The Witch Boy

The Witch Boy

Book - 2017
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From the illustrator of the web comic Strong Female Protagonist comes a debut middle-grade graphic novel about family, identity, courage -- and magic.


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.

Publisher: New York : Graphix, 2017
ISBN: 9781338089516
Branch Call Number: J COMIC WIT
Characteristics: 210 p. :,chiefly col. ill. ;,24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Book with a lion, a witch or a wardrobe; graphic novel, book with a mystery

In Aster's family, boys become shapeshifters and girls become witches. That is the way that is has always been. But when a strange malevolent force starts to possess the boys in the family, Aster decides to break some rules.


From the critics


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JCLEmmaF Oct 25, 2018

Beautifully illustrated comic about a community in which gender roles dictate the type of magic one embodies, and a boy who exists outside of the norm. I really enjoyed this read, especially compared to many comics that struggle to allow the story and dialogue to come across smoothly. I also loved that each gender's powers were viewed as strong and necessary; one was not necessarily portrayed as better than the other.
I'm curious about deepening the world building, and also hearing about possibly Native influences. Just curious.

k
Kyanite
Oct 11, 2018

A bit on the nose about gender stereotypes/ gender identity for me as an adult reader (it's really not subtle), but it went over well with the kids. Decent illustrations and nice use of colour.

j
jjtastyscoops
Aug 20, 2018

WooHoo! Boys can be witches too!
This is a colourful little story that teaches boys its ok to do 'girly' stuff.

s
saina2008
Aug 17, 2018

I really liked this book! It was really nice. It was magical and i liked it.

e
emupeanut
Aug 13, 2018

The illustrations are amazing and it’s an exciting book about Asters life wanting to be a witch trying to tell people that he’s a witch. The book is just overall interesting and amazing and I would definitely recommend it

ArapahoeLauraRose Aug 07, 2018

This book was wonderful! Aster's journey into witchery is a magic mirror into the lives of so many boys and girls with unexpected talents. Like so many things in our world, witchery isn't "for girls" and shape-shifting "for boys." I hope that we can all find Aster's courage to be who we really are! (And that our families learn how to support us!)

ArapahoeJennieB Jul 25, 2018

Aster is a boy who is also a witch. The only problem? In his magical world, girls are supposed to be witches, and boys shape shifters. Aster cannot help who he is though. Meanwhile a demon is attacking his male cousins, and Aster thinks he's the only one who can save them, but he in order to do so, he must defy his community's gender stereotypes and perform magic.

A wonderful tale about bucking gender stereotypes, and being who you were meant to be!

a
aromalove06
Jul 08, 2018

Aster, the boy who wants to learn witchery when he is forbidden, is lonely. In his family tradition, girls only learn about witchery and boys only learn about shapeshifting. The reason they are so strict to Aster is that his grandmother's brother once was like him, who likes witchery, and because of their family denying him, he turned into a monster. Aster's family didn't want it to make the same mistakes. With many hard obstacles Aster went through, he found out that the monster who turned his cousin into another monster was .......
This book is really enjoyable and fun. I like it, especially when he becomes friend with a girl who's not a witch or a shapeshifter. They learn many things together and solve the dangerous thing that was happening. After he found his true identity, he started learning what his heart truly desires and what he loved to do.

n
NikaNeely2007
Jun 25, 2018

This is one of the best novels I have ever read! for me it's really hard to find a book I haven't read. So when I heard about this book I had to read it. This book is about a young boy named Aster and his family boys are shape shifter and girls are witches. But Aster doesn't want to be a shape shifter he want to learn witchcraft. So he tries to learn it in secret but he gets caught a lot. But when the boys in his family start getting kidnapped by a demon. Aster must use witchcraft to stop the demon.

s
skyekilaen
Feb 28, 2018

Fairly straightforward but heartfelt tale about the toxicity of rigid gender roles, with lovely art because Molly Knox Ostertag is amazing. It's the story of Aster, a boy growing up in a society where women do magic and men shapeshift, and that's that. Except it isn't, because Aster does magic and doesn't shapeshift. What I particularly appreciated: (a) Aster's confidence-building friendship with a girl outside his community who also doesn't follow gender norms, (b) The diversity of skin color among the magical community, and (c) the magic system, because I would love to talk to a tree with a cool-looking symbol and have it give me an apple. The resolution with Aster's parents was bittersweet but realistic given that they're fundamentally good people but severely blindered by their culture. Hopefully every library in the entire country has this on the shelves, it's both entertaining and sorely needed.

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Kyanite
Oct 11, 2018

Kyanite thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

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blue_zebu_115
Apr 02, 2018

blue_zebu_115 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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violet_penguin_924
Mar 26, 2018

violet_penguin_924 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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MelissaBee
Feb 02, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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