Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Whitby Witches

The Whitby Witches

Robin Jarvis
For ages 12 and up
Chronicle Books, 2006   ISBN: 978-0811854139

Eight-year-old Ben and his older sister Jennet have lived in many homes since their parents were killed in a car crash some years ago. They have come to expect that they will never stay in any one place for very long. They are always having to move on to a new place because Ben says that he sees seemingly invisible people whom he calls ?visitors? and this, not surprisingly, freaks out the families that the children are staying with. In actual fact what he appears to be seeing are ghosts.

This time the children are going to live in the little coastal town of Whitby with Alice Boston, an old lady who knew the children?s great aunt. It isn?t long before Ben?s peculiar powers come out into the open but this time there is nothing to worry about for the children discover that Aunt Alice also has the gift. Not only can Aunt Alice and Ben see the dead, but they can also see other things including a race of strange creatures called the Aufwaders, or Fisher Folk, who live in caves along the coast. Ben finds out that the Aufwaders are living under a curse and he is determined to do what he can to help them. Meanwhile Aunt Alice is trying to understand some terrifying unseen evil which has come to Whitby and which may just destroy everything and everyone in the picturesque little town.

This gripping novel beautifully weaves together the adventures, feelings, and thoughts of Ben, Jennet, and Aunt Alice. Superb characterization combined with unexpected magical events, fantastical creatures, myths, and legends makes this a book which fantasy fans will not be able to resist.