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Take the Deal -- But, First...
Half Magic Series Box Set
Edward Eager
At the time i'm writing this review, Amazon is offering a package deal of this box set and the author's Seven Day Magic for a savings over the prices separately. Friends, that is a deal -- these books are a classic semi-series, and Seven Day Magic is what might be called "meta-fantasy", in one sequence of which its protagonists (who live in a world where Half Magic is fiction) dip back into the Half Magic universe.

These are among the great children's fantasies -- well- and wittily-written, with respect for the minds and sensibilities of the audience, and some very pointed commentaries on the sorts of books all too many adults think that children want to read.

I read Half Magic the year after it first came out, almost half-a-century ago (i was in third grade) and absolutely loved it then and still do.

These are almost the best American Children's fantasy (most of Robin McKinley's books are more YA than children's), and can be appreciated by any age, as well.

The only thing you might consider reading before these books, maybe would be the "Taran" books of Lloyd Alexander.

And after these, Alexander's Westmark books, as well.