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Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones
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Earwig and the Witch (edition 2012)

by Diana Wynne Jones

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1741368,238 (3.65)25
Member:nicole47
Title:Earwig and the Witch
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Greenwillow Books (2012), Hardcover, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones

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A strange little book about an orphan named Earwig who is adopted by a witch and a strange "man" who may be the devil. Earwig tries to outwit the witch so that she may learn magic, as well. Bizarre but interesting. ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
Very short Diana Wynne Jones book, geared toward younger readers. One kind of thinks there should have been a sequel, after all there is still the mystery of Earwig's mother, who is still on the run, evidently. ( )
  themulhern | Jan 15, 2016 |
This was a really good read. I could have finished it in an hour, but spread it out over a few days mixing it up with the other book I started. I might have given it more stars if it had been a little longer and in more depth. I know it is a young children's book, but I could see the potential story that DWJ could have expanded it into. It's the last book she wrote entirely herself.
Anyway, the story is about a little girl, Earwing who lives happily in an Orphanage, with good friends and people who do what she wants. She doesn't want to leave, but a strange couple come one day and pick her to everyone's surprise. Turns out the woman is a witch in need of an assistant/slave and the man a mandrake, a rather grumpy but well-mannered demon. They don't know what they've let themselves into when they take Earwig home with them. She does not know it, but is the daughter of a witch, and purposes talents of her own, coupled with her intelligence and arrogance, she eventually gets people around her to do what she wants and these two are no exception. And of course, she makes a new friends in Thomas, the talking black cat, with whom she conspires to get her way! It reminded me a bit of a DWJ short story, What the Cat Told Me. I like talking animals! :) ( )
  LindaLiu | Sep 11, 2015 |
Short
but fun. ( )
  sprite | Jan 8, 2014 |
Ages 8-11.

Earwig is perfectly happy to remain at St. Morwald’s Home for Children. But one day, her uncanny ability to deter prospective foster-parents fails, and she goes home with the strangest couple: Bella Yaga, a “raggety, ribby” faced woman with terrible fashion sense, and a tall man who seems to have horns above his ears. At her new home, Earwig is instructed to grind rats bones and pick herbs for the cauldron, and soon determines that Bella Yaga is a witch. With the help of her new friend Thomas the cat, Earwig sets her mind to learning magic herself.

Children who love classic fairy tale takes on magic will enjoy the wonderful descriptions of disgusting spell ingredients and secret brewing processes. Despite her fantastic situation, Earwig is a relatable character in that she is a head-strong child responding to a situation where someone else is the boss. The witch's threats to give people worms and the brooding mandrake may frighten some young children, but the story is more whimsical than scary.

Zelinsky’s pen and ink illustrations capture the spunk and ingenuity of Earwig’s personality. His illustrations add great visual appeal as he depicts the fascinating details of the workshop and whirling bits of demons.

Fifteen lines of text per page with generous whitespace and simple sentence structure will assist readers transitioning from easy readers to more complex texts.

Earwig is clever, likes a challenge, and is determined to have her way. Readers will cheer on this formidable young witch. Recommended. ( )
  Rachel.Seltz | Dec 10, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lindsay, MarionIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At St Morwald's Home for Children it was the day when people who wanted to be foster parents came to see which children they might want to take home with them.
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Everyone knows that orphanages are horrible places. But Earwig has a surprising amount of power over everyone else at St Morwald’s Home for Children, and loves it there. So the last thing she wants is to be sent to live with the very strange Bella Yaga…


Earwig was left at St Morwald's as a baby. Unlike the other children, she loves it there, mostly because she has the run of the place and seems to be able to persuade people to do as she wants. Then one day Earwig is chosen to live with a very strange couple: Bella Yaga, her new 'mother', is actually a horrible witch. Earwig will need all her ingenuity (and some help from a talking cat) to survive…
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Although an orphan, Earwig has always enjoyed living at St. Morwald's, where she manages to make everyone do her bidding, but when she is taken in by a foster parents who are actually a witch and a demon, she has a hard time trying to turn the situation to her advantage.… (more)

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