- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2006

By Samantha Ehrlich, age 10

Luxmanor Elementary School, Rockville

The book I read is called “Witch Catcher,” by Mary Downing Hahn. There is a girl named Jen, and her dad, Hugh, who live in Maryland. Hugh decides to move into his great-uncle Thaddeus’ house in West Virginia, which he has inherited from his relative.

Hugh tells Jen that if she is not happy in the new house, they can move back to Maryland, but Jen thinks the house is a beautiful castle. Jen lost her mother, so she lives with only her father — but not for long.

Hugh ends up calling a woman named Moura. She is looking for antiques from Uncle Thaddeus’ house for her store, the Dark Side of the Moon, but Hugh falls in love with her.

Moura mostly is looking for witch catchers, but Jen doesn’t reveal that she has found a witch catcher — a glass globe — and is keeping it.

Moura has a client named Ciril Ashbourn, and she asks Hugh if Mr. Ashbourn can come over to the house. Hugh says yes, and the next day, Mr. Ashbourn visits. A terrible thing happens. Tink, Jen’s cat, breaks the witch catcher, and Moura tells Jen, “Be careful, now that it broke — bad things can happen.”

What Moura says is true because one night after dinner, Jen goes for a walk in the woods, and suddenly, a small girl appears, peering out of the bushes. She says her name is Kieryn. Kieryn has pale green skin and is strange looking, with slanted eyes, dirty clothes, a wide mouth and thin lips, and amess of black curls.

Kieryn is magical. She turns into a kitten so Jen can take her back to the house. They play around in the tub and have fun. Finally, Jen gives Kieryn new, clean clothes to wear. Jen and Kieryn come up with a plan to find Kieryn’s brother and three aunties. They go on several magical adventures.

Eventually, Jen finds Kieryn’s brother, Brynn, and the three aunties. Brynn, Kieryn, and the three aunties are fairies. You eventually find out the true identities of Moura and Mr. Ashbourn. The two groups don’t get along. In fact, they hate each other.

My favorite part of “Witch Catcher” is when Tink, Jen’s cat, breaks the witch catcher and Kieryn appears in Jen’s life. They really do care about each other even though they are from different worlds.

I would recommend this book because it’s interesting and adventurous, and it’s so great, you wouldn’t want to stop reading it. Also, if you like fantasy, you definitely would love this book. I think that this book deserves four stars: It’s a great book.

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