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Welwyn Katz.
Vancouver, BC: Groundwood, 1986.
176pp., paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88899-041-3 CIP.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Fran Newman.

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

The child that I was, nourished on the scant fare of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys (along with the juice of L.M. Montgomery), would have loved this book. The child that is still in me enjoyed it mightily as I read it during my school's USSR (silent reading) times.

It has a young girl named Hawthorn, who is very likeable. She is visiting her Aunt Jenny and cousin Patrick in England because her father is on his honeymoon. There are deep psychological undertones in this novel, and the relationship between Hawthorn and her father, and the feelings the girl has about being abandoned by her mother, call for some thinking and / or discussing.

Near by to Aunt Jenny's home is a mini Stonehenge. The villain of the piece, and he is truly villainous, is the owner of the land upon which the stones have been perched for hundreds of years. This man, Belman, is destroying the site to build a chalk pit. The focus of the plot is the prevention of this by Patrick and, more necessarily, by Hawthorn. The Moon Witch of the title figures prominently in this, and the Sun God is revealed at the end.

The story fairly zips along, with blood and death and human frailty shown. But, more intriguing, is the theory that our earth has certain energy forces and that these forces can be traced under the ground by a means similar to dowsing for water. Hawthorn is one of the special people who can do this. The climax of this book is riveting, with Hawthorn and Patrick literally fighting for the survival of the earth.

I highly recommend this book. The only small annoyance is the cover. To me it is too bunchy, too blue and does not reflect the quality of the material to be found inside.

Fran Newman, Murray Centennial P.S., Trenton, ON.
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