Reviewed for Middle School, 2007

This novel was made into a movie. Which means that most kids will skip it. That's a shame, because the book packs a potent punch of wonderful characters, outrageous plot twists, and dry humor. Sophie Hatter is a bookworm, and she knows from her reading that as the eldest of 3 daughters, she's bound for a boring life. Fate intervenes, though, when The Wicked Witch of the Waste turns her into an old crone. So starts a great tale of invisible cloaks, twenty league boots, and a floating castle owned by a flaky wizard named Howl. A nice choice for sixth and seventh graders. (Eos, $6.99)