Seven Spells to Farewell
Seven Spells to Farewell by Betty Baker was published in 1982. However, I did not read it until around 1987. It was written for fifth to ninth graders and I was in the fifth grade when I read it. Anyway, in the book, a resourceful girl named Drucilla who goes on a long journey to find the kingdom of Iskany and become a sorceress. She adventures with a talking raven and a performing pig. The book opens with her working in an inn. Dru longs to escape the daily drudgery of domestic life, so she leaves her kitchen job behind in order to fulfill her dreams.
Now, when I went to Whitney Elementary school it was traditional for the fifth and sixth graders to take turns helping out in the school cafeteria. We’d run the dishwasher or help serve food or hand out the milk from cooler. When it was my turn to help out, I began pretending that I was someone like Dru in Seven Spells to Farewell. I was stuck with dull kitchen duty, but was destined for something special. Some days I was a sorceress and other days I’d be a princess in disguise, either way I was not meant to stay in the kitchen forever. This flight of fancy lasted into sixth grade, where I wrote in my journal about rather I was a princess in disguise or a sorceress. When I used my blue pencil with silver stars it was easy to pretend I was a sorceress with a magic wand. Once the pencil was all used up, I reverted back to a princess I believe. As an adult I find it less easy to imagine my way out of my kitchen duties.
Anyway, remembering this book fondly, I searched for it. I purchased it used from the internet several years ago. I lived in Ohio, but my copy is from Arkansas. I’ve been able to find little information on the author and no image for the book cover. My book is missing the jacket and is merely a faded red cloth cover. I seem to remember a girl standing by a caravan with the pig and raven beside her on the copy I read from my local library back in 1987, but I can’t be sure.
I did find a list of other books Betty Baker wrote though. They include: All By Herself, And Me Coyote, And One Was A Wooden Indian, Arizona, At The Center of The World, Big Push, Beyond Brave, Danby and George, Do Not Annoy The Indian, Dunderhead War, Dupper, Great Desert Race, Ghost Stories of the Old West, Killer of Death, My Sister Says, No Help At All, Partners, Santa Rat, Settlers and Strangers, Shaman’s Last Raid, Spirit is Willing, Sun’s Promise, The Pig’s War, Three Fools and A Horse, Turkey Treasure, Walk The World’s Rim and Worthington Botts and The Steam Machine.