The Witch Boy
In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

The Witch Boy Details

TitleThe Witch Boy
Author
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Comics, Young Adult, Graphic Novels Comics

The Witch Boy Review

  • Lola Reviewer
    January 1, 1970
    This works very well as a standalone. I don’t feel as if there are unanswered questions or elements missing. Still, I wish to read more books about Aster and his magical community. The characters are strong. They all play a certain role in the story. It’s when you can’t imagine a book without its different characters that you realize they’ve left an impression on you and are worthy of being in the story. Aster is so relatable. In his world, women are witches who manipulate magic and men are shap This works very well as a standalone. I don’t feel as if there are unanswered questions or elements missing. Still, I wish to read more books about Aster and his magical community. The characters are strong. They all play a certain role in the story. It’s when you can’t imagine a book without its different characters that you realize they’ve left an impression on you and are worthy of being in the story. Aster is so relatable. In his world, women are witches who manipulate magic and men are shape shifters who turn into a certain animal and protect the community. But Aster can’t shape shift, and anyway, he doesn’t want to. It’s not him. Witchery calls to him instead.His situation is similar to many other people’s situations, even in our contemporary society without magic. These feelings of wanting to be whoever we are but fearing ostracism are universal. It wasn’t hard for me to connect with Astrid, and I believe it won’t be hard for other readers either.The illustrations are SPLENDID. My advance copy only had a few pages in color, but I’m sure the final book will be MAGNIFICENT. Very interesting story and formidable diverse characters. Too bad I have to say goodbye to them so soon. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    Such a cute little graphic novel that challenges gender constructs in a unique way. Plus it's just a fun spooky magical story! My only complaint was that I wish it was a bit longer and more fleshed out. But I really enjoyed reading it.
  • Davey
    January 1, 1970
    (The bookstore where I work received an ARC of this today from Scholastic and, as it was a particularly slow day, I read it all in one go while standing behind the cash register.)I loved it. I loved the world right away--in fact, I wished it were longer (or perhaps the beginning of a series) just because the magic was so interesting. I really dug the artwork, too, of course. It felt very organic. But also magical. And I liked the character designs. But mostly it was just such a compelling metaph (The bookstore where I work received an ARC of this today from Scholastic and, as it was a particularly slow day, I read it all in one go while standing behind the cash register.)I loved it. I loved the world right away--in fact, I wished it were longer (or perhaps the beginning of a series) just because the magic was so interesting. I really dug the artwork, too, of course. It felt very organic. But also magical. And I liked the character designs. But mostly it was just such a compelling metaphor for being "Other," gender-wise. It really hit me in a soft spot in a way that, to be honest, not a lot of middle-grade books do. It captured so well and in such a short space the yearning for something that society says you aren't supposed to have--it captured equally well the putrescence of the soul that can grow when you're denied your true self.
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  • Rachael Hobson
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 stars This is a really lovely story. It's a morality story with a magical twist. Let people be who they truly are! This is a middle grade novel, which is probably why the story moved as fast as it did. I personally wish there was more detail in regards to both the build up and climax of the story.
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "Oh! I wanted to ask: Do you get a flying broom? A what? Nevermind. Pass the cookies?" From page one, I was trapped in a magical world that I didn't want to escape from. The story was very different from what is being released that I didn't want it to end. The art was exceptional. Can't wait for the actual release to see all the artwork in full color. The first few pages were in color and it made the story pop in a different light. All magic has rules and if we disobey them, something horrible "Oh! I wanted to ask: Do you get a flying broom? A what? Nevermind. Pass the cookies?" From page one, I was trapped in a magical world that I didn't want to escape from. The story was very different from what is being released that I didn't want it to end. The art was exceptional. Can't wait for the actual release to see all the artwork in full color. The first few pages were in color and it made the story pop in a different light. All magic has rules and if we disobey them, something horrible may fall. What happens if the only way to save people is to break the rules and use magic? Would you do it? Even if it meant life or death?
