Blackwater Swamp

Blackwater Swamp

4.7 4
by Bill Wallace
     
 

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Ted saw her with his own two eyes! They say she can make magic. Ted is scared -- but he can't resist snaeking down to the bayou to watch the gnarled old woman and wild animals he's never even seen before!

His new friend Jimmy blames the witch for the break-ins that have the town on edge. Ted doesn't know who to believe. Jimmy and his swaggering cousin Bubba are

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Overview

Ted saw her with his own two eyes! They say she can make magic. Ted is scared -- but he can't resist snaeking down to the bayou to watch the gnarled old woman and wild animals he's never even seen before!

His new friend Jimmy blames the witch for the break-ins that have the town on edge. Ted doesn't know who to believe. Jimmy and his swaggering cousin Bubba are pretty scary themselves.

Ted knows the answers lie in the dark and dangerous swamp. But nothing can prepare them for the terror to come...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To get to the bottom of a string of robberies, Ted must confront the witch of Blackwater Swamp. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A fifth-grade boy living in a small Louisiana town narrates this story of adventure and mystery. The ingredients include a spooky swamp, a mysterious old ``witch'' woman, and a rash of unsolved break-ins and robberies. A subplot is Ted's struggle to find an appropriate friend in his new town. Jimmy, interesting but also rude and ill-behaved, accompanies him to spy on the witch, who has a shack on an island in Blackwater Swamp. The plot turns ugly when Jimmy's redneck cousin Bubba leads a crew of his friends, lynch-mob style, to burn out and torment the old woman. Ted predictably comes to her rescue, but ends up being protected by her. Ironically, his new best friend could be the witch herself, who is merely the small town's only homeless person, an elderly black woman. In general, characters are type cast and superficial; adults are unrealistically peripheral to the story, their presence vague and unconvincing. In an attempt to destroy one stereotype, another is employed: the somber anti-prejudice message, delivered through revelation of the woman's true identity, is inconsistent with the extreme caricature of Bubba and his boys. Jimmy, the abused child in a family of thieves, is lumped into that group of thugs, offering little insight into the actions of a disadvantaged child. Some youngsters will be pleased to pick up the clues more quickly than Ted, but others will find him exasperating. Literary weaknesses aside, the elements of adventure and suspense will keep the pages turning, and the exotic setting and activities of the witch will fuel readers' imaginations.-Valerie Lennox, Jacksonville Public Library, FL
Chris Sherman
Start with an eerie setting in a small bayou town. Add a reclusive old woman believed to be a witch, a fifth-grade boy struggling to fit in, a rash of burglaries, and some rotten bad guys. What you get is this lively mystery-adventure. Ted, who's had trouble making friends since his family's move to Lakeview, is pleased when Jimmy Weston befriends him, even though Jimmy's behavior sometimes troubles him. When Jimmy suggests the boys explore Blackwater Swamp to find the house of the witch who's supposed to live there, Ted apprehensively agrees. Jimmy flees when the boys are spotted, leaving Ted to discover that the "witch" is actually a woman named Martha Timms. It's Martha who eventually helps Ted catch the crooks who are responsible for thefts in the town. A nicely paced story with enough clues to solve the mystery, enough action to keep reluctant readers happy, and an exciting climax. This one will be easy to booktalk.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780785763659
Publisher:
Demco Media
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.64(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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