Lost in the Stacks: Where’s My Wand? One Boy’s Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting

When he was eight years old Eric Poole hit upon the perfect antidote to his childhood woes: magic. With an old chenille bedspread as a cape, some complicated hand maneuvers borrowed from Endora of Bewitched, and a hefty dose of magical thinking – poof! ¬¬his troubles would be gone. From a crazy, ranting, obsessive-compulsive cleaning addict (“Why, God, why is there water in this sink?”), his mother would magically drop the Bon Ami, cease vacuuming the pool table, and become someone soft and kind. From being the poster boy for Henpecked Husbands (“How I married someone so completely devoid of competence is an absolute mystery,” his mother would moan) Dad would magically grow a backbone and stand up to his harridan wife. Holidays, vacations, family visits, all would be transformed from dreary disasters to sunshine and light.
Despite his best efforts at hand waving and cape wearing, Eric’s magic oftentimes goes hilariously awry or simply doesn’t work at all. Sure his magic got him out of a dreaded family vacation in Arkansas, but he had a much worse time camping sans indoor plumbing with his sister and Aunt Jinny in the backwoods of Missouri. And his spell casting seriously failed when his chain-smoking, outspoken, pinochle-loving Grandma set her mattress on fire during a family visit and ended his magical hopes of a détente between Mom and Grandma. In fact it’s not long before Eric realizes that maybe his reliance on magic is completely misplaced, can he find the power within himself to transform his life? Genuinely funny, but with an underlying sweetness that adds poignancy to many of the stories, Where’s My Wand is a memoir that entertains.

Julie Nelson

Constant reader, book selector, shameless promoter of good reads - these are just a few of the things I do as a Collection Development Professional. I love sharing the hidden gems in our nonfiction collection!