCTRW First Light
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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead 0375990984 9780375990984 Goodbye Stranger
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Liar & Spy Rebecca Stead 038590665X 9780385906654 Liar & Spy   Liar & Spy
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When You Reach Me (Stead, Rebecca) by Rebecca Stead 0385906641 9780385906647 When You Reach Me (Stead, Rebecca)
Our Price: $6.12
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First Light by Rebecca Stead 1439583439 9781439583432 First Light
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When You Reach Me (Korean Edition) by Rebecca Stead 8996215198 9788996215196 When You Reach Me (Korean Edition)
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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead 0375899537 9780375899539 Liar & Spy
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