Not Just a Witch
by Eva Ibbotson
From the author of Which Witch?
and The Secret of Platform 13
, among other enchanting stories about ghosts, witches, and wizards, comes this equally delightful story about a neglected boy, an evil-detecting dragworm, and a well-meaning witch who wants to make the world better by turning bad people into animals.
Heckie is an animal witch. She loves animals, and she specializes in magic that has to do with animals. So when she graduates from the school for good witches, she opens a pet store in a quiet little town with a zoo, and starts turning a few particularly evil citizens into animals. And because the animals arent evil, she wants to make sure theyre well cared for; so they end up living in the zoo too.
Meanwhile, Heckie and her best friend Dora, a stone witch (whose magical gifts enable her to turn bad folk into amazingly detailed statues), have had a falling out. But in spite of the fact that they arent speaking to each other, they end up in the same town, doing the good work separately.
Enter the foul Lionel Knacksap, a heartless manipulator who has a fiendish plan to make loads of money. It involves breaking the hearts of two lovelorn witches (at the same time, the cad!), turning a lot of innocent people into stone and/or endangered animals, and performing some atrocious cruelty to animals. It also involves giving a nice orphan boy a knock on the head, poisoning the hearts of two best friends against each other, and being a general nasty customer.
Fortunately, its hard to keep two good witches down, and two best friends apart for long. Also, it never pays to go up against the winner of an ugliness contest, the owner of a dancing cheese, the inventor of a balloon fueled by the hot air in political speeches, and a woman who grows giant vegetables. Prepare to giggle, gasp, and cheer as the Wickedness Hunters put paid to a fairy-tale villain in modern costume.
I cant help it. I just have to quote the About the Author blurb from the inside back cover of this book. It says that Ms. Ibbotson learned that children love stories about witches, wizards, and ghosts because they are just like people but madder and more interesting. If you believe that, or if you enjoyed the books of Roald Dahl, I think you will love this book.
Recommended Age: 10+
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