Victoria Schwab (www.victoriaschwab.com) is the 24-year-old product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a Southern upbringing. She currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on her second novel.
Gr 7-10-Lexi Harris, 16, has heard the legend of the Near Witch all her life. She and her sister live with their mother and overprotective Uncle Otto. Upon waking one morning, they find out that an unwelcome stranger has come to town. Lexi can't help but think that she saw him the night before in the form of smoke outside her window. Who is this mysterious person and why is he blamed after children go missing in the town of Near? The town witches, Magda and Dreska Thorne, are convinced that it is the Near Witch seeking revenge and must convince the oppressive men of the town that the culprit is not the stranger. Part fairy tale, part legend with a little romance, this well-written mystery will capture the attention of teens even though it may take a few chapters, and readers may feel uncertain as to when the story is taking place. Lexi and Cole, the name she gives the stranger, have chemistry and an innocent relationship that readers will enjoy seeing develop. The ending of the story is intense, and young adults will read frantically to discover the outcome.-Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.