Becoming Jesse: Celebrating the Everyday Magic of Childhood


Becoming Jesse: Book review



You are born with magic. We all are. Here’s your chance to re-ignite and revel in your magic. 

Jesse O’Neil is an orphan boy of comic charm and soul-lighting wonder, raised by his much loved grandmother, Dearie – a once-upon-a-time Irish gypsy, who owns her own theater in 1950’s NYC —and his entertaining young uncle, Conor, who is studying to be an actor. 

At age 6, Jesse has unanswerable questions that lead to an inspired quest: to find the woman he calls his “disappeared” grandmother. With unflappable determination and imagination, Jesse collects surprising clues, as the world of theater, music, classic literature and gypsy storytelling swirl around him. 

Jesse’s world reaches across generations, guiding him as he shines his magic, his inner Light, touching those around him, most especially, himself. Without traveling anywhere, Jesse’s quest finds a deep, enduring love in the magic that can turn numbing sorrow into amazing marvels. 

We all want our magic back. We want to share it with our children and grandchildren – our whole family. Here it is. Waiting for you. To celebrate the everyday magic of childhood.



An adorable story of a six-year-old that restores your faith in some very important virtues of life like patience, love, and hope. Strangely philosophical, wonderfully magical and so full of positivity, Becoming Jesse is a book that makes you laugh, cry and appreciate every sweet moment of your life. It makes you fall in love with all the incredible characters especially Jesse and Dearie. Reading this book brought me a lot of peace. I couldn’t help but feel happy, satisfied and loved. 

What is this book about?

This is a beautifully written coming of age story of six-year-old Jesse O’Neil who lives in New York City with his grandmother and uncle. They live in an apartment with several other families all of whom adore Jesse a lot. Jesse is like a beam of sunshine that lights up everyone around him and sprinkles his magic everywhere he goes. He misses his parents and but feels their love as he decides to search for his ‘disappeared’ grandmother. He tries to find the whereabouts of this mysterious lady he dreams of meeting someday. We follow Jesse on his adventures. And he teaches us to keep our lights on as we face obstacles and overcome them.

Feel the magic 

This is a book that appeals to readers of all age groups but I guess you will feel the magic more if you read this to someone. It’s perfect if you are planning to read something for your younger siblings. You should definitely pick it up even if you are older. You will find yourself smiling as you turn the pages remembering your childhood. 

I enjoyed reading this book. It made me smile but also broke my heart. 


Thank you so much, Mr. McCandless, for providing me a review copy. Also please check out Patsie McCandless and her website SavingTheMagicOfChildhood


Hello there! Thank you for stopping by. My name is Anuja and I am an engineering student, currently in my junior year. I cry about books more than I cry about my grades. This is my blog where I ramble about books and everything else that fascinates me. Feel free to talk with me about anything and let's be book buddies!

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