October is the month of the Hag, the shadow side of the Wise Woman or Crone. In other words, October’s poster character is the stereotypical Witch. Rarely do we see a young witch, a kind, helpful witch, a male witch, or a beloved witch. Often absent during the Season of the Witch are stories told from the witch’s perspective. Below are three fabulous, magical books that pass my personal witches’ anti-defamation standard.
1. Room on the Broom
By Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Suitable for preschool to 2ndgrade, but adults will love this read aloud/read along book, too.
Currently #1 in Children’s Literature, Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books, and Children’s Halloween Books, Room on the Broom is a delightfully written and illustrated rhyming story of a generous witch and the animals that help her when the wind blows away her hat, bow, and wand.
2. The Girl Who Drank The Moon (Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal)
By Kelly Barnhill
Suitable for grade levels 5-9, but young adults and adults will also love it.
Among its many accolades: Chosen as Best Book of 2016 by numerous libraries, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2016, A Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2016, and a 2017 BooklistYouth Editors’ Choice.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon is an enchanting tale with multiple, entwined plot lines that are threaded together with love, fantasy, wanting, magic, wonder, and tragedy. From the first plot twist, I fell in love with Barnhill’s imperfect, touching, and compelling characters. I eagerly anticipate reading her other books.
3. Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years)
By Gregory Maguire
Maguire’s Wicked stunned my world. This origin story, a re-telling of L. Frank Baum’s classic Oz tale from the witch’s point of view, had me cheering first for the novel, then later for the Tony Award-winning musical it spawned. Time-tested, Wicked is the perfect backstory to see you through quarantine and beyond.