Octagon Magic by Andre Norton
A report by Mike W.
5th grade Room 107 Mrs. Beauseignor’s class
Subject: English Reading Fiction
“Octagon Magic’ is a book by a lady named Andre Norton. Right away you know this will not be any regular book because of context clues. A lady with the name of Andre and Magic is in the title. Also what kind of magic is octagon magic do you suppose. Makes you think hmmmm already and we are still on the cover. These are some of the things we will surely find out more about.
A octagon is a eight sides shape. This root is from the Greek word octagonos which means eight sides. In Greek. The sum of all the internal angles of any octagon is 1080°. As with all polygons, the external angles total 360°
The octagon in the title is a house that has eight sides and is lived in by a old lady who many kids in this town called Ashton think is a witch probably. Now because of a witch you might think right away the theme is Man VS Supernatural but that is the sub-theme. The theme is Man VS Society. We will see why later.
The main character is a girl in sixth grade name of Lorrie Mallard. Mallard is a kind of a duck also, and some boys who walk home the same way as her call her “Canuck Canuck walks like a duck.” But this is because she is from Canada not because of the duck name which is weird that nobody mentions it. Canuck is a not very nice name for people from Canada although there are worse words people get called. Just not yet in this book.
Lorrie which is a weird way to spell Lori had to move to Ashton in America after her grandmother she lived with in Canada had to have a operation in England. And her parents are dead and she doesn’t remember them much. Lorrie lives in a apartment building with her Aunt Margaret who has a busy job and sighs a whole lot and doesn’t have time to spend with Lorrie because she is busy. She is nice anyhow and calls her chicky which is another weird name which there is a LOT of in this book.
So this girl Lorrie has A LOT of thoughts. She is almost constantly worrying about stuff and thinking what will go wrong next and how they did it better back in Canada even their way of burning potatoes (ick) so no wonder she has no friends which bugs Aunt Margaret who makes her go across the hall to these one kids apartment after school to force her to get some friends already.
Anyhow if she had less thoughts even a little less this book would be way shorter and more to the point.
One day Lorrie is walking home from school passed the witch house and some boys are yelling the duck thing at her and being mean to a kitten so she climbs the fence with the kitten and is in the witch yard where there is a deer statue and a dragon statue that she thinks used to spit out water. Some super nice old black lady opens a door and hollers at her to come in which she is surprised about because she thought the house was abandoned but is it? She goes in which is probably not very smart but she wants to see what shapes the rooms are instead of square on account of it being a octagon.
Also besides the nice black lady who is nice to her there is a super super SUPER old white lady wearing old fashion clothes in a old fashion room and there is the kitten again too. The old white lady sews pictures with magic needles and teaches Lorrie to thread her needles for her which seems kind of taking advantage of her being so friendless. Anyhow Lorrie is really into this so she finally has a friend but she’s a super SUPER old friend so Aunt Margaret isn’t buying it because everybody already thinks Lorrie is pretty weird.
Later Aunt Margaret goes to the octagon house and gets all excited over all the sewing pictures and doesn’t care if Lorrie hangs out there a lot. Meanwhile the old lady teaches her some fancy stitches and that hate is a very strong word. There is also a dollhouse which is also a octagon house the exact same as the house she is in, and the kitten shows her a drawer and some dolls and then she has weird dreams in this little weird room but are they dreams?
Lorrie experiences history in these dreams and learns about how people shouldn’t build walls but should try and get along with each other and this helps her to despise the kids across the hall less but to be honest they seem like pills in their own way too. If she thinks too much they could stand to think more because they seem to just do and say the first crappy thing that pops into their head, like breaking Lorrie’s old China head doll which has been in her family like forever.
Way later, after Christmas with home made presents the town council decides to put a freeway through the octagon house and if you think Lorrie worried a lot before oh my god. Her aunt goes back and forth between worrying too and telling her she is going to lose so get over it which doesn’t seem real helpful. The old lady is all “everything happens for a reason” which is a real old people way of thinking that gets called wise, but.
There is magic going! Can Lorrie stop the freeway and save the octagon house and the two old ladies and the kitten and who are all these history dolls and who is this mysterious Lottie girl that keeps showing up and rescuing history people??? If you want to know you will have to read Octagon Magic” by Andre Norton!
Also the theme is “Man (Girl actually) VS Society” because at first no one can hardly stand Lorrie and she hates everybody but then we learn everybody is weird for a reason if you can deal that’s great.
I give this book 4 stars out of five. I would recommend it only sometimes all of Lorrie’s thoughts seem kind of slow. Like slow to read but also this girl is slow. Also it is a pretty girly book with some boy bashing even but I don’t care. Could have sure used some pictures not a lot maybe three or five.
FOOTNOTE: OCTAGON MAGIC IS available to check out in the school library in FICTION under N.