The Witches of Worm
First edition cover
|Author||Zilpha Keatley Snyder|
|Genre||Young adult novel|
|1 June 1972|
Jessica, a lonely pre-teenaged girl, finds a blind, almost hairless cat that she names Worm. A reclusive elderly neighbor, Mrs. Fortune, helps her to wean and raise him. Worm seems to have a terrible hold on Jessica, and it is suggested the cat possesses her to do cruel and destructive things to her friends and her somewhat childish and emotionally distant divorced mother. Jessica comes to believe Worm is possessed by a group of witches that includes Mrs. Fortune. Jessica’s destructive actions escalate until her mother attempts to send her to counseling. Enraged by this idea, Jessica is left feeling betrayed by her mother and lonely.
The book has often been banned from school libraries in the United States because of its focus on the subject of witchcraft, the description of visions or nightmares Jessica experiences, and its protagonist's disturbing inner monologues with Worm/herself.
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