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The Witches of Worm Paperback – February 1, 1986


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The Witches of Worm + The Headless Cupid (The Stanley Family) + The Egypt Game
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (February 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440800218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440497271
  • ASIN: 0440497272
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,704,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A lonely girl, Jessica, finds a blind, almost hairless cat that she calls Worm. Worm seems to have a terrible hold on her, making her do mean things, but Jessica feels she has no one who can help her break free of the cat. PW found this Newbery Honor Book "acutely perceptive and compelling."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Cats. Jessica's never liked them. Especially not a skinny, ugly kitten that looks like a worm.

Worm. Jessica wishes she'd never brought Worm home with her, because now he's making her do terrible things. She's sure she isn't imagining the evil voice coming from the cat, telling her to play mean tricks on people. But how can she explain what's happening?

Witches. Jessica has read enoughbooks to know that Worm must be a witch's cat. He's cast a spell on her, but whom can she turn to? After all, no one will believe that Worm has bewitched her...or worse!


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Customer Reviews

I read this book years ago when I was in Elementary school.
raymondt@mtnhome.com
If there is any negative point I could make about the Psych Test, it is its placement within the story.
G. Parks
This book was requested by my 13 year old grandson who is reading the entire series.
BDC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Caudy on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
You don't have to have a bombshell mother who spends all her free time with her boyfriend or have no friends to dig the sad, bleary-eyed, lonely, supernatural atmosphere of The Witches of Worm. I read this book when I was ten, and for me it's up there with The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, and Jane Eyre for telling it like it is about being a lonely little girl, just strange enough for the neighbors to talk and to know herself that she doesn't fit in. The cat could be possessed, or not; Jessica could be a witch, or not; but the big question for me is, is she really wise beyond her years or does her desolation just make her seem that way? My favorite quote is from this book: "Belief in mysteries, any manner of mysteries, is the only lasting luxury in life."
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sean Cooper on March 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book about 15 years ago, when I was a very young man, and the impressions I got from it has never left me. I have devoted my life to the written word (as an editor), and I think that that my love of prose can be directly related to this small, strange novel I read one afternoon in the mid-eighties. Like the greatest of Gothic novels (think "Dracula" or Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey"), this is a novel of the imagination. While the protagonist may be certifiable, she is still extremely recognizable to all readers. While I would highly reccomend this book to young readers, it is adults that will relate, and remember, the alienation of youth. A highly original fantasy, this novel will stick whith anyone, of any age, who picks it up. An underpraised classic of teen literature. It deserves to be embraced by teens and adults of all ages for many years to come.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Queen Cobra, Goddess of Truth and Justice on June 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Worm is a demon cat and he's turning twelve year old Jessica into a witch - or is Jessica the witch turning her cat into a demonic familiar? Or is she simply an unhappy, angry child and Worm nothing more than an ugly stray kitten? The Reader must decide for herself whether anything supernatural is *really* going on in this book. It is certainly disturbing, witchcraft or no there's real doubt if Jessica and Worm will both survive the evil they've fallen under.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By G. Parks on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the creepy tale of a 12-year-old girl named Jessica who finds (and brings home) an abandoned cat whom she calls Worm. Worm is possessed by a supernatural entity who telepathically tempts Jessica into committing a series of nasty -- and increasingly vicious -- misdeeds. Although Jessica would like to think this is Worm's doing, her free will is never in fact violated. The elaborate and ruthlessly calculating manner in which she betrays her former friend is particularly chilling (I can well remember -- with shame -- similar vicious, calculating behaviors from my own childhood). The final temptation put to Jessica -- the one which finally spurs her to take action against Worm -- is a temptation to commit a particularly ghastly and cold-blooded *murder*, a temptation which (thankfully) she overcomes. The story culminates in an exorcism and a nighttime chase during a raging thunderstorm -- a tad overdone, but fitting to the story (it works well). The story is every bit as much a psychological study of how Jessica deals with the entity, its various temptations, and the aftermath of her misdeeds, as it is about the supernatural. With each misdeed, Jessica is forced to evade responsibility again and again with feigned mental "blanking out" episodes... to the point where her mental health starts being questioned! This is a story of both suspense AND of moral responsibility. It is (if you will forgive the pun) a most truly spellbinding book!

***** UPDATE :: 20-Feb-2013 :: UPDATE *****

Four items:

(1) A bunch of Zilpha Keatley Snyder items, "The Witches Of Worm" among many others, have FINALLY been made available for Kindle -- Yay! -- and I've just bought my copy!!! Wa-HOOOO!!!
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
I too read this book in elementary school, the fifth grade to be exact. My family lived in a very rural area where lonliness permeated every aspect of my life. Our home was old and creepy...The perfect setting in which to read this all too real story. I spent many frightful nights reading this book curled up in my bed. Often I was too scared to even allow my feet to hang over the bed. The witchcraft element is enough to make any curious and impressionable child wonder about the supernatural. I would recommend parent discussion of the contents to help young children with the sometimes overwhelming realities of this story. by Jennifer
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Rock on October 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this 22 years ago when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, and it scared the hell out of me. I remember being too frightened to even look at the cover (a different one than pictured). For some reason, I pulled this off the shelf at my school library along with a book called "Trillions" which I also have been looking for, and I went nuts over both books. "Witches of Worm" was very creepy, and I believe having read it at that age spoiled me and made me a little less scared of other books and movies. When you're that age, you think what you're reading is really happening!
If you give this to your kids, prepare for them to be spooked out of their wits...
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