Witch & Wizard
James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2009)
Reviewed by Dylan James (age 13) for Reader Views (12/09)
Suddenly Whit and his sister Wisty are dragged out of their home in the middle of the night. The crime they’re accused of? Being a witch and a wizard! Not knowing how to control her powers, Wisty randomly bursts into flames, and Whit apparently has the ability to walk through walls. They are confronted with awesome powers, terrifying new control, and they fight to survive. What will happen next?
The first thing I noticed about this “Witch & Wizard” is the way it switches views between Whit and Wisty. It lets the reader know different viewpoints of what is happening, but I can’t help thinking that the book would have been better off sticking to a normal style. It is confusing and very different from the average book. Adding a different way of writing can disorient the reader. A couple other things were very apparent also. The plot was not very strong and filled with many different twists. The author tries to put realism on a military government, but several things come off as extremely unrealistic. For instance, in a very secure prison designed to hold powerful wizards and witches, two teenagers suspected of being the most powerful magicians of all time are allowed to bring one item of choice. In a real military government, that would never be allowed, especially if the occupants of the prison have magical powers. The book had very interesting ideas, but lost me again and again. If James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet would have stuck with a simple detailed plot and a normal writing style, I would have liked it much better. The end also leaves the reader hanging, but acts as if the book is done.
Due to the switching of the viewpoints between a boy and a girl, both boys and girls should like this equally. Readers who are open to interesting ideas should enjoy this book. Overall, I gave it three stars because it was confusing. The idea was interesting, though, and upon reading it again, I found that I could understand it much better. Just a few things changed would have made “Witch & Wizard” a lot easier to read.