Wart

Wart

4.5 2
by Anna Myers
     
 

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Stewart has plenty of reasons to dislike his new art teacher, Wanda Gibbs. Not only did she give him the awful nickname "Wart" at school but she has also started dating his dad. She must have placed his dad under some sort of spell, which is entirely possible since, according to her very own son, she also happens to be a witch.

But nobody, including Stewart's

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Overview

Stewart has plenty of reasons to dislike his new art teacher, Wanda Gibbs. Not only did she give him the awful nickname "Wart" at school but she has also started dating his dad. She must have placed his dad under some sort of spell, which is entirely possible since, according to her very own son, she also happens to be a witch.

But nobody, including Stewart's father, will believe this outlandish accusation, even though Wanda suggests that if Stewart will support her, she might use her magic to his benefit. Stewart can't help but notice his athletic ability mysteriously improves every time Wanda shows up at his basketball games. Is it really magic, or is it just Stewart's imagination? It's going to take a lot of ingenuity to solve the mystery of Wanda Gibbs.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Debbie Clifford
Eighth grade presents Stewart with many questions: Will he make the basketball team? How can he make the popular, beautiful Taylor notice him? Should he ditch his lifelong friends Ham and Rachel in his quest to be popular? But the most important questions concern the substitute art teacher, Wanda Gibbs: Is she going to be his stepmother and is she really a witch? She seems to cast a spell over Stewart's widowed father and his younger sister. When Stewart uses the cologne that Wanda gives him, his basketball playing is spectacular and the popular kids are drawn to him-including Taylor. Despite this good fortune, Stewart is uneasy, especially when his father seems inclined to marry Wanda and forget Martha, his longtime girlfriend and Wanda's good friend. Younger teen readers might find connections with Stewart as he struggles with the guilt over dropping his real friends versus the thrill of his inclusion with the popular crowd. The story line concerning the question of Wanda's magical powers is less compelling and a little difficult to swallow. The story is strongest when dealing with the relationships between Stewart and his classmates.
Children's Literature - Janet L. Rose
After his cousin, Sammi, asks if he is popular, Stewart starts thinking how it would feel to be with the cool kids. In order to be with them, he will have to drop his two best friends, Ham and Rachel. However, if it means sitting next to Taylor Montgomery whom he has a crush on, it might be worth it. Then, Mrs. Gibbs comes into town to be the temporary art teacher. His father starts dating her, and Stewart is convinced she is a witch and has a spell over him. Things do not seem quite right. Osgood, Mrs. Gibbs' son, is never around when a big green frog is, and Stewart's basketball playing is 100% better when he wears the cologne Mrs. Gibbs concocted just for him. It sure feels good to play well, sit with the popular kids, and have Taylor notice him, but he doesn't like how Mrs. Gibbs is controlling his father and little sister. Will Stewart need the magic to believe in himself or does he have the self-confidence to stand up for what is right? Will he be Ste or will he be Wart? Students will identify with the desire to be popular and Stewart's conflicts. Reviewer: Janet L. Rose
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8 When the substitute art teacher, Wanda Gibbs, intercepts a rude note written by eighth-grader Stewart, she responds by landing him with the nickname Wart. His father meets her at Open House and asks her out on a date, and, oddly enough, Martha, Dad's former girlfriend and a friend of Wanda's, doesn't seem to mind. Suddenly, Wanda seems to be taking over Stewart's life: his dad is totally besotted with her, his little sister is undergoing a personality change as a result of her influence, and Wanda's oddball son claims that she turns him into a frog when he misbehaves. Could she really be a witch? Stewart and his best friends, Ham and Rachel, are convinced that she is evil and needs to be stopped. But Stewart's attempt to puzzle out the mystery is complicated when her spells boost his popularity and basketball skills, and he enjoys the attention of a cute cheerleader. Deciding what matters more-making it on his own and being loyal to his friends or having his dreams come true-is tough. Since his mother's death years earlier, Stewart has resisted any change at home, but suddenly Martha seems like a desirable and comfortable alternative to the twisted Wanda. The plot moves quickly and the characters are appealing and unique. Humorous implausibility vies with more serious issues as Myers provides a lighthearted look at common family and middle school concerns.-Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Myers really raids the thematic cupboard for this semi-serious tale of an eighth-grader who becomes convinced that his widowed dad and little sister have fallen under the spell of a beautiful witch. Stewart aspires to be popular at school, even at the price of severing ties with long-time friends Ham and Rachel. He also doesn't want his father to remarry-not comfortable librarian Martha, and especially not the (could it be literally?) bewitching new art teacher Wanda Gibbs, just arrived in town with her decidedly strange young son Ozgood. Is she, or isn't she? What with Stewart suddenly acquiring almost supernatural basketball skills and also hooking up with a hot classmate right after Mrs. Gibbs gives him a bottle of homemade cologne, with Stu's normally mulish sister Georgia suddenly eager to please whenever she's in the room and with Ozgood repeatedly seeming to transform into a large frog, the deck is carefully stacked to keep the issue in doubt. The plot thickens with the revelation that Martha and Wanda are actually old friends, and sets nicely at the end with a small twist, a wedding and some needed mending of fences. Leaving it to readers to make up their own minds about Mrs. Gibbs, the author offers a coming-of-age tale rich in Disney Channel potential. (Fiction. 11-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802789778
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
08/21/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.74(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile:
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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