Goodreads: The Okay Witch
Publication Date: September 2019
When thirteen-year-old Moth Hush discovers that she comes from a line of witches, she is ecstatic. But her mom fears the town’s tradition of witch hunting and refuses to teach Moth how to use her powers. Can Moth prove that things have changed? Or is she better off hiding her magic from the world?
The Okay Witch is an okay book. I enjoyed reading about Moth’s discovery of her witch’s powers and how it connects to her town’s sordid history of witch hunting (obviously based on Salem, Massachusetts). The plot line is not particularly original and I do not feel that Emma Steinkellner really adds anything new or interesting to this common coming-of-age story. Still, The Okay Witch is an enjoyable way to pass a few hours reading.
To draw me in, a graphic novel must have both a compelling, well-written story and beautiful artwork. The Okay Witch does not particularly have either of these things. The story if solid, but not amazing. The artwork, meanwhile, leaves a lot to be desired–at least for me. I personally find the style a little off-putting and am really quite disturbed in particular by the drawing of the noses. The noses, you see, do not exactly exist as noses per se. Rather, they are darker smudges in the middle of faces. This leads the eye directly to the nose in every panel. It is both bizarre and distracting. To me, a book that emphasizes noses at the cost of the narrative just is not going to be a five-star read.
If you are able to see past the noses, The Okay Witch presents a rather predictable story line about a girl who wants to be a witch, is thwarted by her fearful mother, rebels, then shows everyone that she is right and her mother is wrong. It’s not an engrossing read, since everyone knows what’s going to happen. But it’s a likable enough plot–which is presumably why it’s been done so many times. Younger readers in particular will probably enjoy it, since stories where the children are right are naturally appealing to that demographic. Everyone likes to be taken seriously and to be heard.
The Okay Witch is a nice graphic novel, which may be the strongest praise I can offer. Since graphic novels for tweens are so popular right now, however, it really does not have to be spectacular to go flying off the shelves. Most young readers seem eager for any new graphic novels so, if this is available, they will probably read and like it.