In the fall of 2005, the remains of Roosevelt Island’s crumbling insane asylum were demolished to make way for condominiums. In the rubble, a worker found the only known copy of Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ. Originally published in 1956, the book had been all but lost to time.
How could a book have completely disappeared from history, save the memories of a handful of people? Collectors, museums, and private libraries vied for “The Lunatic’s Guide” as the strange book came to be called. But while they fought for possession of it, the Guide was stolen. Stories spread of it crossing the globe, trading hands for almost a decade before disappearing from history for a second time.
Until two children found it on a park bench in New York City, tattered and fading, in the spring of 2013.
Unfortunately, after being exposed to the elements for the first time in decades, carried around the world, and finally left outside over a harsh New York winter, the Guide was falling apart. The family who found it were unaware of its significance and by early 2016 the last known Guide to MAGIQ was nothing but flecks of paper and dust.
But now, almost sixty years after its publication, the Guide has been faithfully recreated. Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ exists again, enchanting new generations with its wonder-filled pages and its assurance that magic is real and waiting for us to find it.