Study Guide

Bed-Knob and Broomstick

by Mary Norton

Bed-Knob and Broomstick Analysis

Form and Content (Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

The parts of Bed-Knob and Broomstick work effectively together as a unified novel. Each section has ten chapters and begins with a connection between the Wilson children and Miss Price, then proceeds through some obstacle to an adventure that leads to more ambitious goals, resulting in a close brush with disaster. The first section closes with the magic connection temporarily broken, while the closing of the second section permanently severs it. The children and Miss Price learn valuable lessons about solving real-world problems.

The Wilson children are spending the summer with their aunt when the first section opens. The carefree days offer no excitement until their neighbor, Miss Price, hurts her ankle. Carey and Charles suspect nothing extraordinary until Paul explains that she has fallen off her broomstick. For several nights, whenever he happens to be awake at the right time, he has seen Miss Price mastering the art of flying a broomstick, and he has even seen her fall once before.

Miss Price is aghast that the children know her secret, especially since she is extremely deficient in the wickedness required to silence them. Carey suggests that, instead of threats or intimidation, Miss Price should give them a magic gift that would cease to function if they reveal her secret. With a powerful spell, Miss Price charms Paul’s bedknob to make the bed fly anywhere that he wishes. A twist in one direction will make it fly through the...

(The entire section is 514 words.)