The Little Broomstick
by Mary Stewart
I paused while reading Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave to relish this
chilling little romp through a child's world of magic. Apart from her
Arthurian Saga, Stewart is mostly known for books that blur the line between
romance novels and supernatural thrillers. But in the midst of all that
yucky grown-up stuff we also find a few magical tales for the young, such as
Ludo and the Star Horse, A Walk in the Wolf Wood, and this book. You may
have to search used booksellers for it. It's worth the trouble.
adventure comes to a plain little girl named Mary Smith, one dull summer
when she is staying with her elderly aunt in Shropshire. While mooching
dispiritedly around the garden, Mary meets first an intelligent black cat,
then a rare and magical flower, and finally an enchanted broomstick. Such a
spirited little broomstick!
Before you can say boo! Mary has experienced her first terrifying,
exhilirating broomstick ride. This takes her to the steps of a school of
witchcraft quite unlike Hogwarts. And though it really is all a mistake -
though Mary is only, by accident, a witch for a day - her arrival at Endor
College proves as fateful for the school as for her.
The craft taught by Madam Mumblechook and Doctor Dee is strange and
sinister. When Mary realizes what they are up to, she mounts a brave rescue
mission. Aided by a boy she has just met, Mary races to escape from the
magical world in a hair-raising chase involving brooms, wands, a book of
spells, and a multitude of enchanted creatures.
For all we know, J. K. Rowling's creation of Hogwarts may have been
influenced by this pint-sized thriller. Fast paced, laced with droll wit,
and complete with a broomstick advertisement from Harrods, this delicious
confection will satisfy anyone with a taste for Harry Potter.
Recommended Age: 10+
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