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Sam Morris

Sam Morris

YBB Previews: Mister Magic by Kiersten White

Release Date: August 8th, 2023

Do you remember that TV show that was on when you were a kid? The one that was like, a little eerie and sanctimonious, but you learned a lot of valuable lessons from it? It had that weird mascot and like, little rhyming songs about how you should clean your room and brush your teeth? It was kind of a fever dream? When you try to search it, you can’t really find anything beyond other people describing the same show and also trying to remember what it was?

Mister Magic was that television show. Thirty years ago, six children played with a vaguely remembered avatar of friendliness named Mister Magic on a TV show of the same name. Everyone remembers it, but there are no clips, it doesn’t appear in old TV Guides, and no one really remembers what channel it was even on. It ended, tragically, and no one fully remembers why. Did one of the kids die? Was there a fire?

Now adults, the five remaining kids gather at the set in the Utah desert to do a reunion podcast. The internet is abuzz with speculation about a reboot. The problem is… the kids don’t really remember what happened either.

It’s hard to really dive into the themes of this book without giving away the magic, so bear with me for some vagueness right now. Many of us nostalgically remember Sunday schools or youth groups or clubs that were intended to shape us into the perfect little people. None of us turned out perfect, but many of us put our kids right back into those programs hoping that they’ll take the lessons that didn’t work on us. It’s a cycle, and it’s hard to break.

It’s a little bit of Mandela effect mixed with a little bit of the curse of child stardom mixed with a little bit of religious trauma.

I wasn’t expecting for this book to resonate with me as much as it did, but man, it was incredible.

Review copy provided by NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

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