The Only Thing Worse Than Witches

Lauren Magaziner. Dial, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3918-5
Eleven-year-old Rupert has been told time and again to stay away from the witches in town, but when he sees an advertisement about a witch seeking an apprentice, his curiosity wins out. Rupert is also lonely: he and his classmates live in constant terror of their “super evil” teacher, Mrs. Frabbleknacker, who forbids them from socializing. When the witch from the ad turns out to be a girl Rupert’s age, who needs help studying for her bar exam, Rupert agrees. The witch community is immediately up in arms over a human becoming involved in their business, which leads to a chaotic confrontation with the Witches Council and its leader, the Fairfoul Witch. Magaziner’s debut has echoes of Dahl’s Matilda, as it pits “helpless” children against an over-the-top villain. The same goofy charm that Magaziner brings to the names of characters and settings (Mrs. Gummyum, Yammerstop Way) carries through to the details of witch life and logic in the town of Gliverstoll, resulting in a fun, frothy story that will, well, charm its readers. Ages 8–12. Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/14/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-14-242442-1
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