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The Brixen Witch

The Brixen Witch

Illustrated by: John Nickle
For Ages: 8 - 12
  • reading group guide
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An enchanted coin. A witch’s curse. And rats, rats everywhere! What’s a boy to do? “Fresh and satisfying for middle grade readers” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

When Rudi Bauer accidentally takes a witch’s coin, he unleashes her curse. Accident or not, he knows he’s got to fix things, so he tries to return the coin, only to lose it on the witch’s magic mountain just as the snows come. Plagued all winter by terrible dreams, Rudi tries to find the coin again in the spring, but it has vanished—and a plague of rats has descended on his village.

Then a stranger arrives and promises to rid the village of rats…for the price of the missing coin. Desperate to get rid of the rats, the villagers agree; but when they cannot pay, the stranger exacts a price too terrible for anyone to bear. Now Rudi is going to need all his courage—and some help from his savvy grandmother and a bold young girl—to set things right in this fast and funny adventure.
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 208 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442433304 | 
  • June 2012 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $7.99

Read an Excerpt



RUDI BAUER ran for his life and cursed his bad luck. He would never have touched the gold coin—much less put it in his pocket—if he’d known it belonged to a witch.

It had been a blustery morning, with more than a hint of snow stinging his nostrils, when Rudi left his warm cottage and climbed the high meadow to hunt rabbits in the shadow of the Berg. All day long he scrambled on the mountain, but his aim was crooked, or perhaps it was his slingshot. By dusk, icy pellets stabbed Rudi’s hands and face, and he had nothing to show for the day but the golden guilder in his pocket and its rightful owner... see more

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

The Brixen Witch
By Stacy DeKeyser

About the Book

When Rudi Bauer accidentally takes a witch’s coin, he unleashes her curse. Accident or not, he knows he’s got to fix things, so he tries to return the coin, only to lose it on the witch’s mountain just as the snows come. Plagued all winter by terrible dreams, Rudi tries to find the coin again in the spring, but it has vanished—and a plague of rats has descended on his village.

Then a stranger arrives and promises to rid the village of the rats—for the price of the missing coin. Desperate to get rid of the rats, the villagers agree, but when they cannot pay, the stranger exacts a price too terrible for anyone to bear. Now Rudi is going to need all his courage—and some help from his savvy grandmother and a bold young girl—to set things right in this fast and funny adventure.

Prereading

What type of story do you think this will be? Why? What elements do you think make the best stories?

Discussion Questions

1. Do you think Oma knows about the gold coin or not? What clues do you have that she does or does not?

2. Why must Rudi leave as soon as possible? Explain the effects of his decision to leave the trail.

3. Describe spring in Brixen. What is seen that’s bad luck? Do you believe in s see more

About the Author

Stacy DeKeyser

Stacy DeKeyser is the author of The Brixen Witch, which received two starred reviews and was a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Pick, and its sequel, One Witch at a Time, as well as the young adult novel Jump the Cracks and two nonfiction books for young readers. She lives in Connecticut with her family. To learn more, visit her online at StacyDeKeyser.com.

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