Reading Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones was such a bittersweet experience as it was the last book Jones wrote before she died and so obviously the beginning of what would have been an absolutely delightful series.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Got the other
twelve witches all chasing me. I'll be back for her when I've shook them
off. It may take years. Her name is Earwig.
Earwig has been at
the orphanage ever since she was a baby. That's just how she likes it.
She has her best friend, Custard, and everyone always does exactly what
Earwig wants. She never wants to leave, so she makes sure no one ever
Then a very strange couple comes to the orphanage.
They try to make themselves look ordinary. But Earwig knows they are
not, not in the least. And they choose her, out of all the other
Earwig could be in for quite an unpleasant surprise. But so could the very strange couple.
This book is for a younger audience than I usually review books for. It is most definitely an early chapter book. First through third graders rejoice. Those who wish to introduce young readers to the joy that is DWJ's writing early on may also rejoice. Earwig is an irrepressible heroine full of spunk and wits. She, her cat familiar, the mean old witch, and the grumpy mandrake are certain to pull readers into the story. The plot is a fun one full of Earwig trying to get the best of her new foster parents. It is a fun book and it is so sad there will be no more continuation of Earwig's adventures.