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Miss Switch Online

Miss Switch Online

5.0 2
by Barbara Brooks Wallace

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If you think nothing much is going on when Rupert P. Brown III begins sixth grade at Pepperdine Elementary School, you'd be dead wrong. Consider the following: a new teacher with the unlikely name of Miss Blossom; a new principal who has all the girls swooning; a talking bird who thinks he's a math whiz; a computer that goes berserk and produces a Web site


If you think nothing much is going on when Rupert P. Brown III begins sixth grade at Pepperdine Elementary School, you'd be dead wrong. Consider the following: a new teacher with the unlikely name of Miss Blossom; a new principal who has all the girls swooning; a talking bird who thinks he's a math whiz; a computer that goes berserk and produces a Web site called computowitch.com that not only displays some very ominous poetry, but whose password is the name of a witch Rupert has tangled with in the past. Yes, a witch!

Faster than you can say "witchcraft and wizardry," Rupert figures he could be in big trouble. He can really use the help of Miss Switch, a real, honest-to-goodness witch herself, who also, amazingly, was once a former popular teacher of Rupert's class at Pepperdine. He has reason to believe she's back, but where?

Once again, Rupert records another scary (well, sort of) and funny encounter with Miss Switch. His earlier accounts, equally scary and funny, appear in the books The Trouble with Miss Switch and Miss Switch to the Rescue.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Miss Switch and Rupert P. Brown III are back in another adventure. This time they join forces to thwart the evil Saturna in her plot to put a devastating evil spell on the entire sixth grade of Pepperdine Elementary. Miss Switch, disguised as substitute teacher Miss Blossom, keeps her eye on wizard Gordork and witch Neptuna, in disguise as Principal Mr. Dorking and his assistant Miss Tuna. An unassuming teacher by day, Miss Switch along with Rupert sneaks into the computer lab at night to untangle Saturna's twisted threats, which she sends via her Website. Miss Switch easily overturns a spell that has the class delivering the lines of Romeo and Juliet in a way Shakespeare never imagined and a shrinking spell cast while the kids are at a museum. Saturna soon realizes that Neptuna and Gordork are not up to the evil she has in mind and devises the final spell herself. With ingenuity, practicality, and a little humor, Miss Switch once again foils Saturna and her cohorts. Children raised on a diet of J.K. Rowling and Eva Ibbotson will find little here that is scary or deliciously evil. The text is undemanding but unexciting. The spells fall flat and there is not enough suspense or tension to keep readers involved. Fans of Wallace's two earlier titles The Trouble with Miss Switch and Miss Switch to the Rescue might enjoy this one but all in all, this is not up to the author's standards. 2002, Atheneum,
— Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-When he starts sixth grade at Pepperdine Elementary, Rupert P. Brown III laments the loss of his favorite teacher and witch, Miss Switch, but things are hardly boring. Trouble starts to brew before the end of the first week, culminating in his discovery of a sinister Web site administered by the evil witch Saturna. Then Miss Switch resurfaces in the guise of fashion-challenged Miss Blossom, ready to fight the villain and her cronies, aided by Rupert and his intelligent pets. Using the Web site as a guide, they thwart Saturna and her dimwitted brother, Grodork, and finally defeat him, though Saturna may well return again another day, in another, hopefully more satisfying, sequel. In spite of an abundance of witchy-type behavior-lots of sparks flying from Miss Switch's green eyes, and plenty of last minute rescues utilizing Latin spells and toadstools-this installment tries too hard to attract the hordes of magic-crazed readers without delivering much magic. Even Rupert's famous scientific mind produces little scientific thought as he misses obvious clues to puzzles ultimately solved by his teacher. The final showdown is anticlimactic, as nothing happens to Saturna, and her silly brother only has to fall under a love spell to be vanquished. Rupert is just along for the ride-albeit on a broomstick. There are many more fulfilling bets for fantasy readers.- Linda Bindner, formerly at Truman State University, Kirksville, MO Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Wallace is just treading water in this roughed-out reprise of The Trouble with Miss Switch (1971) and Miss Switch to the Rescue (1981). Once again, evil witch Saturna has nefarious plans for science whiz Rupert P. Brown and his Pepperdine Elementary classmates. This time she places her vacuous but supernally handsome brother Grodark and Neptuna, another witch, into the Principal's office-but, as usual, irascible rival Sabbatina Switch is on the case, and the baddies find all of their spells fizzling as soon as cast. Shoehorning computers and email into the tale without much understanding of how they actually work, the author concocts a series of situations involving talking pets, midnight classroom meetings, obscure clues in bad verse and quick, thousand-mile broom rides. But even readers willing to enjoy these crowd-pleasing elements without minding their contrivance are likely to be disappointed to see Rupert and friends doing little here beyond watching from the sidelines, worrying, and being briefly victimized by harmlessly prankish spells. A clumsy updating. (Fiction. 9-11)

Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
The Virgin River Series
Edition description:
Age Range:
9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Profound Thoughts from the Monkey Bars

Nothing appeared to happen on the day I began sixth grade at Pepperdine Elementary School that pointed to the extraordinary, and I have to add dangerous, events about to take place in my life. It's as amazing that I'm still here to record them as it was for me to be around to record two similar events that happened earlier. Some of you may choose not to believe what I'm writing on these pages. But as a great and dedicated scientist, which I became in the summer following my year in the fourth grade, I feel I must make this report. I'll be as accurate and truthful as I know how.

The only noticeably different thing about the beginning of this first day of school from every other was the new sixth-grade cool-guy greetings my friends and I exchanged as I sauntered up to where they all sat hunched over on top of the monkey bars of the Pepperdine playground.

"Hey, it's the Broomster! Yay! Yay! Yay!"

The Broomster -- that was me, Rupert P. Brown III, also known as Broomstick.

"Hey, it's the Peatmeister! Hey, it's the Creamer! Hey, it's the Bananapeeler! Yay! Yay! Yay!" I said right back, losing no time in joining them.

Peatmeister, of course, was Peatmouse, otherwise Wayne Partlow. Creamer was Creampuff, otherwise Tommy Conrad. Bananapeeler was plain Banana, otherwise Harvey Robert Fanna. Now, once we'd gotten all this cool-guy stuff over with, we'd go back to being good old Peatmouse, Creampuff, Banana, and Broomstick, which we'd called each other since about the third grade. I was just as long and skinny then as I am now, which is how I got my name.

But who could have known backthere in the third

grade how prophetic that nickname would turn out to be!

"Where's the Spookster?" Peatmouse asked as soon as I'd settled myself down beside them all on the top rung.

"She left," I replied. "Her father got transferred. She's about a thousand miles away from here now."

"That's too bad," said Creampuff.

"Yeah," I said, and let it go at that. I didn't see any point in going into how "too bad" it was.

Spookster was Spook, otherwise Amelia Matilda Daley. I'm the one who gave her the name Spook

in the fifth grade because of the way she always breathed, "Boy, that's spooky!" when she looked into a microscope. As you may gather, Spook is a fellow scientist as well as a friend. She is the only one who knows the true details of the two earlier events I've mentioned. In order for you to have a better understanding of the report I'm about to make, I'll reveal the most important of those details here.

In the first of the two events, I was introduced to a real, honest-to-goodness, card-carrying witch, Miss Switch. She arrived at Pepperdine Elementary School as our fifth-grade teacher, seeking the help of my great scientific brain to suggest some original witchcraft ideas that would satisfy the command of a goofy contraption called a computowitch. It belonged to a really nasty brand of witch named Saturna. Luckily, I came up with the idea of feeding it the information about what a great teacher Miss Switch was. The computowitch got so excited it practically blew itself up, and thus we got rid of Saturna. Or so I thought.

But back she came, now determined to get rid of the one who had put her computowitch out of commission. That, of course, was me. Saturna tried to have me kidnapped, but it was Amelia who got kidnapped instead. Fortunately, Miss Switch came to the rescue. After some pretty scary events, all ended up well, and once again we got rid of Saturna. Or so I thought!

At any rate, I now return to the conversation I was having with my friends on the top rung of the Pepperdine monkey bars. After the greetings were over with, the first topic of conversation, as it always had been, was noteworthy events of that summer. My contribution was that I got another pet, a cockatiel, named Fred. I said "another" because he was in addition to my turtle, Caruso, and my two guinea pigs, Hector and Guinevere. Fred was a consolation prize from my parents because I didn't get to go to camp that summer. They had finally decided that camp was a waste of my time and their money, which I'd been telling them all along. But if they wanted to console me with Fred, I was not going to argue.

After all this we were ready for the burning question of who our teacher was going to be that year.

"Maybe we'll just get Mrs. Fitzgerald again," Peatmouse said.

"She's okay," Creampuff said. "We liked her most of the time."

"Yeah," we all agreed.

"You know what the real problem is, don't you?" I said. "It's not Mrs. Fitzgerald. It's just that once you've had the best, nothing else is ever going to seem that good."

It took them all zero seconds to know exactly the person I was talking about.

"Miss Switch!" Peatmouse said.

