Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Bullying

Chasing the White Witch

by (author) Marina Cohen

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2011
Bullying, Friendship, Peer Pressure
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2011
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 5 to 8
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


When Clair discovers a book of spells, she quickly learns that she can’t solve her problems with magic.

Teased by her older brother, bullied by the popular girls at school, and plagued by a blistering pimple that has surfaced on the tip of her nose, twelve-year-old Claire Murphy wishes she could shrivel up and die or spontaneously combust. But when a mysterious book appears at her feet in the checkout aisle of a grocery store, Claire is confident all her troubles are over. Following the instructions carefully, Claire dives nose-first into reeking remedies, rollicking rituals, and silly spells. It’s only when she recklessly disregards the Law of Three that the line between good and evil blurs and Claire must race against time to undo all of the trouble she’s caused.


About the author

Marina Cohen is an elementary school teacher in the York Region District School Board. She has been nominated for the Sunburst, Red Maple Award, Rocky Mountain Book Award, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, and been an OLA Best Bet, JGL selection, and Amazon Book of the Month. She is the author of Chasing the White Witch, Ghost Ride, and Mind Gap. She lives in Markham, Ontario.

Marina Cohen's profile page


  • Commended, Top Grade: CanLit for the Classroom selection

Editorial Reviews

This is a story that will appeal to many middle school students. It has enough truth and fantasy mixed together to create an interesting and fast moving plotline.

Resource Links

Librarian Reviews

Chasing the White Witch

Faced with three momentous obstacles — a persistent pimple, an annoying tease of an older brother and an antagonistic beauty-queen classmate — seventhgrader Claire Murphy believes that her prayers have been answered when she stumbles on a book of spells written by the White Witch. Despite her best friend’s warnings, the impetuous Claire uses the book to seek justice, ignoring the Witch’s caveat that spells cast in revenge redound three times upon the caster. When unpleasant results occur, Claire embarks on a journey that forces her to recognize her own misjudgment and mistreatment of others.

This slim, humorous novel is a fast read and is author/school teacher Marina Cohen’s fifth book of fiction. (Cohen received a 2011 Red Maple Honor for her 2009 book Ghost Ride.) Chasing the White Witch is distinguished from other light reads with occult themes by Cohen’s use of language. She gives her protagonist a distinctive, sardonic preteen voice (“The rest of the day oozed along like a drowsy slug”) sprinkled with advanced vocabulary and alliteration.

Chasing the White Witch would appeal to middle-grade females who enjoy humorous novels with a message.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2012. Volume 35 No. 1.

Chasing the White Witch

Teased and bullied, Claire Murphy is confident all of her troubles are over when a mysterious book appears at her feet. Following the instructions carefully, Claire dives nose first into the silly spells. When the line between good and evil blurs, Claire must race against time to undo all of the trouble she’s caused.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by