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  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    Aster lives in a magical community where boys shapeshift and girls practice witchcraft, yet he can't shapeshift but shows promise in the magical arts. The problem? His family freaks out when they see him trying to practice magic. However, when the community is threatened by a demon, Aster's powers may help save them. But will Aster be brave enough to show everyone who he truly is?At first, I absolutely LOVED this middle grade graphic novel debut. I read it as an extended metaphor for anyone who Aster lives in a magical community where boys shapeshift and girls practice witchcraft, yet he can't shapeshift but shows promise in the magical arts. The problem? His family freaks out when they see him trying to practice magic. However, when the community is threatened by a demon, Aster's powers may help save them. But will Aster be brave enough to show everyone who he truly is?At first, I absolutely LOVED this middle grade graphic novel debut. I read it as an extended metaphor for anyone who feels like they can't be who they truly are because they fear being bullied or ostracized. The diversity of characters and the normalization (YAY!) of LGBTQ issues were also present, and were especially fun (and original) to read in a fantasy setting. But then a member of my book group brought up some points I hadn't considered (and maybe a blind spot I need to look at) that made me think more. The character of Mikasi identified as a witch (female) as a child, but was shunned because males working with witchcraft goes against the community's gender norms. The shunning results in him turning evil. Mikasa returns, taking & turning some of the younger boys against the community. The dangers brought to my attention are two-fold: one, the message that that trans people prey on children. Two, that trans people are mentally ill and that if society doesn't accept them -- not because of who they are, but because they are dangerous -- they are going to harm us in some way. These misguided stereotypes are the basis for the anti-trans legislation that some states are passing.So I did some due diligence, bringing the book to a family member who is also a member of the trans community. He rad the book, and didn't feel that the Mikasi character was stereotype that would affect the trans community in a negative way. He was very happy that the family learned from their mistakes with Mikasi, this leading Aster to have a very different life. He also liked the normalization of LGBTQ issues (Charlie has two dads) that we're so casually scattered throughout the book. So I will, with pride, be adding this book to my classroom library at the recommendation of my nephew.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    In this graphic novel that challenges gender roles and stereotypes, thirteen-year-old Aster is sure he has the ability to become a witch. But in his family, only girls can become witches while boys are destined to be shapeshifters. While he waits to find out the animal shape into which he will shift and soaks up everything he can about spells and magic, three family members disappear. Aster comes under suspicion because he's different from his other family members. He finds solace and friendship In this graphic novel that challenges gender roles and stereotypes, thirteen-year-old Aster is sure he has the ability to become a witch. But in his family, only girls can become witches while boys are destined to be shapeshifters. While he waits to find out the animal shape into which he will shift and soaks up everything he can about spells and magic, three family members disappear. Aster comes under suspicion because he's different from his other family members. He finds solace and friendship in a girl who knows nothing of magic but encourages him to do what he does best. Eventually, he even heals her broken leg, and the two combine forces to do battle against the evil spirit that has two of the boys still in its thrall. I liked this book for its challenging of what boys and girls can do and for its interesting family dynamics. While there could be other titles coming after this one, it works just fine on its own. I'd have liked a little more back story provided so it was clear how the family manages to survive and thrive in a magical world that seems to exist alongside a nonmagical one. There are quite a few characters introduced, but then we never return to them, which makes me wonder if they will assume importance in (possible) future titles. Middle graders and late intermediate readers are sure to enjoy this graphic novel with rich colors in every panel.
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  • Gemma
    January 1, 1970
    Though the main character is 13, I think that his story and experiences are accessible to a variety of ages. The very personal, intimate look we have into Aster's experience as a boy who's supposed to shape-shift, but feels more inclined/is gifted to witchery, makes this story very powerful and evocative. I couldn't help but be drawn into the narrative and feel Aster's loneliness, small comforts in the form of practicing witchery and meeting Charlie, and his rise in self-confidence. The story is Though the main character is 13, I think that his story and experiences are accessible to a variety of ages. The very personal, intimate look we have into Aster's experience as a boy who's supposed to shape-shift, but feels more inclined/is gifted to witchery, makes this story very powerful and evocative. I couldn't help but be drawn into the narrative and feel Aster's loneliness, small comforts in the form of practicing witchery and meeting Charlie, and his rise in self-confidence. The story is a good blend of experience, reflection, and action; there is little violence or blood, because the focus is more on Aster's decision-making and strategizing, rather than a gory battle, to solve the issues.The artwork is colorful, open and welcoming, detailed yet not overwhelming. I think the author/illustrator does a wonderful job of visually depicting events that cannot otherwise be explained, such as when Aster feels confused about something or when he loses his voice.Definitely recommend for middle grade + students!
