Because I am considering leading students in an author study on Chris Van Allsburg this year, I am reading as many of his books as I can find this summer. Like most of Van Allsburg's books, The Widow's Broom is a magical tale. In the story Widow Shaw discovers a witch whose broom has failed, causing her to crash land in the Widow's vegetable garden. The witch recovers and leaves during the night, abandoning her broom. The broom becomes a great help to the Widow Shaw, and she grows to love and appreciate its company. Unfortunately, after an incident with the Spivey boys (mean-spirited bullies), the neighbors become convinced that the broom is evil and that the Widow Shaw must get rid of it.
The Widow's Broom has a satisfying, surprise ending. I recommend it as a wonderful Halloween (or anytime) read.