Cover image for Pure dead wicked
Pure dead wicked
Gliori, Debi.
Personal Author:
[j][Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2003.

Physical Description:
296 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
The Strega-Borgia children accidentally create 500 clones of themselves at the same time that the roof on their Scottish castle falls in, attracting evil contractors who want their home.
General Note:
Sequel to: Pure dead magic.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.8 8.0 64510.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Large Print Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

Author and illustrator Debi Gliori was born in 1959 in Glasgow, Scotland. She went to school there as well and studied design and illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She received an Andrew Grant traveling scholarship to go to Milan for a year. Gliori is best known for her work with children's books. Her picture book Mr. Bear to the Rescue won the Children's Book Award and was short listed for the Kate Greenaway Prize. Where, Oh Where, is Baby Bear? was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award in 2001. Always and Forever, written by Alan Durant and illustrated by Debi Gliori, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2003. Her work has also been shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Council Award (for Pure Dead Wicked in 2003), and for the Royal Mail Award, for Stormy Weather in 2010.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Titus, Pandora, and their baby sister, Damp, return in this sequel to Pure Dead Magic (2001). Unlike Lemony Snicket's "unfortunate" Baudelaire children who are on their own, this Scottish trio has a family that includes the usual parents as well as a frozen great-grandmother, a magic-performing nanny, four assorted monsters, a pair of rats, and a lipstick-wearing tarantula. When a villainous contractor takes advantage of their castle's leaky roof and makes their home so uninhabitable that it must be condemned, they move into the Auchenlochtermuchy Arms, where Titus and Pandora accidentally create some 500 clones of themselves--and that's only one of their problems. The twisty plot, unfamiliar language (e.g., "squaddies") may cause confusion for some readers, and there is a large cast of characters to keep track of, though a cast list helps. But readers who can follow the story and enjoy gross-out humor (think dragon diarrhea) will have a ball as Gliori gets her characters in more and more trouble and dispatches her villains with relish. --Susan Dove Lempke

