The Witch in Room 6

Edith Battles, Author HarperCollins Publishers $11.95 (151p) ISBN 978-0-06-020412-9

Sean's school year is considerably enlivened once Cheryl Suzanne, a would-be witch, joins his fifth-grade class. She ""helps'' him with his baseball, detours a class outing through Disneyland, and, when Sean's enemy Mike is giving a speech, messes up his notes. But from Cheryl Suzanne, Sean learns that his own hard work (on spelling and baseball) pays off more than her sorcery. As she makes other friends at school, Cheryl learns to stand up to her quite traditional aunts, and to take a sabbatical from witching so she can be ``normal.'' Battles' book reveals many of the real concerns of this age group, and Sean's ordinariness makes him an unusual hero. His efforts to make small gains and improvements ring true, while his successes make this story worth reading. Ages 8-12. (June)