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! It was a quick but exciting read. I like to read about characters that live outside the “norm.” I am a huge fan of the art as well! Nice diverse cast, which is much appreciated. I can’t wait to read more about Aster, his family, friends, and adventures!
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    RTC
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    The full color graphics are going to be amazing in this. Can't wait to see the final book.
  • Steve Chaput
    January 1, 1970
    Ostertag introduces us to Aster, a young man whose family, both male and female, have powers. Approaching manhood it is expected that Aster will begin showing the shapeshifting abilites that the males in his group demonstrate. However, as he seems incapable of this he becomes fascinating with the spell casting lessons that allow his sisters, mothers and other females to perform magical incantations.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Astor's community has passed down magic for generations with girls learning witchery and boys developing their shapeshifting abilities. These rules of magic are followed to protect the supposed natural order of the world, but our hero finds himself drawn to witchery, sneaking into classes to learn spells and casting in the night to practice. No one understands Astor's yearning except a girl he meets in the non-magic world; the two bond over the differences that make them outcasts when they show Astor's community has passed down magic for generations with girls learning witchery and boys developing their shapeshifting abilities. These rules of magic are followed to protect the supposed natural order of the world, but our hero finds himself drawn to witchery, sneaking into classes to learn spells and casting in the night to practice. No one understands Astor's yearning except a girl he meets in the non-magic world; the two bond over the differences that make them outcasts when they show their true selves. Astor's personal struggle is soon joined by a much bigger complication as young shapeshifters are going missing. With Astor walking the line between the two forms of magic he alone can fit the pieces of the puzzle together to rescue the boys, but it seems only at a great cost.Astor's story is a beautiful metaphor about societal expectations versus the individual journey; in particular, this addresses gender roles and LGBT+ issues and in a clear manner with an otherworldly twist to make it accessible to a wide variety of audiences, exposing young readers to the overarching ideas of acceptance. The plot and character development flow smoothly together within the narrative, creating a deeply emotional connection between Astor and the reader within just a few pages. Ostertag's illustrations focus on the characters as well, making each panel a study in emotion or expression; the addition of more color in the final product will surely make the story leap off the pages to invoke delight or fear in readers as they travel through the start of a new friendship or a dark and foreboding wood.
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  • Munro's Kids
    January 1, 1970
    The sign of a good story for me is one that leaves you wanting more, and this one definitely left me wanting more even though ending was complete and satisfying. The pacing of the narrative was perfect, and I loved how the artwork wasn't trying to be artsy or experimental, and instead focused on characterization through detailed character design (ie. Aster accessorizes with protection charms from his mother, while at the same time being fascinated with witchcraft which is forbidden for men to le The sign of a good story for me is one that leaves you wanting more, and this one definitely left me wanting more even though ending was complete and satisfying. The pacing of the narrative was perfect, and I loved how the artwork wasn't trying to be artsy or experimental, and instead focused on characterization through detailed character design (ie. Aster accessorizes with protection charms from his mother, while at the same time being fascinated with witchcraft which is forbidden for men to learn). What really gives a story drive and direction is conflict, and there's plenty of it in the book. I didn't feel like there was a single thing out of place or left unexplained, and everything that set up was paid off by the end (as per the law of Chekhov's gun. Also if you don't know what Chekhov's gun is google it. And FYI it's also not an actual gun mounted on his wall because he was a doctor and I'm 80% sure he'd be against shooting people.)