Title: The Witch Boy (The Witch Boy #1)
Author: Molly Ostertag
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Release Date: October 28, 2017
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.
This story looks at gender norms within a magical setting.
In this society, all of the girls are witches and all of the boys are shapeshifters. There are no exceptions. Aster wants to be a witch so he spies on the girls’ training. He gets caught many times but he persists. He hasn’t found the animal he will have to shape shift into yet, and he wants to learn magic. However, things take a dark turn when the boys start to go missing while searching for their shapeshifting animal.
I liked the way that this story explored gender norms. Just because the girls were supposed to be witches, doesn’t mean that Aster can’t join them. He shouldn’t be penalized for being a boy. This is true in real life where things are divided by gender, starting with baby clothes and toys. Dolls are for girls and trucks are for boys. However, these stereotypes are wrong and limiting to children.
The ending of this book was great and surprising. I loved this story!
What to read next:
The Hidden Witch (The Witch Boy #2) by Molly Ostertag
The Nameless City (The Nameless City #1) by Faith Erin Hicks
Have you read The Witch Boy? What did you think of it?