The Brixen Witch (Hardcover)

By Stacy DeKeyser, John Nickle (Illustrator)

Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781442433281, 196pp.

Publication Date: June 26, 2012



An enchanted coin. A witch's curse. And rats, rats everywhere What's a boy to do?

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.

About the Author

Stacy DeKeyser is the author of the young adult novel Jump the Cracks, as well as two nonfiction books for young readers. She lives in Connecticut with her family. To learn more, visit her online at

Praise For The Brixen Witch

“Stacy DeKeyser deftly updates the Pied Piper’s tale. The story scuttles with rats, of course, and you end up reading it on your hind legs.”—Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A Year Down Yonder

“With lilting language and a unique voice, DeKeyser spins a tale like no other. I loved it!”—Barbara O’Connor, author of How to Steal a Dog

“A surprisingly powerful retelling of the ancient story of the stranger with a magical musical instrument.”—Zilpha Keatley Snyder, three-time Newbery Honor winner

* "Fresh and satisfying for middle-grade readers."--Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED

"The folksy language and silhouette spot art give this Pied Piper-inspired story an old-fashioned quality that fans of fairy tales will appreciate."

"[V]ivid and intriguing."

"A well-fashioned addition to the Pied Piper shelf."