The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle

Donna Jo Napoli / Feb 25, 2020

The Magic Circle From the author of Zel Stones in Water and The Prince of the Pond Deep in the woods lives the old witch called Ugly One All she wants is to forget the she was once a loving mother and a healer bles

  • Title: The Magic Circle
  • Author: Donna Jo Napoli
  • ISBN: 9780140374391
  • Page: 315
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the author of Zel, Stones in Water, and The Prince of the Pond.Deep in the woods lives the old witch called Ugly One All she wants is to forget the she was once a loving mother and a healer, blessed and powerful within her magic circle, and not a witch, claimed by the devils Then one day she hears the footsteps she dreads Then real voices children s voices The UFrom the author of Zel, Stones in Water, and The Prince of the Pond.Deep in the woods lives the old witch called Ugly One All she wants is to forget the she was once a loving mother and a healer, blessed and powerful within her magic circle, and not a witch, claimed by the devils Then one day she hears the footsteps she dreads Then real voices children s voices The Ugly One longs to take care of sturdy, sensible Gretel and her young brother Hansel They are such good children, such delicious, beautiful children But demons voices scream in her head Eat them How can she How can she not A brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed novel School Library Journal, starred review A work of great strength and powerful emotion, written with immediacy and intensity, filled with beauty and terror and pervading sense of compassion that must touch young and old Lloyd AlexanderAn ALA Best Book for Young Adults A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

    • [PDF] Download ↠ The Magic Circle | by ✓ Donna Jo Napoli
      315 Donna Jo Napoli
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download ↠ The Magic Circle | by ✓ Donna Jo Napoli
      Posted by:Donna Jo Napoli
      Published :2019-07-09T19:16:02+00:00

    About "Donna Jo Napoli"

      • Donna Jo Napoli

        Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children s and YA fiction She loves to garden and bake bread, and even dreams of moving to the woods and becoming a naturalist At various times her house and yard have been filled with dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits For thirteen years she had a cat named Taxi, and liked to go outside and call, Taxi to make the neighbors wonder But dear dear Taxi died in 2009 She has five children, seven grandchildren, and currently lives outside Philadelphia She received her BA in mathematics in 1970 and her Ph.D in Romance Languages and Literatures in 1973, both from Harvard University, then did a postdoctoral year in Linguistics at MIT She has since taught linguistics at Smith College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgetown University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and Swarth College It was at UM that she earned tenure in 1981 and became a full professor in 1984 She has held visiting positions at the University of Queensland Australia , the University of Geneva Switzerland , Capital Normal University of Beijing China , the University of Newcastle UK , the University of Venice at Ca Foscari Italy , and the Siena School for the Liberal Arts Italy as well as lectured at the University of Sydney Australia , Macquarie University Australia , the University of the Witwatersrand South Africa , and the University of Stellenbosch South Africa and held a fellowship at Trinity College Dublin In the area of linguistics she has authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited 17 books, ranging from theoretical linguistics to practical matters in language structure and use, including matters of interest to d Deaf people She has held grants and fellowships from numerous sources, including the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Sloan Foundation.


    1. ”It isn’t up to me to recognize the demons of this world. That is not a human task. God will tell me. All I have to do is listen.”Villain retellings are nothing new in literature. I think that we as readers (and writers as authors) find something almost morbidly fascinating in humanizing someone that has been considered evil or misunderstood for so long. ”I am polluted. I am wicked.”Villains are often more popular than the heroes. There’s something so enticing about both their action [...]

    2. Ugly one is what she has been called for a long time. She does not consider herself beautiful; she is hunchbacked and one such as her could not be beautiful. She is a midwife, the best one you can get, and a mother to Asa; her beautiful daughter.But Bala tells her that she can become a healer. She can save people and children from devils. She believes this is God's calling for her and listens closely to Bala and does what Bala tells her.For nine years she was a healer, for nine years she command [...]

    3. Zel (also by Napoli) was fantastic; it won me over to fantasy. Since I was a complete fantasy skeptic pre-Zel, I kept thinking, “Was Zel a fluke? Can Napoli really be such a powerful writer that she can win over the most critical, anti-fantasy reader?” To test this hypothesis, I chose The Magic Circle, a reworked fairytale of Grimm’s Hansel & Gretel. The result: Napoli proved to be a two-time marvel!Circle is solely focused on The Ugly One, the character represented by the wicked witch [...]

