Diana Wynne Jones

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Cathy S. Coyle

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Desperately in need of money, Frank and Jess form a neighborhood revenge service [in Witch's Business, published in Britain as Wilkin's Tooth]. However, instead of paying off their debts, they become involved with Biddy Iremonger, a bona fide witch who has a vendetta going for all of mankind. With help from the local bully and his gang, the children finally destroy the witch…. Although the English setting is interesting and the confrontations with the witch properly frightening, the "Puss and Boots" plan for her destruction is too obvious so there is little suspense as the trap develops. Moreover, the bully's references to a Black character as "nig" are offensive, and the substitution of colors or "blankety-blank" for the kids' frequent swearing is distracting.

Cathy S. Coyle, in her review of "Witch's Business," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the April, 1974 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1974), Vol. 20, No. 8, April, 1974, p. 58.

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