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

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ISBN: 1338253751     ISBN-13: 9781338253757
Publisher: Graphix
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: October 2018

Annotation: When Aster's non-magical friend Charlie finds herself the target of a curse, Aster and his unconventional talent for witchery must find the source of the curse before more people get hurt.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels - Fantasy
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes - Friendship
Dewey: FIC
Age Level: 8-12
Grade Level: 3-7
Lexile Measure: 340 GN (Graphic Novel)
Physical Information: 0.7" H x 6" W x 8.9" (1.10 lbs) 208 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 199029
Reading Level: 2.8   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 1.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Molly Knox Ostertag is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed graphic novels The Witch Boy and The Hidden Witch and the illustrator of several projects for older readers, including the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist and Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn. She grew up in the forests of upstate New York and graduated in 2014 from the School of Visual Arts, where she studied cartooning and illustration. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her girlfriend and several pets. Visit her online at mollyostertag.com.

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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