Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag –ESSENTIAL

Ostertag, Molly The Witch Boy 224 pgs. GRAPHIC NOVEL.  Graphix (Scholastic), 2017.  $13. Language: G (0 swears) Mature Content: G Violence: G 

Aster lives in a community made up of his family members, they don’t associate at all with the outside world. That is because they have magic. The men have shape shifter magic, and the women have witch magic: together they fight demons. Aster is a young boy who doesn’t feel the connection at all to his supposed shape shifter magic and is constantly trying to secretly learn witch magic –and constantly getting caught for it. He is chastised with the story of male relative who tried the same thing and his ending was tragic. When some of his fellow boy trainee’s go missing –Aster will have to do what it takes to help.

This has by far been one of my favorite graphic novels I have read in a long time –certainly my all time favorite by this publisher. I love the theme of gender roles and self acceptance –all wrapped up in an intriguing magic story. The edition wasn’t the final color but from what I can tell –the artwork looks great. I also liked that the main character, Aster, isn’t definitively masculine or feminine. I think readers will very much enjoy this story which comes together nicely in the end with additional lessons of friendship and changing family norms.  

EL - ESSENTIAL.  Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author

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