Escape to Witch Mountain

by Alexander Key

Paperback, 2009





Sourcebooks Young Readers (2009), 144 pages


Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Science Fiction. HTML: A sci-fi classic returns to print in its true, best, and original form! With renewed interest in Alexander Key's extraordinary 1968 novel, fans can dive into Escape to Witch Mountain as it was meant to be read. The powerful, thrilling story of Tony and Tia‚??twins joined by their paranormal gifts, on the run from evil forces that seek to suppress their forgotten pasts‚??is more gripping and relevant than ever. Praise for Escape to Witch Mountain: "Action, mood, and characterization never falter in this superior science fiction novel..." ‚??Library Journal "Fantasy, science fiction, mystery, adventure‚??the story is all of these, with enough suspense and thrills to keep young readers glued to its pages from first to last." ‚??Book World "Fascinating science fiction." ‚??Elementary School Library Collection, Bro-Da… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

144 p.; 7.75 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member clong
I had fond memories of having read this as a kid, but a recent revisiting as bed time reading for my eight year old daughter left me moderately disappointed. The basic concept has promise, but the storytelling is clumsy, the characters unbelievable, and the ethical landscape a bit too black and
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white. With the notable and unexplained exception of the unlikely Father O'Day, humanity is depicted as a greedy, sorry, miserable lot.
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LibraryThing member TadAD
I read this as part of keeping track of everything my children were reading; it was published a bit too late for me to read it as the intended audience though I do remember reading another of his books, The Forgotten Door. Thankfully, I've missed the allegedly horrible Disney adaptations of this
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book into film.

Though a bit dated politically and culturally, I still found it an enjoyable book. The basic plot of "children with special abilities need to escape the bad guys who want to exploit them and get home" is still enjoyable despite having been used before. The story is well enough written and the characters endearing.

A gentle book that won't frighten children, a simple introduction to science fiction if you want your children to try that genre, it's worth a read.
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LibraryThing member Rusty.Biesele
I like this storyline quite a lot. I watched the movies and I wanted to read what the author original author said before Disney got a hold of it. The first half and second half of the book are almost like two different books --- to the point where I started wondering if they were written at
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different times. This book suffers from the extremely low expectations of kids in the 1960's when it was written. The writing is very tight and straight, in fact, too tight and straight in my opinion. The author never seems to take a side trip to fully characterize any of the secondary characters and in the first half, the characters are kind of cardboard'ish. In the second half of the book things improve dramatically as the author seems to learn the art of **effective** suspense. Plus the last half contains much more adventure which you can eventually engage with as the characters travel through the countryside and forests trying to escape their pursuers. The villian could have used a first class characterization but he is more like a plot puppet. For two pages, the author hits a hard anticommunist and anticapitalist/environmentalist theme, but the duration of it is pretty short. It's just a sign of the times of the era the novel was written in. If you read this novel nostalgically remembering the times it was written in, it's a good read. If you want to read it as a modern novel, then you will find it shallow and too simple for most modern middle school readers.
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LibraryThing member lquilter
Held up pretty well! from the time I read it as a young teen, to reading it 35 years later.
LibraryThing member AnaKurland
Older book, but still very good. The Disney movie was fairly close to the story, but the book is more suspenseful.
LibraryThing member bell7
Tony and Tia have always been a little strange and not fit in, but when the elderly woman who cared for them dies they're left in an orphanage on their own. A mysterious stranger arrives, claiming to be their guardian, but the two know he's not and decide to get away.

This classic science fiction
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tale has that chummy sort of parental narrator that was so common in books from the 50s and 60s, something I didn't notice as a kid but that doesn't quite work as an adult reading a children's story. That aside, it's a fun adventure story as the two figure out their abilities (Tia, for example, can open any locked door that she's supposed to be able to) and have a little help escaping from the local priest. The fact that they are literally not from this world is foreshadowed blatantly very early on, another aspect I didn't pick up on as a kid. There's nothing particularly amazing or terrible about the book. I would've enjoyed it as a younger reader, but prefer my SFF much more complex now.
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LibraryThing member wrightja2000
This is the second time I've read this book as an adult. I loved the (first) movie version as a kid and probably would have loved the book too if I had known about it and had the chance to read it. As a grown up, I wanted to know more; it's a quick read and over too soon.
LibraryThing member Olivermagnus
Tony and Tia are orphans that have no memory of their past. But because they have supernatural powers, they are sure that they come from a strange place. Tony is an expert in telekinesis, and Tia's strengths include the ability to unlock any door by touch and communicate with animals. They also can
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talk to each other via ultrasonic speech.

When Lucas Deranian shows up claiming to be their uncle they start to get suspicious. With the help of Catholic priest, Father O'Day, they escape New York and head to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The stress of outwitting Deranian has started to bring back some old memories and they think they will find their missing family once they get there.

This is a quick fun read for children, written in 1968, so I'm not going to judge it the way I would a modern YA fantasy for older children. The story is simple and more effort is put into the trip to Witch Mountain, rather than exploring the children's abilities. It brought back some nice memories of sitting in the living room, watching the movie with my daughter back in the 1980s.
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LibraryThing member sriddell
This book was written for a young audience, but still had a lot of suspense. I remember being pretty scared when I watched the movie as a kid.

A young brother and sister are in a sort of orphanage/juvenile detention home. They are different from the other kids - they can speak telepathically, can
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move objects through telekinesis, and a few other unusual skills. A long lost "uncle" turns up to claim them. They barely recall this "uncle", but they are so afraid - with good cause. So they decide to hit the road with the help of a priest.

As they make plans to escape, they start to recall bits and pieces of their childhood. A process that accelerates on their journey. They end up with a large number of people hunting them down leading to a very dramatic ending.

The book was good but the movie was a bit better.
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½ (126 ratings; 3.7)
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