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I don't review books I don't like!

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***A Well-Timed Enchantment

by Vivian Vande Velde

Reviewed December 6, 2003.
The Trumpet Club, New York, 1992.  First published in 1990.  184 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF VAN).

I spotted this book on Dr. Davis’ classroom book rack, and she graciously let me borrow it.

Deanna has been spending a summer in France, frustrated to not know the language and to have no friend but a cat.  She comes across a well that looks like a wishing well.  She starts to make a wish, then accidentally drops her Mickey Mouse watch into the well.

The cat starts acting very strangely, and then Deanna herself is pulled into the well.  The cat jumps in after her.  She meets two elves who tell her that her watch has landed in medieval times and has seriously messed up history.  For one thing, the bubonic plague lasted ten years longer, because no one wanted to harm the creature that appeared on the mystical Watch.  (Though I have my doubts that medieval folk would recognize that Mickey is a mouse.)

Deanna has 24 hours to recover her watch before history is changed and she no longer exists.  Her only help is in the person of the cat, whom the elves turn into a human.

This is a fun story, but I didn’t like it as well as the other books by Vivian Vande Velde that I’ve read.  Deanna doesn’t really solve anything by cleverness or daring, more stumbling along with her task, making errors and then finally getting it right.

All the same, this is an entertaining story for those who enjoy fantasy and imagining what it would be like to live in medieval times.

Reviews of other books by Vivian Vande Velde:
Heir Apparent
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
Cloaked in Red
Three Good Deeds
User Unfriendly
Wizard at Work
A Hidden Magic
Dragon's Bait
23 Minutes

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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