Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Witches of Worm Paperback – February 1, 1986

4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

See all 28 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, February 1, 1986
$0.46 $0.01
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$2.94
Audio CD, Unabridged
"Please retry"
$8.41
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$3.00

click to open popover

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!

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,506,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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."
1 Comment 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Witches of Worm" was selected as an Honor book as part of the 1973 Newbery Awards. As librarian in a small, elementary/middle school, I've been reading the Newbery section. As with any awards or honors bestowed at set intervals, I sometimes question choices. This time, not! "The Witches of Worm" deserves its honor.

In fact, "The Witches of Worm" is shockingly good. It's a thriller for children ages 9-12, the target audience of the Newbery books. The only reason this book is in the children's section is that the main character is 12 years old. In fact, this book is transitional to the young adult category which can visit more controversial subject matter.

Witches. Hmmm, an unusual topic for children 9-12. Jessica checks out from the public library a book about the witches of Salem. She's reading it in her favorite place--a nook, a cave in the face of a hill near the apartment she shares with her mother. Twilight comes. Then a rustle, then a mew. There's a tiny kitten wriggling along the dirt. Where did it come from? Where is its mother? And those eyes, or lack of eyes. What's wrong with it? But the landlady is a cat lover, so Jessica scoops it up to show Mrs. Fortune, a woman who knows many things.

Thus begins "The Witches of Worm." Mrs. Fortune almost forces the kitten on Jessica, to her care, although Jessica has never liked cats. The kitten is not eyeless--it's just a kitten whose eyes have not yet opened. Jessica must feed it every two hours and wipe its bottom. Jessica calls it Worm because it wiggles like a worm and is also hairless. It's an Abyssinian, according to Mrs. Fortune, the hairless Egyptian cat. You see? Mrs. Fortune knows many things.

Are you beginning to feel the hairs along the back of your neck shiver just the tiniest bit?
Read more ›
20 Comments 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews