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ON MEETING WITCHES AT WELLS by Judith Gorog

ON MEETING WITCHES AT WELLS

By Judith Gorog

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-21803-3
Publisher: Philomel

 Illuminated by sudden twists and magical transformations, these linked stories from the author of Winning Scheherazade (p. 392) will have middle readers wondering if their schools and teachers aren't more than they seem. Every year, graduating eighth-graders at the old school on Poor Farm Road have sewn keepsake pillows. This time they have to hurry, for the building is collapsing--the well over which it was built wants it back--so, with the help of three very senior members of the faculty (Ms. Oakes, Ms. Laurel, and old librarian Ms. Holly), the students work away, matter-of-factly accepting the apparitions that appear one after another to share a memory, a memorable character, an urban legend, or a campfire story. A headless ``Silver Skier'' swoops down the slope to snatch a loved one away; a ring of ``Gypsy Gold'' brings loss in one tale, but solace to lonely ``Myra'' in another; the title story explains why manners are important near a well; ``An Old, Often Retold Story of Revenge'' is funny and satisfying, but definitely not delicious; while other tales feature ghostly touches, just deserts, or hilarious slapstick. The main plot is more than a device to bridge the stories, it's strong enough to stand on its own. Appealing and well-told. (Fiction. 11-15)