cover image Witch Weed

Witch Weed

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $14 (177pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30426-9

In their fifth adventure combating the evil power of local witchcraft, Lynn and Mouse discover that wicked old Mrs. Tuggle may be dead but she's not quite gone. Sinister flowers spring up along the creek where the friends last encountered her dark influence. It's these flowers, Lynn believes, that make five of her school chums form a coven, and that draw Mouse into the clutches of magic. Reminiscent of Nancy Garden's Four Crossing series, but displaying less attention to detail and plausibility, this fast-paced adventure combines minor problem-novel elements--Mouse's mother has left the family--with the eternal struggle between good and evil. Although the novel won't stand up to Suzy Charnas's The Silver Glove or Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Naylor's fans will not be disappointed in this latest installment--which hints at Lynn and Mouse's next encounter with the spirit of Mrs. Tuggle. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)