Martha Mayhem and the Witch from the Ditch by Joanne Owen

Martha Mayhem and the Witch from the Ditch

Written by Joanne Owen
Illustrated by Tony Ross
Part of the Martha Mayhem Series

5+ readers   Hallowe'en   7+ readers   

The Lovereading4Kids comment

A deliciously, wonderful read that highlights how courage, team work and a little bit of sparkle can help you overcome any difficulties.

One day one her way to school Martha unwittingly releases a ghoul trapped inside a gate and meets a rather grumpy (but fabulously dressed) witch in a ditch. As the ghoul escapes and the witch runs off leaving warnings of impending doom, Martha is left scared but excited. A real, actual ghoul in Cherry Hillsbottom! But things become rather worrisome when the ghoul chases Martha and her friend Jack home from school. It isn’t long before the ghoul is causing havoc in Cherry Hillsbottom and it’s up to Martha to sort out the mess and come up with a daring plan to trap the ghastly ghoul back in the gate. But will her plan work or will the villagers believe that it’s just Martha causing more Mayhem?

The magic and feel within Joanne’s writing rather reminded me of Roald Dahl. Martha is a super character with a slightly eccentric and loveable Professor Gramps who has the best pet names for her. And to top it all there are ‘paranormal polka-dot pants’!

The start of what promises to be a fantastically exciting series for young readers, I can’t wait to read more stories featuring Martha Mayhem. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.


Martha Mayhem and the Witch from the Ditch by Joanne Owen

A laugh-out-loud magical story featuring witches and fun, the first in a series of three books by Carnegie and Branford Boase long-listed author, Joanne Owen.

Martha Mayhem (real name Martha May) is always causing chaos! She just can't help it, somehow chaotic things just happen to her. Martha lives in the small village of Cherry Hillsbottom with her eccentric grandfather, Professor Gramps and her small pet hog Elvis. Life gets really exciting though when, on her way to school one day, she discovers a rather bedraggled-looking witch in a ditch. Griselda Gritch (the witch) tells a thrilled and alarmed Martha that she has accidentally let loose a ghastly ghoul that Griselda was trying to catch - and Martha is going to have to help her to get it back again! Griselda, though, is a rather grumpy and difficult accomplice.

Can Martha, with the help of Gramps, Elvis and her best friend Jack (AKA Scrambled Egg Head), retrieve the ghoul and prove herself to Griselda? A brilliantly funny magical story, full of energy and action!

With fantastic illustrations from internationally-renowned illustrator, Tony Ross.

About the Author

Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and read Social and Political Sciences with Archaeology and Anthropology at St John's College, Cambridge. Now living in North London, Joanne has published two previous Young Adult novels. Steeped in the atmosphere of nineteenth century Prague, Puppet Master blends the magic of marionette theatre with Czech folklore and legends. Described by The Guardian as 'timeless', Puppet Master was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Branford Boase award and has been translated into several languages.

Her second novel, The Alchemist and the Angels is a fantastical, historical epic set in sixteenth century Prague, among the plague-ridden ghettos and decadent court of mad Emperor Rudolf. It was described by School Librarian as 'An imaginative tour de force'.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


256 pages
Interest Age: From 5 to 8 years


Joanne Owen
More books by Joanne Owen

Author's Facebook Latest


Piccadilly Press Ltd an imprint of Templar Publishing

Publication date

27th July 2017




I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

I love Lovereading4kids because I get an opportunity to put my opinion forward and to try new books

Elosie Clarkson – age 11

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

Lovereading 4 schools