"Yeah!" said Banana and Creampuff.

"And the thing is," said Peatmouse, "that we could never really explain why we were so nutty about her."

"The whole class was," said Creampuff. "But looking at her, you'd think we were all just plain nutty."

I couldn't argue with that one. I now refer you to some notes I made once regarding her looks:

a. Sharp nose that could crack granite.

b. Ridiculous little old-fashioned wire spectacles (resting on said nose) that instantly stop looking ridiculous when her eyes are drilling holes into some poor fifth-grade victim.

c. Chin that could substitute for a pickax.

d. Black hair rolled into a bun that looks as if it could not be dislodged with a sledgehammer.

e. Ancient, musty gray dress that could have been rescued from somebody's old attic trunk.

f. General appearance as cuddly as a steel knitting needle.

"She was strict, too," said Banana. "Boy, was she strict! I mean, on a 'strict' scale of one to ten, try fifteen."

"Then why did we like her so much?" asked Peatmouse. "I mean besides her being the best teacher we've ever had?"

We all looked at one another and said it at the same time: "Because she was so fair!"

And that was probably the biggest reason. She wasn't just the best teacher, but the fairest we'd ever had. When she had something unpleasant to say to you regarding your behavior in class, or your latest rotten English or arithmetic paper, and you watched her nose growing sharper, and felt her eyes turning your blood to ice, and you wondered if your life was about to end right there and then as her pickax chin chopped you to pieces, you always knew one thing: that you'd earned it!

"On a 'fair' scale of one to ten, you'd have to pick a number so long, it fell off the blackboard," said Banana.

"Off the world," said Creampuff.

"Out of the universe," said Peatmouse.

"Yeah!" I said.

"Does anyone think she might be back?" Banana asked.

"Not a chance," I said.

"Why not, Broomstick?" asked Creampuff.

"That's just my opinion," I said.

Anyway, how could I tell them exactly "why not"? Spook was the only one I could discuss that with. After all, as I said, she was the only one who knew who Miss Switch really was, and that she would probably be back here only if trouble were brewing.

As far as I could see, there was nothing in sight by way of trouble that could possibly need Miss Switch's special talents. Therefore, we could not expect her to appear in the sixth-grade classroom.

But then how was I to know my opinion was wrong? Dead wrong. For that very night when I sat down at my computer to e-mail Spook at spook@home.com, something sinister was already developing that was aimed right at me, Rupert P. Brown III. And not only at me, but also at Peatmouse, Banana, Creampuff, and the whole Pepperdine Elementary School sixth grade!

Copyright © 2002 by Barbara Brooks Wallace

Meet the Author

Barbara Brooks Wallace writes, "With the exception of a couple of fantasies, I've been all wrapped up in Victorian-era mysteries ever since I wrote Peppermints in the Parlor. But all of these stories, with their flickering gaslights, creepy shadows, and dastardly villains doing incredibly wicked deeds seem, at least in my mind, to have a touch of fantasy about them. I decided to take a break from all this, and return to stark reality and the modern world by doing a sequel to two earlier books. So in this book you have your rather ordinary elementary school, your PTA, your playground monkey bars, your sixth-grade hero and, of course, your witch."

Ms. Wallace's earlier books, The Trouble with Miss Switch and Miss Switch to the Rescue, were televised as ABC weekend specials and ended up as the highest-rated shows in the series. She has written several award-winning Victorian mysteries, including the Edgar award-winning Twin in the Tavern and Sparrows in the Scullery, in the house she inhabits in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and other assorted pets.

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Miss Switch Online 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone's favorite witch is back, and the many fans of author Barbara Brooks Wallace are welcoming Miss Switch's return with open and eager arms. Written with Ms. Wallace's usual wit, charm and impeccable plotting, the story reunites young Rupert P. Brown III with his former school teacher, that most admirable witch, Miss Switch, about whom he says, "Once you've had the best, nothing else is ever going to seem that good." The same can be said for Ms. Wallace's book. In an age of heavy, morbidly serious children's fantasy, MISS SWITCH ONLINE comes as a welcome breath of fresh air, jiggling the reader's funny bone and charming a new generation of children looking for a good read and a good laugh. Don't miss this one. It's a winner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This long-awaited third installment of the Miss Switch series is sure to please old fans and new. This time Rupert and Miss Switch (disguised as a substitute teacher) take on the evil witch Saturna who's spreading her nasty schemes through the Internet. Pure light-hearted fun guaranteed to make kids laugh (especially during the Romeo and Juliet scene: 'I didn't come here to get insulted...I came here to woo'), MISS SWITCH ONLINE rules!