cover image The Witch's Eye

The Witch's Eye

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Sally Brown. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $13.95 (179pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30157-2

A spine-tingling sense of foreboding saturates the pages of Naylor's ( Witch's Sister ; The Witch Herself ) latest installment of Lynn and Mouse's ongoing battle with the malevolent Mrs. Tuggle. Although the witch herself was killed in the fire that destroyed her house, her spirit seems to have taken up residence in the glass eye she wore. Insinuating itself into Lynn's family, the unwholesome orb forces Lynn to become its custodian. The girl doesn't dare leave it at home, yet when she carries it with her she feels bad and acts worse--almost as if she were possessed. Good does triumph over evil, but only after a great many creepy events have come to pass. This novel differs from introspective, multilayered chillers such as Joan Aiken's The Shadow Guests and Margaret Mahy's The Changeover in that the motivation behind Mrs. Tuggle's grudge against Lynn's family never becomes clear. Naylor's witchery never becomes a metaphor for a family's discontent--it is, instead, simply good spooky fun. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)