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From the S.W.I.T.C.H. series, volume 1

by Ali Sparkes ; illustrated by Ross Collins

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4677-0710-7
Publisher: Darby Creek

A spray of strange fluid gives 8-year-old twins Josh and Danny both six extra legs and a quick trip down the bathtub drain in this icky but informative series opener.

Shortly after chasing their dog Piddle into witchy next-door neighbor Petty Potts’ hidden science lab, bug-loving Josh and his violently phobic brother Danny find themselves transformed into spiders. Their stereotypically spider-fearing older sister immediately sends them hurtling through the household plumbing down to the storm drains, where friendly rats Scratch and Sniff are already waiting to ferry them back outside, explaining that the effect is caused by Potts’ S.W.I.T.C.H. (“Serum Which Instigates Total Cellular Hijack”). Happily, there’s an antidote—which Petty Potts herself applies after saving the twins from a hungry toad with a quick stomp of her boot. Sparkes layers her lickety-split tale between a fact file about the twins and a helpful closing list of multimedia nonfiction resources for fans of all things creepy-crawly. Simultaneously publishing sequels include Fly Frenzy, Grasshopper Glitch, Ant Attack, Crane Fly Crash and Beetle Blast.

A buggy blast; readers will be happy with the clear signs that that the twins’ career as experimental subjects is far from over. (line drawings, glossary) (Fantasy. 7-9)