The Widow's Broom

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by Chris Van Allsburg. Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades 2-8.
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Review

cover art

When a broom loses its flying power, it is left behind at Widow Minna Shaw's home. Gradually, the Widow discovers that the broom can be taught to do many things including playing the piano although what it does best and prefers to do is sweep. The widow is delighted but her neighbor, Mr. Spivey reacts with fear and loathing, considering it to be the devil's tool. Eventually, he comes with some other neighbors to demand the Widow's broom. Regretfully, she tells them it is in the closet and that it is sleeping. Carefully they remove the broom, tie it to a stake and burn it. Later, the ghost of the broom is seen coming closer and closer to the Spivey's house. It's not until the Spivey's have moved away that we discover the trick the widow has played so that she and her broom can live in peace.


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Related Areas Within Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Web Site

  • US History. The Widow's Broom goes well with any unit on the Salem Witch Trials.