(view spoiler)[Now for the fun stuff where I get to rip open a book and tear out its insides and call it literary criticism.1) The conflict in the book was good, but the LGBTQ theme was not subtle at all, and I would have liked a little more subtelty. But to be honest I can let it slide since this is a middle school book, and readers around that age are still learning what it means to read between the lines, so something like this would definitely help them practice their reader skills.2) A lot of Aster's family reacted to his fascination with witchcraft in a way that I anticipated them to: male cousins bully him, parents stay hopeful he'll find his spirit animal and reach magical puberty for boys, mom and aunts shoo him away when he eavesdrops on witchcraft lessons, etc. I'm left wondering though if there could've been room for some variety in their responses, like if his male cousins shunned or ran away from Aster because he likes something feminine and that's weird, instead of just bullying him. The only response that felt like it subverted the tropes and expectations of traditional gender role families is Aster's grandmother, since she seems supportive of Aster's interest in witchcraft despite the fact she's the matriarch of the family (but of course it's explained later in the book why she's supportiveIN CONCLUSION. I thought this book was a great read that was very condensed, but full of delicious story and narrative. Would recommend for middle school kids into graphic novels.(hide spoiler)]
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of The Witch Boy from Scholastic for a review on Rogues Portal . You can read an excerpt from that review below, or click this link to read it in full. **The Witch Boy is Molly Ostertag‘s middle grade graphic novel debut. It follows 13 year-old Aster, whose magical family raises boys to be shapeshifters and girls to be witches. But Aster isn’t like the other boys. He hasn’t found his animal form; frankly, he would rather learn the same spellwork as the girls. This interest mak I received an ARC of The Witch Boy from Scholastic for a review on Rogues Portal . You can read an excerpt from that review below, or click this link to read it in full. **The Witch Boy is Molly Ostertag‘s middle grade graphic novel debut. It follows 13 year-old Aster, whose magical family raises boys to be shapeshifters and girls to be witches. But Aster isn’t like the other boys. He hasn’t found his animal form; frankly, he would rather learn the same spellwork as the girls. This interest makes him both an outcast and a troublemaker. However, when several of the other boys are stolen by an unknown evil, Aster’s forbidden obsession with witchery is the only thing that can bring them back.Although The Witch Boy is aimed at readers in the 8-12 age range, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ostertag’s ability to craft a story is put to the test in this book, which combines magic, coming of age themes, familial strife, and many, many secrets. The plot is well-constructed and the various elements work well together; the payoff at the end of the story is 100 percent worth it. My only complaint, honestly, is that the story felt too short; I wanted more from the ending, though that might be because I fell so deeply in love with Ostertag’s characters....It was difficult to read The Witch Boy as anything other than a coming out allegory; the discussions of gender and slow reveal of how muddled magic has always been make me think that Ostertag was aiming for something deeper in this magical coming of age story. I love that this book can be interpreted as a quiet metaphor for the LGBTQ experience, and I think it will make an excellent addition to any classroom library because of it.
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  • Krys
    January 1, 1970
    The Witch Boy by Molly OstertagGraphic novel ages 8-12Release date: October 31, 2017 (appropriate 😄)Everyone in Aster's family has magic. Boys become shapeshifters and girls witches. No exceptions.Until maybe now. Aster can't quite seem to get the hang of shapeshifting and much prefers listening in on the girls magic lessons but no one seems okay with this. In fact, the last male to try and learn witchery went bad and stole a powerful artifact before disappearing. Obviously males aren't meant to The Witch Boy by Molly OstertagGraphic novel ages 8-12Release date: October 31, 2017 (appropriate 😄)Everyone in Aster's family has magic. Boys become shapeshifters and girls witches. No exceptions.Until maybe now. Aster can't quite seem to get the hang of shapeshifting and much prefers listening in on the girls magic lessons but no one seems okay with this. In fact, the last male to try and learn witchery went bad and stole a powerful artifact before disappearing. Obviously males aren't meant to learn witchery. 💔Aster meets Charlie, a girl from the non-magical side of town who makes for a great friend and ear who offers unconditional support to her new friend.When the boys in Aster's family start to go missing Aster may be the only one who can bring them back but he's going to have to break a lot of rules to do it. Aster has a lot to learn about who he is and who he wants to be.***Cute graphic novel, the art is fun and easy to follow. The characters are interesting. Charlie, was fantastic and fun and if Molly Ostertag ever continues this story she needs to focus more on Charlie kicking butt and taking names. No one gets to mess with Aster when she's around.
