Mr. Crossley, the 6th grade teacher, found a note stuck inside the stack of geography homework he was grading. “Someone in Class 6B is a witch.” At Larwood House, in class 6B, it’s quite likely that someone is a witch. Larwood House is a very strict school run by the government for witch-orphans and other children with family problems. Larwood House is in an other-England, a world rather like ours, except that magic works. Which sounds all very Harry Potter, but in this other England, there’s nothing like Hogwart; the muggles loathe the witches and wizards, and will burn them to death if they catch them! Any surviving children are packed off to government schools and watched closely, just in case the magic turns out to be hereditary.

Everyone’s nervous about the note at Larwood House, especially when a government inspector turns up. Who is the witch? Is she (or he) a terribly dangerous one? Is it Dan Smith, who’s always getting into trouble? Or plain Nan Pilgrim, whose picked on by all the other girls? Is it one of the teachers (perhaps Mr. Crossley himself?) What about Teresa Mullet and Simon Silverson, the two popular kids? Or the loners, Brian Wentworth and Charles Morgan (who writes all his school journal entries in code?) Or even the Indian boy, Nirupam Singh?

At different times, the story is told by each of these people—and the answer—who is the witch in class 6B—will definitely surprise you! Diana Wynne Jones novels are funny, amazingly creative, suspenseful, and almost compulsively page-turning readable. This is one of her best.

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