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The Whitby Witches (2006)

The Whitby Witches (2006)

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3.95 of 5 Votes: 2
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0811854132 (ISBN13: 9780811854139)
chronicle books

About book The Whitby Witches (2006)

I love this book which will appeal to children and adults alike. It's a tale set in Whitby and it incorporates many of the traditional legends of the town including the Barguest (the supernatural fierce black dog, which is a Yorkshire legend), the white lady alleged to haunt the Abbey, myths surrounding St Hilda, and some of the Dracula myths too (the witch crawling down the cliff is very redolent of this); but what I loved most about this book is the way it captures the quintessential essence of Whitby as a magical town. The children arrive on the train - and in all honesty there is no better way to arrive in Whitby. The train service might be rubbish and expensive nationally these days, but there's something magical about the point where the train stops and then goes back on itself in order to get to Whitby. It literally is like going back in time. The children in the story arrive and are swept away by the magic of the town - staying in one of the famous yards of the town with "Aunt Alice", they visit all of the best places in town (Pannet Park and the Museum there, with its corpse candle and model of the Abbey before the central tower collapsed - do not miss this if you go to Whitby) before becoming embroiled in an adventure with the fisher folk. What this lovely novel also captures is the close-knittedness (if that's even a word) of the town - the gossipy old ladies who spend all their time having afternoon tea and wondering about their neighbours is probably quite true to life - certainly it was an aspect of the town life which Elizabeth Gaskell honed in on for her Sylvia's Lovers (similarly set in the town). I've read all three of the trilogy in this series and the first is definitely the best. A great book - even greater if (like me) you love Whitby.

I bought this for a young friend, who actually didn't like it and didn't get very far. I was somewhat relieved about that when I re-read it because I had forgotten how many rather cruel deaths there are in it. Putting an age group on the book is a little tricky. 13ish maybe. Much younger and it's a bit scary, much older and a modern teenager may find it a bit twee. Mrs Cooper is a great baddy, deliciously wicked. Aunt Alice is potentially a great foil but isn't drawn in quite clearly enough. She does have the Dumbledore-like propensity of allowing her vulnerable charges to wander into danger unchecked. Whitby is however drawn in very well, and if I remember rightly, the story of the Fisherfolk is wonderfully developed in the rest of the trilogy.

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Fantastic, we enjoyed every single page!I came across The Whitby Witches whilst looking for a new book to share with my children aged eleven and twelve. I cannot tell you how much we all enjoyed reading this book together. We visited Whitby last year and they loved the fact that they could spot the places we had visited during our stay. Anyone who has been to Whitby will tell you that there is something magical about this little seaside town and Robin Jarvis has been able to capture a little bit of that magic between these pages.The story is an absolute delight the kids were gripped immediately and begged for a few more pages every night. I love being able to share my love of reading with my family and I have read to them since they were small, even hubby comes in to have a listen. The characters in this story allowed me to provide them with a full theatrical performance, during the scary bits you could have heard a pin drop in our bedroom. If you are looking for a bedtime read to share with older kids then this is it, they were washed an PJs on by 8pm each night waiting for their story.Robin Jarvis is an original and extremely talented author, the next book in the trilogy, A Warlock In Whitby was delivered by Amazon today and the kids cannot wait to start it! Neither can we!

It's very hard for me to be objective about Robin Jarvis - he's a childhood author that I think has infiltrated my very consciousness and I love his worlds dearly. But it was interesting to re-read a favourite with the jaded enthusiasm of an adult and find that, actually, this still stood up as a superb piece of children's fiction. Like Pullman, Jarvis is an author that anyone from ages 8 to 80 could read and adore. The Whitby trilogy isn't as JESUSCHRISTDARK as say, The Deptford Mice trilogy, but it is just as compelling. And man I really, really need to visit Whitby.If you like magic firmly rooted in place, myths and legends and richly drawn worlds lying just a step away from our own, if you like Rowling and Pullman, I'd even say, then read Robin Jarvis.
—Laure Eve

I'm sure I must have read this as a child, but I didn't remember what was going to happen, so if I did I'd forgotten it. I can't think where else my desire to visit Whitby came from though. The book is really quite dark and scary, the book uses the setting of the town of Whitby brilliantly to add atmosphere and interest. The characters have depth and I was rooting for them, I had quite different ideas about how the story was going to develop, but I enjoyed the supernatural elements, if not the peril! Looking forward to parts 2 and 3

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