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  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Very sweet Children's/YA Graphic Novel about finding your place, even if that means defying expected gender norms. Aster wants to practice witchcraft, which is something only the women in his family are able to study. Through some sneaking and spying, he learns what he can & practices on his own. With the encouragement of a new friend, Aster uses his gifts in witchcraft to help save some of the members of his family from a dark (and kidnapping) threat. As a "tomboy" who had trouble with bein Very sweet Children's/YA Graphic Novel about finding your place, even if that means defying expected gender norms. Aster wants to practice witchcraft, which is something only the women in his family are able to study. Through some sneaking and spying, he learns what he can & practices on his own. With the encouragement of a new friend, Aster uses his gifts in witchcraft to help save some of the members of his family from a dark (and kidnapping) threat. As a "tomboy" who had trouble with being feminine growing up, I wish books like this and Roller Girl had been around for me then. I think this will be an important book for the younger comic-book reading generation.I was lucky to read the galley for this, a mostly a black and white version, and I imagine the full-color version will be so much better when it comes out. Looking forward to seeing it on the shelves.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story that I picked up because it was about witchcraft. I personally am drawn to books about witchcraft, and this book was interesting. I liked the plot, and would recommend this to anyone that likes Fantasy, Comic Books, and stories about someone that wants to be something they can't.The plot really stood out to me, and it was interesting that the story is told from a boy's point of view, trying to be something that girls usually would be. It made me think about how it was harder to b This is a story that I picked up because it was about witchcraft. I personally am drawn to books about witchcraft, and this book was interesting. I liked the plot, and would recommend this to anyone that likes Fantasy, Comic Books, and stories about someone that wants to be something they can't.The plot really stood out to me, and it was interesting that the story is told from a boy's point of view, trying to be something that girls usually would be. It made me think about how it was harder to be a boy who wants to act like a girl, rather than a girl who wants to act like a boy. I like the art, and think that the story overall was nice.This was a bit fast-paced for my taste, and I read it in 30 minutes or so. I think maybe there isn't as much character development as there could be, but it was still appropriate for child readers. Overall, this was a fast but nice read.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    **4.5 Stars**ARC received for review from BEA.This is an excellent middle-lit graphic novel about a boy who wants to be a witch like his sisters. Only, in his world boys are shape shifters and girls are witches; everything about the other is kept secret. But Aster spies on the girls' classes and learns some of the secret spells; and guess what.... he is good at it. I really enjoyed the fact that this is a beautiful and subtle way of bringing up the important topic of finding ones identity. It is **4.5 Stars**ARC received for review from BEA.This is an excellent middle-lit graphic novel about a boy who wants to be a witch like his sisters. Only, in his world boys are shape shifters and girls are witches; everything about the other is kept secret. But Aster spies on the girls' classes and learns some of the secret spells; and guess what.... he is good at it. I really enjoyed the fact that this is a beautiful and subtle way of bringing up the important topic of finding ones identity. It is a reminder that it is ok to be who you are and that you will find people who support you in your decisions and accept you for who you are.
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  • Marisa
    January 1, 1970
    The only bad thing about this graphic novel was that it ended so soon! Boys are trained to be shifters, girls are trained to be witches. That is how it has been and will be.Until Aster.A boy who can't find his shifter animal, yet all he wants to do it listen to the girls' witch lessons. When an evil creature threatens his home and family, Aster might be the only one who can save day.Beautiful story about a boy just trying to find his place and get acceptance from what he knows is true on the ins The only bad thing about this graphic novel was that it ended so soon! Boys are trained to be shifters, girls are trained to be witches. That is how it has been and will be.Until Aster.A boy who can't find his shifter animal, yet all he wants to do it listen to the girls' witch lessons. When an evil creature threatens his home and family, Aster might be the only one who can save day.Beautiful story about a boy just trying to find his place and get acceptance from what he knows is true on the inside. Great magical story, tying the topic of knowing who you are and getting others to recognize.Great for grades 4 and up.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I read an advance copy so only the first 16 pages were in color but I did love getting a peek at how the graphic novel will look in it's finished form. Aster's entire family has magical powers. The boys are shapeshifters and the girls are witches but Aster wants to be a witch and not a shapeshifter. I wish more than one adult recognized Aster's abilities for witchcraft and encouraged him to do what he's good at. I liked Aster and Charlie's friendship even though I cringed at the thought of him h I read an advance copy so only the first 16 pages were in color but I did love getting a peek at how the graphic novel will look in it's finished form. Aster's entire family has magical powers. The boys are shapeshifters and the girls are witches but Aster wants to be a witch and not a shapeshifter. I wish more than one adult recognized Aster's abilities for witchcraft and encouraged him to do what he's good at. I liked Aster and Charlie's friendship even though I cringed at the thought of him helping her fix her broken leg because I've read Harry Potter one too many times to believe in a person's ability to heal bones :)
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Clever and adorable. Can't wait to see the finished full color version. In a family where boys become shape shifters and girls become witches, Aster feels the pull of witch magic and no urge to shift-which gets him grief from both sides. When his cousins start vanishing no one listens to him except for the non-magical girl who caught him practicing. Feels like a complete story, but I'd love to see more of Aster and Charlie. I mean, Aster is a sweetie doing what no one else can, but Charlie is ju Clever and adorable. Can't wait to see the finished full color version. In a family where boys become shape shifters and girls become witches, Aster feels the pull of witch magic and no urge to shift-which gets him grief from both sides. When his cousins start vanishing no one listens to him except for the non-magical girl who caught him practicing. Feels like a complete story, but I'd love to see more of Aster and Charlie. I mean, Aster is a sweetie doing what no one else can, but Charlie is just plain pragmatic awesomeness.(A bit of a feel of Ursula Vernon's work, and I mean that as an absolute compliment.)