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this follow-up to Pure Dead Magic, the Strega-Borgia family must take up residence in the Auchenlochtermuchty Arms after their roof collapses, and the reconstruction crew conspires to destroy rather than repair their home. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Titus, 12; his sister Pandora, 10; and baby Damp are back in this sequel to Pure Dead Magic (Knopf, 2001). This time, their beloved ancestral home is under siege by an unscrupulous roofer and his real-estate developer friends. The Strega-Borgias are forced to move to the Auchenlochtermuchty Arms while the workman proceeds to divest their home of its roof tiles and deposit them in a nearby loch. In the end, but with much going on in between, StregaSchloss is saved, and the family has their home back. Gliori has created another fantasy romp, complete with computer-generated clones of Titus and Pandora, evil businessmen bent on developing suburban Scotland, and a dragon laying an egg. While the characters are stock, the story will make children roar with laughter. There is the prerequisite humor for this age group including a rather unclean yeti and baby Damp's preoccupation with flushing the mail down the toilet. For those who appreciated the first book, this installment will not disappoint.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Elementary Magic Much later, Titus was to remark that this must have been the only time in history when a dirty diaper could be said to have saved several lives. On that memorable morning, unaware of the terrible danger that hung over their heads, the Strega-Borgia family had been attempting to squash themselves into the interior of their long-suffering family car. Their shopping trip to the nearby village of Auchenlochtermuchty was long overdue, and consequently, all members of the family of two adults and three children were vociferous in their demands that they should not be left behind at home. Titus needed a computer magazine, Pandora had to buy something to eradicate a minuscule crop of pimples that had erupted on her chin, their baby sister, Damp, required more diapers, and their parents, Signor and Signora Strega-Borgia, had to go to the bank and do boring adult stuff. As was usual with any planned expedition between StregaSchloss and Auchenlochtermuchty, the process of leaving the house was taking longer than anticipated. Boots and coats had to be retrieved from the cloakroom, Damp had to be supplied with a clean diaper and given a ration of crackers to stave off starvation, and Titus needed to render himself deaf to everything going on around him by the simple expedient of clamping a pair of headphones round his head and pressing the play button on his Walkman. Titus threw himself into the car seat next to Damp, turned up the volume, and settled back with a smile. From outside the car, where she stood with her parents as they went through the ritual of finding checkbooks and car keys, Pandora noted with some satisfaction that Titus's expression was changing rapidly to one of disgust. "PHWOARRR!" he bawled, competing with the deafening sounds inside his headphones. "DAMP! THAT'S DISGUSTING!" He struggled with his seat belt, desperate to put as much distance as possible between himself and Damp's odious diaper. Signor Strega-Borgia groaned, unbuckling his baby daughter and plucking her out of her car seat. Just at the precise moment that both Damp and Titus exited the car, the unthinkable happened. A trio of vast and ancient roof slates that had clung to the topmost turret of StregaSchloss for six hundred years, held in place by little more than a clump of moss, broke free of their moorings and began their downward descent. Gathering momentum by the second, they barreled down the steep incline of the roof. It all happened so quickly that initially the family were convinced that, for reasons unknown, an invisible bomber had dropped its payload directly onto their car. One minute they were standing around the unfortunate vehicle, happily slandering Damp's diaper, the next they were lying groaning on the rose-quartz drive, wondering what had hit them. "What on earth?" Signor Strega-Borgia picked himself and Damp off the ground and ran to Signora Strega-Borgia to check that she was unharmed. "Titus? Pan? Are you all right? Whatever happened?" Signora Strega-Borgia rubbed dirt off her clothes and stared at the car in disbelief. "WHAT A WRECK!" yelled Titus, still muffled in his headphones. "LOOK AT IT! IT'S TOTALLY TRASH--OWW!" "There," said Pandora with satisfaction. "That should help." "Did you have to do that?" moaned Titus, holding his ears and glaring at his sister. His headphones dangled from Pandora's hands. Signor Strega-Borgia was walking slowly round the wreckage of his car, surveying it from various angles, simultaneously horrified at the damage and amazed at the family's lucky escape. Embedded in the roof of the car, at a forty-five-degree angle to the battered paintwork, were three huge slabs of slate. "We could all have been killed," said Signor Strega-Borgia reproachfully. He squinted up at the turreted roof of StregaSchloss, attempting to locate the origin of this attempt on his life. Beside him, Signora Strega-Borgia sighed. This was proving to be the most expensive morning's shopping thus far. To their list of items to be purchased in Auchenlochtermuchty, they now had to add one roof and one family car. "We'll have to get it fixed," decided Signor Strega-Borgia. "The whole roof looks like it's in danger of raining down on top of our heads." The family automatically took several hasty steps backward, away from the danger zone. Titus tripped over a low stone wall and fell backward into a herbaceous border with a dismayed howl. Ignoring her son completely, Signora Strega-Borgia addressed her husband. "But that will cost a fortune, Luciano. Look, before we call in the experts, why don't you let me see if I can mend it. I'm sure there was something I learnt at college that would do the trick." "Darling, I hardly think that your diploma in Primary Magic is a sufficient qualif--" He halted abruptly, alerted by the glacial expression crossing his wife's face. Throwing her black pashmina dramatically across her shoulders, Signora Strega-Borgia stalked away from her husband across the rose quartz until she stood at the head of the steps leading down to the old croquet lawn. "I know you think I'm a half-baked witch, incapable, incompetent"--she choked back a sob--"inconsequential." The front door opened and Mrs. Flora McLachlan, nanny to Titus, Pandora, and Damp, emerged into the December chill, shivering as she surveyed the family and their ex-car. "Now, dear," she admonished, gazing fondly at Signora Strega-Borgia, "there's no need to be like that. We all know that you're a very fine witch, indeed. . . ." "Do we?" muttered Pandora. "I don't think so," whispered Titus, crawling out of the herbaceous border and coming to stand next to his sister. Beside them, Signor Strega-Borgia sighed. If only Baci wasn't so prickly. He hadn't meant to insult her. Not really. Just perhaps to remind her that six months into a seven-year degree course in Advanced Magic might mean that her skills weren't exactly up to speed--yet. From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from Pure Dead Wicked by Debi Gliori All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.