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Summary: Isabella Iverson is a bright, precocious, and curious. But 12-year-olds don't know everything, and Isabella didn’t know that her Mom is a witch or that Mom is planning to initiate Isabella into the Adirondack Society of Witches. One day, while cleaning the basement, Isabella noticed a door that wasn’t there before. She opened it to find a room full of barrels that contained witches’ brooms, and she was drawn to them. She learned that the brooms belonged to witches who had lost them. Isabella learned to fly the brooms and began returning them to their former owners. This is a chapter book adventure fantasy for pre-teens.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 7 to 12
Age of Child: Students at the SanMar Children's Home. Read in a class with 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old girls.
Young Reader Reaction: This isn't a book we would normally pick up and read, but we found it interesting! We were always curious about what was going to happen next. It would appeal more to younger audiences, but we enjoyed the suspense. We couldn't wait to see who would receive the next broom.
Adult Reader Reaction: There is a period in adolescence during which all children become fascinated with witches and witchcraft. The author has an excellent grasp of what will grab and hold this audience’s interest. He delivers the goods with a spellbinding story, interesting characters, and a ticklish funny bone.
Teacher review: As a teacher, I was a little uncomfortable reading to kids about witchcraft. We talked about the fantasy aspect of this. Because the book was for younger audience, I was surprised when my students showed interest in having it read to them.
Pros: This adventure will keep readers on the edge of their seats. It may have slightly more appeal to girls because the main character is a girl. The author knows his audience and his genre, the topic will grab them and the adventures will keep the reader from closing the cover.
Cons: We wish Isabella hadn't talked about Toaster Pond quite so much.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow or Buy. Adolescents will be delighted with the story, find it hard to put down, and share it with their friends. Our teens suggest borrowing it for 10-year-olds.
Educational Themes: Like its predecessor, Toaster Pond, this is a teen fantasy/adventure. It is meant to be enjoyed as recreational reading.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, magic, growing up
Date(s) Reviewed: November 2007
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