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  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    I got a copy of this book at BEA and while I was looking forward to it, I was a bit disappointed. The story had an interesting set up, but it felt like something that could have developed over a few books instead of being truncated into one. I found some of the foreshadowing to be too obvious and the responses from characters to be canned and too quick to have an opinion and too fast reversed the opinion to fit the story. I also found there to be too much allegory between a boy preferring "girl" I got a copy of this book at BEA and while I was looking forward to it, I was a bit disappointed. The story had an interesting set up, but it felt like something that could have developed over a few books instead of being truncated into one. I found some of the foreshadowing to be too obvious and the responses from characters to be canned and too quick to have an opinion and too fast reversed the opinion to fit the story. I also found there to be too much allegory between a boy preferring "girl" magic and the message of acceptance that went with it. The underlying message of gender acceptance seemed too heavy handed and in my opinion, took away much of the story.
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  • Ashlie Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this story with a message that boils down very neatly to "be who you are, even if it goes against the roles laid out for you." A family with magic that sticks tightly to gender roles is confronted by an outside evil, and the key to their safety lies in a boy who has always longed to cultivate his gift for "female" magic. My biggest complaint was that it read a little short- I wanted more of the magical word and the MC's interactions with his human friend. Definitely adding this to my e I enjoyed this story with a message that boils down very neatly to "be who you are, even if it goes against the roles laid out for you." A family with magic that sticks tightly to gender roles is confronted by an outside evil, and the key to their safety lies in a boy who has always longed to cultivate his gift for "female" magic. My biggest complaint was that it read a little short- I wanted more of the magical word and the MC's interactions with his human friend. Definitely adding this to my elementary school library!
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  • Z
    January 1, 1970
    This book is hands down incredible. I loved every second so much, from the amazing drawings to the fast plot to the great characters. Witch Boy does so much to push the boundaries of gender norms, another facet of this book I absolutely love. Seriously. Go buy this when it comes out. The copy I read didn't even have color for half of it but I was still incredible. Would give it more stars if I could.
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    Aster is supposed to be a shapeshifter like the rest of the men, but he wants to study witchery with the women. Plus, he has a talent for it! I loved the way the author gave Aster a way to talk about everything outside of his family and nothing insanely bad happened. I would happily read more about Aster's future adventures as they break down the gender barriers in this society. I read an advance copy of this and can't wait to see it all in full color.
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  • Stephanie Tournas
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet and smart story about a boy who wants to do the magic that his society reserves for girls only. Boys are supposed to be shapeshifters, girls are groomed to become witches. Aster wants to learn what the girls learn, and everyone makes fun of him. He makes a friend in a non-magical girl who, like Aster, doesn't conform. And finally his skills, learned on the sly, help save the day.
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  • Clare Vaughn
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite kind of story, where witches kick ass and gender norms eat grass (badum-che). The characters are also fantastic, easily relatable and full of depth despite their short showtime. Incredibly fun to read, with a remarkably poignant and relevant plot. Can't wait to see the final thing in full color, as it's already gorgeous. All my love to this incredible author and illustrator.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This was okay but holy cow it was not subtle. I don't mind that in some cases but there wasn't enough world building in this book to back it up. In a book where ALL of the tension comes from the fact that boys can't be witches I need a little more than "that's the way it's always been" when it comes to internal logic.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    A nice book about being different from those around you set in a unique world of magic and mystery. Characters were very memorable and fairly realistic. Should be a hit with the Telegemeier set. There were a few small plot holes, but overall well done! Hope we continue to get more stories like this for young readers. Can't wait to see the full color version.
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