Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MS. WIZ by Terence Blacker


Ms. Wiz Spells Trouble

by Terence Blacker & illustrated by Tony Ross

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5548-6
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Clad in tight jeans and sporting black nail polish, spell-casting Ms. Wiz, with an omniscient cat and curious rat in tow, transforms the Class Three children from little terrors to terrific pupils. Quickly labeled a witch, this unorthodox teacher prefers the term “Paranormal Operative” instead. Peculiar lessons increase student achievement and provide entertainment: Wiz’s mathematics, for instance, involves a well-trained owl who relieves himself on command when students answer incorrectly. Naturally, adults question her methods and rejoice when Ms. Wiz resigns to travel “where magic is needed.” Sequel In Stitches with Ms. Wiz (ISBN: 978-0-7614-5549-3) reunites student Jack, suffering from appendicitis, with Ms. Wiz, now disguised as Dr. Wisdom in a hospital rife with loose rodents and displayed organs. The first entry’s stronger than the second, as the story’s magic excels more in the classroom than in the operating room. Ross’s exuberant lines convey the outlandish situations, though many characters are one-dimensional in these British series offerings, originally published in 1988. Instead of plot development, the focus relies too heavily on cheap jokes for little laughs. (Fiction. 6-9)