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Bookish Thoughts

Bookish Thoughts

All through autumn, I find myself craving Halloweeny books! This year, I set out searching for a few witchy books that would scratch that itch, and boy do they! Some are sweet, some are scary, and some are right in the middle. If you have older elementary kids who want a dash of fall magic in their lives, check out these wonderful reads.

Cover of Garlic & the Vampire. Image of garlic bulb dressed in a skirt, jacket, and scarf holding a hammer and stake and standing in the woods in front of a castle.

Garlic & the Vampire by Bree Paulsen – J GN PAULSEN
This book feels like a cup of warm tea on a cool autumn day. Nervous Garlic, who was brought to life by a kind, green-thumbed witch, goes on an adventure to hunt down a vampire. I fell in love with Garlic and her friends immediately – the art is spectacular, the writing is terrific, and I wish I could get lost in this sweet world forever. This book is aptly dedicated to “all the anxious bulbs.”

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkeller – J GN STEINKELLN
Moth Hush has always felt out-of-place in her small town – a town obsessed with a carefully curated history and controlled by powerful families. Moth soon learns that she is a witch from a long line of witches whom the town has always reviled. The book is about confronting historical inaccuracies, navigating family trauma, and learning how to reconcile one’s ancestral legacy with one’s own personal goals and desires. It’s an adorable, adventurous romp with a spunky main character and a hilarious talking cat, but the themes would appeal more to older kids.

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag – J GN OSTERTAG
Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in? Or that you were destined for something else? Aster has. He lives in a small, secret community where the men are shape-shifters and the women practice magic. Aster is drawn to magic but is forbidden from learning about it. But when the boys in his community start getting kidnapped, he starts to secretly learn magic to help. This book is serious in tone, with scary depictions of frightful monsters – a wonderful read for the more hard-core Halloween lovers out there.

Cover of The Accursed Vampire. Three vampire children run through bushes in front of a large old house.

The Accursed Vampire by Madeline McGrane – J GN MCGRANE
Ah, this book! This beautiful book! It has a spectacular mix of irreverent humor, suspenseful mystery, heartfelt “found family” dynamics, and downright bone-chilling scares. Dragoslava is a troubled young vampire who has spent centuries serving a cruel witch. But when they and their friends meet a kind witch and vampire, they have to sift through their own fears and deep mistrust of others as they make choices that will affect themself and their friends. If you’ve got an older child who loves scary (but deep!) tales, this is the perfect choice.

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse – J GN ESCABASSE V.1
Irascible Effie finds herself living with her two strange aunts after the death of her mother, but is quickly charmed by their habits and ways. Life gets even better when Effie realizes that they’re witches – and that she is a witch, too! Like Effie, I was quickly taken in by the curmudgeonly Selimene and the doting Carlota. There’s nothing scary about this sweet tale of a hilarious witch family learning from and with each other, which makes it a great read for someone who loves magic without the creepy parts.

~Lisa Jenkins, Youth Services Librarian

Bewitching graphic novels for upper elementary kids. A witch's hat sits on the B in Bewitching. Stars float around the words
Bewitching Graphic Novels for Upper Elementary Kids
All through autumn, I find myself craving Halloweeny books! This year, I set out searching for a few witchy books that would scratch that itch, and boy do they!...
Read More
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Sometimes we all need that perfect book.  The kind that we can immerse ourselves into, experience the lives of characters, and forget about our own problems for...
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