Gr 4-6 Cassie has to do a class project with Agatha Gifford, a new girl who hasn't managed to fit in. Cassie's friends, Sylvia and Brenda, indulge in nasty teasing about Agatha's wardrobe and her grandmother's resemblance to a witch; this leads to acts of wanton destruction and theft. Eventually, Cassie realizes that Sylvia and Brenda are bad news and shifts her friendship. Hines has overdone it. Cassie's friends are excessively nasty and malicious, not to mention dishonest. And Agatha is such a sweet, deserving girl, recently orphaned, patient, uncomplaining, passive. Throughout, she behaves as if she had been anesthetized. Meanwhile, Cassie is coping with the separation of her parents, her mother's new job and all those long unsupervised afternoons until her mother gets home. All these are legitimate concerns. Some kids are nasty, many families do separate and parents do diebut all at once and in 135 pages? Ever since (and certainly long before) Konigsberg's Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth (Atheneum, 1967) which dealt sympathetically with the problems of loneliness and witchcraft, there has been a copious flood of witch stories. Hines has contributed nothing new to the genre. In spite of all these objections, readers will suffer along with Cassie as she strives to make the right decisions about friendship and loyalty. Phyllis Ingram, Fairfax County Public Library, Va.