THE WITCH IN ROOM 6 by Edith Battles


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Another routine program for middle grades, this time about the effects on Fifth-grade students when they are joined by an apprentice witch. Sean, preoccupied with his rivalry with Mike, the coach's son, is not happy when Cheryl Suzanne Endor sits next to him; he is even less thrilled when, despite his best efforts, he ends up choosing her for his group for the class field trip. But Cheryl seems to have definite powers that do have benefits, as he discovers when his troop goes to Disneyland instead of to the museum where they had been bound. His sense of fairness also makes him sympathetic when her unusual dress and behavior cause her to be teased. And when a Halloween adventure introduces him to her way of life, their friendship is cemented. As the school year continues, Sean finds a solution to his problems with Mike; and Cheryl finds a way to resolve the conflict between her heritage as a witch and her desire for a normal childhood, with each helping the other. Battles, an ex-teacher, is good on classroom routine, but the rest of her story lacks texture, atmosphere and focus. She describes her characters instead of bringing them to life, fails to create any sense of magic (despite her theme), and the solutions to Sean's and Cheryl's problems seem awkward. Mildly entertaining, but in no way memorable or distinguished.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1987
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Harper & Row