WITCH AND WIZARD By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet [Review]

Witch and Wizard is a book by James Patterson for young readers (grades 5-9). It tells the story of a brother and sister pair, Whit and Wisty. While the adults of their world were busy not paying attention to the nightly news, a new government (New Order) got elected right under everybody’s noses. The bad news is this new government is basically like the Gestapo. One night, troops raid the home of Wisty and Whit and imprison them for being a witch and a wizard. They are sentenced to death and taken away from their parents and placed in jail.They must work together to escape prison or else Whit will be executed in less than a month (on his 18th birthday).

One thing that I absolutely loathed about Witch and Wizard is that it was extremely out of touch in terms of how young adults speak. Patterson, who is 63, should maybe have done some research before this book and then he would have known that in 2010 kids today wouldn’t describe someone that has sentenced them to death as “schmucky beyond schmucky”. The other thing I didn’t like was that it was painfully unoriginal. I mean a “New Order”? Really? How many times has that one been used?

Something that I did like about the book is that there is a super-natural element to the story. Witch and Wizard contains magic, new worlds, action and mystery. Normally when these elements come together in a book for young readers, it’s enjoyable for adults too. This is not the case for Witch and Wizard. I would recommend it for readers 10-15, but would encourage others to stay away.

Here are some quotes from Witch and Wizard:

“The seriously muscle-bound men in gray suddenly froze, their blocklike heads whipping back and forth like puppets on strings”

“In spite of the depressing uncertainty about our parents’ whereabouts, Wist’s voice was full of excitement as she said the name of the familiar department store”

“Wisty was speechless as she tried to process the next unbelievable twist in our lives: I had seen and talked to a ghost”.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars | Publisher:Little, Brown Books | Pages:320 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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