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The Hidden Witch
Contributor(s): Ostertag, Molly Knox

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ISBN: 1338253751     ISBN-13: 9781338253757
Publisher: Graphix
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: October 2018

From the creator of the acclaimed graphic novel The Witch Boy comes a new adventure set in the world of magic and shapeshifting -- and ordinary kids just trying to make friends.

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Witches; Fiction.
Shapeshifting; Fiction.
Blessing and cursing; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Bullying
Dewey: 741.5/973
LCCN: bl2018187674
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 6.00" W x 0.75" (1.08 lbs) 202 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Molly Knox Ostertag is the author of The Witch Boy and The Hidden Witch. She grew up in the forests of Upstate New York, where she spent the first half of her childhood reading about fantastical adventures and the second half acting them out with foam swords at a live-action role-playing group. Molly is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, where she studied cartooning and illustration. She currently lives in Southern California.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2019 Spring)
Witch-in-training Aster (The Witch Boy) and his grandmother secretly work to heal his great-uncle Mikasi, who's stuck in dragon form. Meanwhile, Aster's non-magic friend Charlie clicks with new girl Ariel, who can't control her magic. The graphic novel's thick black outlines help the muted autumnal colors pop, and varied lettering, balloons, and panel styles add energy and depth. Dialogue and visual cues reveal moments of tension and connection, and world-building is spot-on. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2019 #2)
Aster's coming out as a witch (in The Witch Boy, rev. 11/17) challenged his magic community's traditional gender norms. Previously, trauma from intolerance led Aster's great-uncle Mikasi, also a witch, to harm himself and others; now Aster and his grandmother are working on a "secret project" to heal Mikasi, who is stuck in dragon form. Meanwhile, Aster's non-magic friend Charlie clicks with new-girl Ariel, who is a witch but doesn't know it. Bullied and struggling with feeling misunderstood and different, Ariel lashes out at others with uncontrollable dark magic, and she risks a fate similar to Mikasi's. Themes of trust, forgiveness, identity, and acceptance shine brightly throughout Ostertag's graphic novel. Thick black outlines allow for the muted autumnal colors to pop, and a variety of lettering, balloons, and panel styles adds energy and depth to both plot and characterization. Dialogue and cues in the visual narrative reveal small moments of tension and connection between characters. These awkward, honest coming-of-age interactions mixed with spot-on world-building offer something for fans of fantasy and realistic fiction alike. elisa gall March/April 2019 p 87 Copyright 2019 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 November)

Gr 4-6–In this adventurous sequel to The Witch Boy, Aster is finally allowed to learn witchery alongside the girls in his family, while his best friend Charlie is excited by the prospect of a new friendship at (nonmagic) school with shy, guarded Ariel. But mysterious happenings pick up quickly when Charlie is visited by a malevolent spirit and when magic meddles in her first basketball game. Meanwhile, in return for extra lessons, Aster helps his grandmother heal the monster who endangered his life and who, deep down, is also his great-uncle Mikasi. Ostertag skillfully develops the setting and action while tackling topics such as friendship, jealousy, bullying, and identity. Themes of embracing differences and the long-term effects of intolerance carry over from the previous installment, as readers are introduced to a diverse, expanding cast. The bold art is inviting; clear-cut, brightly colored panels with warm autumnal tones keep scenes moving and shift into muted shades to enhance the creep factor. Depictions of Mikasi's dragon-esque form and foreboding shadow shapes are the perfect level of spooky for the target audience. VERDICT An exciting continuation of Aster's supernatural journey, whose coming-of-age messages will resonate with middle graders.—Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.
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