    4. You probably know the tale of Hansel and Gretel. Now it's time to hear the witch's side of the story. Magical, horrifying, heartbreaking and spellbinding!

    5. This unique retelling of the Hansel & Gretel tale, is from the witch's perspective. Set in Medieval Europe, when Christianity and paganism existed uneasily together, a hunchbacked midwife summons demons to do her bidding for help in healing the local townspeople. The story is heartbreaking for the "Ugly One" is a loving mother who is just trying to please her adopted community, but the demons get the best of her and she is banished, never to see her beloved daughter again. We do not meet Han [...]

    6. At the heart of any "Hansel and Gretel" story is the idea of the witch, who is always linked to the stepmother. In many ways, the fairy tale is about women. The father is controlled by the stepmother, the witch has a major role, and while Hansel does seem active in the beginning of the story, it is Gretel who saves Hansel at the end. In this story, the women are front and center. It is true that the character of the stepmother is notable in her non-physical presence, but the character of Bala se [...]

    7. The book the Magic Circle is about a lady who is called the Ugly one and she works by giving babys and her friend that is really rude told the Ugly one that she could do better then giving babys. Then the Ugly one thought that it was true. So know the Ugly one is dealing with childeren that have devils inside of them. I strongly recomened this book to people who like mysteries and adventure. This is a really good book.

    8. This book was written from the perspective of the witch from the story of hansel and gretel. What would cause a woman to end up living alone in a candy house and wanting to eat children? This story tries to trace that story back to the beginning. It was interesting, albeit rather dark and slightly demented.

    9. A retelling of hansel and grettel, where the witch doesn't wish tone evil and certainly doesn't want to be in the predicament she is in, where she craves the flesh of children. I the end she sacrifices herself to the flames to prevent her evil from taking over. Interesting concept, however the writing didn't really engage me

    10. An interesting twist on a classic children's story. The story of Hansel and Gretel from the witches perspective. You can read it in one sitting. I don't know why but I love it and have read it several times since I was a kid.

    11. Not sure how this ended up on the Best Fairytale Retellings list. It was okay. Read it in a single sitting. I summarized the story to Tim and he thought it was kind of odd as well.

    12. Donna Jo is so mind-blowingly awesome sometimes. The Magic Circle, Zel, and Sirena are some of my favorite books ever, and I really like some of her other books. I love the way she tells stories, and the stories she tells. I read the Magic Circle as a kid,and I remember being super intrigued by it and thinking it was a little scary; I just finished re-reading it as an adult and I loved it even more! I was able to grasp some of the deeper concepts that went over my head as a kid, as it is with mo [...]

    13. 4.5 stars"Hansel and Gretel" has got to be one of the creepiest fairy tales I've ever read. Two kids get stranded in the forest by their own parents, then captured by a witch who tries to eat them. Spolier alert, the witch gets shoved into an oven, which is totally okay and not scary at all to small children. But what about that poor witch? In The Magic Circle, the witch never wanted to hurt anyone. She set out to help people, and she ended up murdered. This is such a unique and interesting vill [...]

    14. This is the story of the witch from Hansel and Gretel and how she became the witch. There is a lot of religion in this story. I read that Napoli immersed herself in the religion, art, and history of medieval Europe while writing this book and that definitely comes through and gives an authenticity to the setting. I enjoyed this book much more than I expected. Also, the witch is a victim in this story rather than evil.

    15. A very short novel, this can easily be read in one sitting, but its brevity only strengthens its impact. This is a retelling of the Hansel and Gretel story from the perspective of the witch. The witch doesn't want to eat or harm children but is tormented demons. Napoli writes a rapid, unflinching narrative that shows the reader the witch's horror and grief. A strong, frightening piece of work that offers no solutions but provides a clarity and insight into torment.

    16. A different view on the story of Hansel and Gretel. Very entertaining (although I ended up feeling sorry for the witch).I loved this book!.

    17. Napoli embeds her story in Medieval Christian beliefs, creating a witch who is at odds with a system that is shifting from midwifery to medical control by priests. She experiences discrimination first for her appearance, but later this is coupled with her ability to heal and she is considered a threat to be burned. Napoli demonstrates her interest in fairy tale texts by exploring the influence these texts can have on people and the witch, after hearing a boy tell tales of a fairy tale landscape [...]

