Readibility Scores

Here is some data I’ve collected on the reading level of Ruth Chew’s books. The data comes from what is printed on some of the copies in the collection and from old reviews published in industry journals.

It seems the books are generally considered to be suitable for second graders (seven-year-olds) and up, though of course every child is different.

Baked Beans for Breakfast ???
Do-It-Yourself Magic Grades 2-5. Ages 7-10.
Earthstar Magic Grades 3-6.
Last Chance for Magic Grade 3. Ages 7-10.
Magic in the Park Sprache Readibility Formula: Readibility Level Grade 2.1. Ages 7-10.
Magic of the Black Mirror Grade 2. Ages 7-10.
Mostly Magic Grades 3-5. Grade Level Equivalent: 5.1.
No Such Thing as a Witch Sprache Readibility Formula: Readibility Level Grade 2.2. Grades 2-5. Ages 7-10.
Royal Magic Grade 3. Ages 7-10.
Second Hand Magic Grades 2-4. Ages 7-10.
Summer Magic Grade 2. Ages 7-10.
The Enchanted Book Grades 3-5. Grade Level Equivalent: 5.3. Ages 7-10.
The Hidden Cave Grades 3-5.
The Magic Coin Grades 3-5.
The Secret Tree-House ???
The Trouble with Magic Sprache Readibility Formula: Readibility Level Grade 2.2. Grades 3-5. Ages 7-10.
The Wednesday Witch Reading Level: Grade 2. Ages 7-10.
The Wishing Tree ???
The Witch and the Ring Grade 2. Ages 7-10.
The Witch at the Window Sprache Readibility Formula: Readibility Level Grade 2.2. Ages 7-10.
The Witch’s Buttons Grades 2-4.
The Witch’s Garden Grades 3-5.
The Would-Be Witch Grades 2-4. Ages 7-10.
Trapped in Time Sprache Readibility Formula: Readibility Level Grade 2.2. Ages 7-10.
What the Witch Left Grade 3. Ages 7-10.
Witch in the House Grades 3-6. Ages 7-10.
Witch’s Broom Ages 8-10.
Witch’s Cat Grade 3. Ages 7-10.
Wrong Way Around Magic Grade 3. Ages 7-10.
Shark Lady Ages 7-10. Grades 3-5. Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5.
The Mystery of the Ghost Bell ???
The Questers Ages 9 and up; Grades 4 and up.
Three Cheers for Polly ???

Books arrive from Spain

books-from-spainMail is fun. International mail is even more fun. I just received the Spanish-language translations of three Ruth Chew books that I bought online, all from the same seller. They’re in good shape, so I’m pleased with the 25 Euros I spent to get them.

I read a bit of El problema de la magic and noticed that the room fragrance spray that the sister and brother buy is called “espray”. Spanish borrowed the English word “spray”, but Spanish-speakers are unable to pronounce the consonant cluster “sp” at the front of the word, so the borrowed word became “espray”!

Coming in August

RH-no-image-availableDid you know that book publishers operate on a two-season year? Publishers organize their product line into two batches, a fall/winter batch and a spring/summer batch. At least, that was my experience working for Princeton University Press, and Random House seems to be doing the same.

The books are written, contracted, prepared, and manufactured all year, of course, but the sales and marketing people focus on a discrete number of new books grouped together by season.

Traditionally, it seems there were three publishing seasons (spring, fall and winter). Times are changing, though, and some now argue that having seasons at all doesn’t make any sense.

I don’t know what they will look like yet, but next season’s Ruth Chew titles will be The Witch at the Window, The Would-Be Witch, and Three Shrinking Tales (Do-It-Yourself Magic, Earthstar Magic, and Mostly Magic).

These titles are being released August 26, 2014.

January 2014 books have arrived

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Hardcover edition of Magic in the Park:
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Hardcover edition of The Trouble with Magic:
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Library editions:
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Improved book profiles

4-improvedThe book profiles for the following Ruth Chew novels now have summaries as well as listings for characters, places and themes. Enjoy!

The Trouble with Magic 

Witch’s Cat

The Witch’s Garden

The Magic Coin


The internet gets bigger all the time

spanishOnce in a while I go poking around the internet trying to fill in the gaps in my knowledge about all the editions of Ruth Chew’s books.

Sometimes it pays off, because the internet gets bigger all the time.

Today I found THREE books for sale on a Spanish site called TodoColeccion. I’ve never seen them in person OR online before. I think I’ve managed to order them.

I also found a better image of No hay nada como una bruja on a Mexican site that appears to be similar in function to craigslist. Since I don’t live in Mexico and thus can’t meet up with the seller in person, I’m doubtful I’ll get to buy that one.

In pursuit of an elusive “Lectorum Publications” Spanish edition, I discovered what I think is a price arbitrage seller on the Amazon Marketplace. The reply to my request for more information about the book for sale was immediate and completely unhelpful, I assume because the seller doesn’t actually have the book… I think if I bought from quality7, the seller would go and buy a copy elsewhere to sell to me (at a huge profit). I guess this sort of thing accounts for those crazy prices you see on Amazon marketplace sometimes…



New books shipping Jan 28!

new-books-jan-2014 Two more of Random House’s reissues of Ruth Chew’s books are about to be available. Next to be released in paper-and-ink copies (hardcover and paperback and library hardcover) are The Trouble with Magic and Magic in the Park. Released as an e-book omnibus are The Wishing Tree, The Magic Coin, and The Magic Cave, collectively titled Three Wishing Tales.

Order The Trouble with Magic
at Amazon
at Barnes and Nobleicon
at Book Depository
via Indiebound

Order Magic in the Park
at Amazon
at Barnes and Nobleicon
at Book Depository
via Indiebound

Updated website launched!

old-homepageYou may have seen this website looking like the picture on the left as recently as yesterday. But now the design and technology have been updated a bit. Welcome to the new version of the site!

There’s now a MailChimp subscribe widget in the right-hand column. You can sign yourself up for the e-mail announcement list there. If you sign up, you won’t get daily or weekly messages; the list will be used to announce when new books are going to be coming out.

Do let me know if you have suggestions for improvements.

Big news!

new-books Ruth Chew’s books are going to be republished! Two of them (No Such Thing as a Witch and What the Witch Left) are shipping NOW!

Read the PW announcement:
Random House to Reissue Ruth Chew’s Fantasy Oeuvre

Read Elizabeth Bluemle’s PW Shelftalker interview with Random House v-p and publishing director Mallory Loehr:
The Return of Ruth Chew!

Buy What the Witch Left
at Amazon
at Barnes and Nobleicon
at Book Depository
via Indiebound

Buy No Such Thing as a Witch
at Amazon
at Barnes and Nobleicon
at Book Depository
via Indiebound

Collection status

IMG_3400The book collection recently grew with the addition of some new old books and the new Random House books. Here are all of the books in the collection together.

The new books are at the front on the left; the stories not written by Ruth Chew are at the front on the right, and the translations are the leftmost column (those black ones with the glittery spines are all Japanese). The rest are all hardcovers and paperbacks from different years representing Ruth Chew’s 29 stories for children in English spanning the 30 years from 1969 to 1999.

Most of the books in the collection are distinct in some detail; many of the paperback books are similar but have different ISBNs, slightly different covers or cover prices, or have a different print run encoded on the copyright page.

Sometimes it’s tricky to buy an exact edition because online booksellers will list a book for sale under the ISBN of a slightly different edition. This happens especially in the case of the older books, which don’t have ISBNs of their own!

If you’re interested in collecting Ruth Chew books, too, have a look at the information for collectors.