The Witch Trade

Overview

An exciting, magical fantasy from a talented new author, discovered by Barry Cunningham, the original publisher of Harry Potter.

Follow young Abby and Spike on their thrilling adventures through the fantastical world of THE WITCH TRADE. The evil Night Witches have invented a powerful new weapon and are threatening to take over the world -- and only Abby and Spike can stop them! Joined by Captain Starlight (aka the Ancient Mariner), Abby and Spike must travel through perlious ...

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Overview

An exciting, magical fantasy from a talented new author, discovered by Barry Cunningham, the original publisher of Harry Potter.

Follow young Abby and Spike on their thrilling adventures through the fantastical world of THE WITCH TRADE. The evil Night Witches have invented a powerful new weapon and are threatening to take over the world -- and only Abby and Spike can stop them! Joined by Captain Starlight (aka the Ancient Mariner), Abby and Spike must travel through perlious seas and wild lands to reach the dark lair of the Night Witches. Can their ragtag bunch defeat the evil Night Witch forces before it's too late?

A boy and girl encounter hidden caves, fabulous boats, and captive children as they join forces with powerful new friends on a quest for Ice Dust, the source of magical power for good witches.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Abby Clover lives with relatives in Speller, an uncharted seaside town somewhere on the coast of England. Her constant companion is a boy named Spike who washed ashore with no memory of his past. The two are the town's only children. Years before, Speller's youngsters boarded a sailboat for a day's outing, but drowned¾or so it was believed¾in a sudden storm. Captain Starlight comes to Speller and introduces Abby and Spike to Ice Dust—the essential ingredient in all magic. With a sprinkle of the silvery powder and a proper whistle, Abby becomes invisible. To reappear, she whistles the tune backwards. Starlight explains that he's working with the Light Witches to wrest control of Ice Dust production from the evil Night Witches. Spike and Abby join his quest with the hope that they will find Abby's missing parents, Spike's identity and the lost children of Speller. While the story contains many imaginative elements and moments of wit, this plot-driven fantasy fails to achieve the suspension of disbelief. Characterization is uneven, with the story's adults better drawn than its passive children. 2001, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Ellen R. Braaf
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This seafaring magic story about special powers, fantastic technology from Atlantis, and saving the world misses its mark. The world's supply of Ice Dust, a white powder that must be part of the Light (good) Witches' spells, is nearly depleted. The trade of Ice Dust was formerly controlled by the Sea Witches, but frequent raids by Night Witches have stopped the flow, and worse, they have found a way to combine it with toxic waste to create Black Dust. The impoverished Light Witches are also in danger of annihilation from wicked technologies enhanced by Black Dust. Orphaned Abby and her sea-foundling friend Spike meet Captain Starlight, who is hoping to revive the Witch Trade, take revenge on the Night Witches for destroying his New England sea village, and save the good witches. Tidy coincidences, touches of humor, and marvelous elements abound, but a sense of overall wonder is missing, perhaps because the story is so crowded and convoluted. The narrative moves briskly without pausing to examine the implications of any of the plot points or any but the surface motivations of its characters. Though Abby seems to be the principal protagonist, Molloy keeps his distance from her, and invests her with little in the way of emotions or thoughts about the events around her. This detachment flattens the dramatic tension that makes fantasy so satisfying. The Night Witches are bad indeed, but the outcome is never in doubt.-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A novelist for adults tries for a younger audience with a condescending, thinly disguised pastiche of classic and recent fantasies. Two children, doughty Abby and Spike, an amnesiac foundling who (of course) turns out to be a prince, help rescue their captive parents, plus a group of kidnapped children who are being forced to mind magic Dust ("Snow Dust") from a subterranean Antarctic land. Along the way, the pair meet Captain Starlight, the Ancient Mariner himself, with his oversized albatross companion Benbow, an irascible librarian with a staff of elves, monsters, and ancient machines that respond only to the good of heart, and a positive array of witches. There's bluff Sea Witches; pompous but well-meaning Light Witches; and fetid, bat-cloaked Night Witches plotting to exterminate their rivals with a mixture of Fairy-er, Snow Dust and toxic sludge. The author leaves no doubt about whom to hiss and whom to root for as, along the way, the good guys Save A Whale and participate in a performance of Peter Pan in which a traitor is unmasked by his refusal to clap for Tinker Bell. Attempts to inject wonder, surprise, and humor into the tale fall as flat as the climactic battle, in which the chief bad guy stands by wringing his hands as Abby heals an immense serpent with Kindness, then vanishes (sequels, anyone?), leaving his evil cohorts to blow up at the least whiff of Snow Dust. Wyatt supplies pen-and-ink sprays of twinkling stars, and Jules Verne-like spot illustrations, some of which recur. There's not much here for fans of J.M. Barrie, Joan Aiken, Pullman's His Dark Materials, and the like beyond a sense of deja vu. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439430203
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.77 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2004

    Awesome Book

    I thought this book to be very boring on the first chapters but then got into it and it turned out to be one of the best books I have ever read in my life. I practially stayed up all night to finish it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Harry Potter

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2004

    WOW

    This is a WONDERFUL! It really captures the readers mind into reading it non-stop!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2003

    Really Good

    This book is 1 of my favorites. I love it. I have read all 3 and hope there is a 4th.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2003

    good

    This was a very good book.

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