    18. Ugly One, Mother, Ugly Sorceress, Witch, Old Woman, Mother.She'd been called many names in her life. Everything she did, whether good or evil, was for love. She loved her daughter so much. That love caused her to go from being a simple midwife into a sorceress. When the demons stopped obeying her and commanded her to obey them, she agreed only to save her daughter. She remembered the fairy tale land a young boy had told her about. There she fled. For nine years, she lived in solitude. She avoide [...]

    19. A twist to the tale of Hansel and Gretel, told from the perspective of the Old Woman/Witch they meet in the woods with the candy cottage, her history was that of a midwife who became a sorceress (one who by belief in God can command devil's) to save Peter, a nobleman's son, but tricked out of a magic circle she made, biting off a child's sixth finger as a midwife might and becomes a witch (one who is commanded by devils)- they command her to eat the babe, but she's set upon by villagers who accu [...]

    20. Finally finished it. What took me so long is this is the book I keep in my handbag for reading when I go out. And I hardly ever go out or get a chance to read when I do.It's an interesting retelling of Hansel and Gretel, with the witch made a sympathetic character. The author had to stretch to do that, brave of her but resulted in some rather contrived aspects. Did she have to stick so closely to the description of the Brothers Grimm of a humpbacked, ugly, nearly blind witch? Romances in Donna J [...]

    21. This book certainly doesn't put witchcraft into a bright light -- in this book, witchcraft is of the devil, and sorcery is of god. Strange, huh? It had a very interesting twist on the folktale of Hansel and Gretel. You definitely sympathize with the witch, being forced to serve the devils and all. I really love the ending -- nice surprise. I've got one question, where did she get the pots and pans? She made her cottage --that I can believe, but did she make her pots and pans? I suppose she stole [...]

    22. The Magic Circle is the retelling of the famous fairy-tale Hansel and Gretel, but from the Witch's perspective (although you aren't even aware of it until you are more than half way into the book and Hansel and Gretel are introduced). The witch is a hunchback who is referred to as "Ugly One" and whose life is centered around her beautiful daughter Asa. Ugly One's neighbor, Bala, convinces her to be more than a simple midwife, she convinces her to be a healer by chasing devils away.Being tricked [...]

    23. This book takes readers to the begins of the witch from Hansel & Gretel. It's told from the witches point of view, who was not always a witch but a healing sorceress and midwife. At first she is pure of thought and heart, but one day while performing a healing within the magic circle she filled with pride and losses her abilities to summon demons to her beck and call and comes to realize that now they can summon her. Thus she is turned into a witch that demons forever taunt with their voices [...]

    24. The Magic Circle is a retelling of the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. The Old Hag listens to an acquaintance and seeks to become a sorceress to heal the sick and dying. All she has to do is stay within the magic circle and the demons cannot get hert, one day, she is lured outside the circle and becomes a witch. She tries to gather all her strength and resists the urge to eat human flesh or more specifically the flesh of little children. She lives out in the enchanted forest by herself and eats on [...]

    25. This book is essentially a re-telling of Hansel and Gretel from the witch's point of view. If you thought it was impossible to make that child-eating hag a likable, sympathetic character, then you are wrong because in truth Ugly One is just a tender-hearted hunchback being oppressed by the devils she once controlled- the price that came for her love of beauty.Everything about this slender little novel is excellent: the characterization, the plot, the detail rich prose that is both swift enough t [...]

    26. This book is a retelling of the story of Hansel and Gretel, but you would never know it in the beginning of the book. It starts with a woman called the Ugly One who is the towns midwife. She is a hunchback so no one really wants to be around her but her skills in midwifery are very well known. She has a daughter named Asa who is very smart and beautiful. A neighbor suggests that she would make a lot more money if she was not only able to deliver babies, but cast out demons from people. She decid [...]

    27. The last chapter was the best I was very disappointed in the beginning, had it not been that it is only 118 pages long I don't think I would have been able to finish it. I didn't like the writing style. Although I did like the story between the main character and her daughter. It would have been nice to know what happened to the daughter - after giving birth but they way the story was told - there was no way of knowing. I also didn't like all the mentioning of God it would have been nice if the [...]

    Leave a Reply