Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ms. Wiz Spells Trouble

Ms. Wiz Spells Trouble

Terence Blacker
Illustrator:  Tony Ross 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Marshall Cavendish, 2008   ISBN: 0761455485

The children in Class Three at St. Barnabas School are difficult. They are known as the “problem class,” and their last teacher left her job in tears. Now the students in Class Three have a new teacher, a teacher who is not like any teacher they have ever met. Her name is Ms. Wiz and as soon as she walks into the classroom, the students know that she is different.

Soon after she introduces herself to the children, Ms. Wiz puts a china cat on her desk. She tells her students that the cat is her “spy” and that the cat, Hecate, “sees you even when my back is turned.” She then goes on to prove that she really does seem to know an awful lot about what her students are up to, even when she does not appear to watching them. Then she announces that they are going to have their first spell casting lesson. She denies that she is a witch and explains that she is what is called a “Paranormal Operative.” She then proceeds to cast her first spell, clearing the school yard of all the leaves that are lying on the ground.

The children and their teacher have some great times in their classroom and they manage to keep their magical activities a secret. Ms. Wiz warns the children that no one outside the classroom should find out what they are doing. Then Class Three plays its annual football match against a team from another school. Usually Class Three gets soundly beaten, but this year things are a little different.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Wiz with her un-teacher like clothes and her strange ways start to attract some unwanted attention. There are some people in the school who are unhappy to see how well she is doing.

Young readers are sure to enjoy this first Ms. Wiz title. Ms. Wiz is a delightfully odd main character, and the adventures that she has with her students are sure to make everyone who reads this book feel positively envious of the children in Class Three. How lucky they are to have a teacher who uses such novel methods to help them to learn.