Rupert Campbell is in the worst 5th grade class imaginable. His teacher, Mrs. Frabbleknacker is as awful as her name. She makes her students dig through garbage for a paper clip, dissect frogs, and perform otherworldly science experiments. None of the students are permitted to speak to one another, even outside of class, and if they do she gives them brutal punishments.
Rupert is lonely and misses his friends, but doesn’t dare cross his teacher. He has an unhealthy fascination with the witches that live in town, but his mother insists he stay away from them.
Rupert’s curiosity gets the better of him and everything changes when he answers an ad for a witch’s apprentice. Instead of a real witch though, Rupert finds Witchling Two, an adolescent who has difficulty casting spells, and is only a few weeks away from her witches bar exam. If she fails, she’ll lose all her magic, the witches will force her to leave town, and Rupert would lose his only friend.
Now Rupert must help Witchling Two pass her exam while avoiding the other witches who don’t approve of their friendship. If they catch him, they’ll bring him to the evil Fairfoul Witch who’d boil his toes, turn him into stone, or worse.
I rarely read lower middle grade, but I admit the cover caught my eye. In all, I am very impressed.
I almost never laugh at written jokes, but Lauren Magaziner brilliantly weaved them into her piece. Although the humor targets elementary aged children, I found myself chuckling from time to time.
The only difficulty I encountered was accepting that this book was intended for an audience much younger than myself. The magic, town and circumstances are a little far fetched but that’s to be expected when writing for this age group, and fortunately after the first few chapters I was fully immersed in the story.
There’s no objectionable material and this book is safe for all audiences. If you like nonsensical silliness with a dash of magic and the ever-constant threat of bunny attack, yeah, that’s right, bunny attack, then I highly recommend The Only Thing Worse Than Witches.
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