Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: Witchery Hill

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Witchery Hill
        
Author: Welwyn Wilton Katz

Author's blog: http://blog.booksbywelwyn.ca/
        
Date: 1984
        
Publisher: Groundwood / Douglas & McIntyre
        
ISBN: 0-88899-245-9
        
Length: 242 pages
        
Quote: “The castle’s a baby, compared to the rest of Guernsey...Settlers first came to this land in 4500 B.C.,, or even earlier.”
        
Mike, the teenaged son of a successful journalist, considers himself “oh so ordinary” when he goes to spend a few weeks with his father’s friend on Guernsey island. There he discovers his own intelligence and courage as it falls to him to rescue his own new friend, Lisa, from the satanic cult whose power struggle has just killed Lisa’s father.
        
Adventure stories in which parents are mysteriously unavailable, and the teenagers have to rescue the other adults, are the stock in trade of second-rate escape fiction. Witchery Hill is partly redeemed, however, by an unusual plot twist: Lisa is diabetic—not just to keep her from upstaging Mike or to give the author a chance to teach readers about juvenile-onset diabetes, but as part of the plot. There are other diabetics in twentieth-century children’s literature, e.g. Stacey in The Baby-Sitters Club, but Lisa may well be the first diabetic hero in an adventure story for teenagers. (Before Katz lets her lapse into being a passive heroine who has to be rescued, she’s done her own heroic rescuing bit.)

Witchery Hill is less of a cliché than most horror novels for teenagers, and is recommended to those who are tired of stereotypical ghosts and vampires. If you buy it here, the price is our usual $5 for the book + $5 for shipping, and we'll send Welwyn Wilton Katz or a charity of her choice $1. (Yes, you may add other items to the same package for the same $5 shipping charge.)