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Emir's Education in the Proper Use of Magical Powers

5 Ratings: 1.8
A delightful book by author Jane Roberts, which featured an intelligent and spiritual message for children.

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Author: Jane Roberts
Genre: Children's Literature, Fantasy, Philosophy
1 review about Emir's Education in the Proper Use of Magical...

A Child's Introduction to New Age Philosophy

  • Dec 22, 2008
Emir's Education in the Proper Use of Magical Powers is an enchanting book for children, young adults, and adults. It explores the nature of reality, life, and death with poetic grace and humor. The author creates a lovingly made fantasy world where all things have a purpose even before their creation and all children are sacred even after they've grown up.

The story begins during the early days of Earth. The king of a brand-new kingdom decides to send his son, Emir, out into the world to learn of its wonders and then to pass his newly acquired knowledge on to their people. At first Emir doesn't want to leave behind his pets and his toys, and travel the world in a boat that might be caught in a terrible storm or sink, but Emir's father insists. He says that it is for Emir's benefit that he sends him. In order to become an adult Emir must learn of the strange and unknown peoples, creatures and plants that inhabit their world and find a solution to the kingdom's problem of overcrowding in order to become an adult. Emir leaves home and has one beautifully surreal adventure after another, meeting with ancient mythological gods and goddesses, surviving a nearly fatal storm, encounters with Conscience and Inspiration, taking part in a parade comprised of historical figures who have yet to be born, even leaving his body temporarily, and finally he returns home with an abundance of wisdom and knowledge. He explains the importance of seasons and that everything must have its season, its time on Earth but that time is not eternal. He bestows unto his people a great gift, death, which makes life only that much more precious. Emir transcends life and death, time and space, and shows us humankind's potential for nobility, courage, compassion, and sacrifice.

This book is a wonderful way to introduce children to the concepts of life and death. Author Jane Roberts tells a tale that both simply and eloquently probes the human heart and exposes our potential for greatness. Emir's Education is deeply spiritual and philosophical, but never dogmatically religious. It's an open-minded book for open-minded individuals.

The story is enriched by the illustrations of Lynne Cherry, whose artwork perfectly captures the cultural diversity of our world while creating a uniquely and superbly rendered vision of a place and time that never existed.

This book will appeal to children ten and older, though they may not appreciate its depth and insight, or have the capacity to accept its final message about the necessity of death. As for adults, the text is both comforting and disquieting. As human beings we could learn much from one such as Emir; that faith and logic aren't always contrary, that vulnerability is a form of strength, that inspiration is divine, and that love is eternal. The book is full of personal revelations that will inspire and provoke. Its message is universal and undeniable: We must face our own mortality and yet take comfort in the knowledge that our existence held some purpose, though that purpose is beyond our human comprehension. Only in death can we observe our reason for living... but only in life, through our love, can we learn not to fear death.

"No bird soars too high, if he soars on his own wings."
-William Blake

"A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die."
-Franz Kafka

"And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death."
-Walt Whitman

Emir's Education in the Poper Use of Magical Powers
Cover illustration by Lynne Cherry

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August 09, 2010
Wow man, I have never heard of this but it sounds like a good read. Also "It explores the nature of reality, life, and death with poetic grace and humor." is such a great sentence Count, I was hooked and very interested.
August 09, 2010
Yeah, if you ever venture out into the realm of children's fantasy (especially the books with a spiritual message) then I highly recommend this.
March 23, 2010
Wow, this sounds like a really deep and interesting book. I know someone that really likes Seth Speaks, so I'm sure he will like this one as well. I'm going to e-mail him a copy of this review.
March 23, 2010
Aw, thanks. I really loved this book, in part because I grew up with it, but also because it handles with some pretty heavy topic matter in a really sensitive way that kids can appreciate. The illustrations in the original edition are superb too.
March 24, 2010
Yeah, explaining death to children is such a hard topic to tackle. I don't really think it hit me until my grandmother died two years ago. I felt relatively untouched by death because those I knew that had passed where not people I was close.

I read "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion, which deals with the death of her husband. I'm just about done with the book, but I didn't feel that it helped me with any of my grieving. I'm going to reflect on it before I write a review.

Maybe I will check this one out sooner than expected, so I can make a comparison.
March 24, 2010
I'd also recommend Richard Matheson's novel "What Dreams May Come" if you're interested in this particular topic. As well as Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones".

Personally for me I feel that I've experienced quite a lot of death in my life, either because of numerous close family members having died or almost died, as well as living in a part of the town where many older people live. In a way it's been sort of a numbing experience for me. It's odd, but I have no fear of death at all when it comes to myself, but the thought of losing the people I love and care about fills me with dread.
March 24, 2010
Thanks for the recommendations! I just added them to my Goodreads list. I've read "The Lovely Bones," but I never wrote a review for it. I want to read it again, so I can write one on it. I really enjoyed it. As for "What Dreams May Come," was that also made into a movie? I'm very interested in the subject matter!

Wow. That must have been really tough. I also fear about losing people I love and care about. I often wish I will die young, so I won't have to be around to experience that pain, even though I'm scared of dying.
March 25, 2010
I waver. The more I see how elders are treated in the U.S., especially if you don't have a lot of money, the more I'm convinced I would rather die young. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. :-P
March 25, 2010
Good for you!
November 29, 2009
I think the first time I was introduced to life and death was the anime Voltes V. I was in the first grade then; after that I began attending funerals. Yep, I guess I matured pretty early. Nice work, are those quotes part of the book or you put those only in your review?
November 29, 2009
Review only. I wanted to incorporate some quotes that would express that death is a part of the cycle of life and that it too can be beautiful if you accept it with an open mind.
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Emir's Education (artwork by Lynne Cherry)
Emir's Education in the Proper Use of Magical Powers
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