Bed-Knob and Broomstick
Mary Norton (Juvenile Fiction)
Carey, Charles, and Paul Wilson are rather ordinary children who are planning to spend a rather ordinary summer with an old aunt in Bedfordshire. The children, not being very fond of her house, choose to spend most of their time outdoors playing in the barns, by the river, in the lanes, and on the hills. One day seemed to flow into the next rather uneventfully until the day that Miss Price hurt her ankle. It was on that day where this story truly begins because Miss Price didn’t just visit the sick or teach piano or was the most ladylike in the village. Miss Price also happened to be a witch…well, a novice witch…and it was this same Miss Price who cast a spell upon one of Paul’s bed-knobs—a spell that could take him and his bed anyplace in the present or past. A spell that would eventually lead to a trip to the police station, an encounter with cannibals, and a chance meeting with a lonely necromancer. Perhaps this will not be an ordinary summer for the Wilson children after all.
Bed-Knob and Broomstick is the combination of Norton’s The Magic Bed-knob (1943) and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1947). The first part covers the initial meeting between the Wilson children and Miss Price and details their adventures in the present while the second part picks up two years after and sends the group into the past. Norton’s tale is sure to delight younger readers and has enough unexpected twists and turns to keep older readers engaged as well.
Bed-Knob and Broomstick is a humorous, suspenseful, and enchanting book filled with courage, loyalty, friendship, and love. American author Debasish Mridha once said, “The magic of love is that it has the power to create a magical world in and around us.” Norton indeed gives us a magical world which teaches us that you’re never too young for an adventure and you’re never too old to find love.
* Book cover image attributed to www.amazon.com