Goodreads: Witches of Brooklyn
Series: Witches of Brooklyn #1
After her mother’s death, Effie goes to live with her aunts in Brooklyn. But they’re a little weird. Could it be they are really witches? And, if they are, could Effie be one, too?
Witches of Brooklyn is a delightful middle grade graphic novel about a young girl discovering that her aunts may actually be witches! When her mother dies, Effie goes to live with her family she never knew. They’re definitely a bit weird, but she never suspects that their jobs as herbalists and acupuncturists are actually a way to disguise the fact that they have magic powers! But then someone shows up on their doorstep, apparently having been cursed, and Effie’s aunts may not have the solution. Witches of Brooklyn combines the elements of a coming-of-age tale with a bit of magic to create a tale sure to enthrall readers from the start.
One of the great strengths of Witches of Brooklyn is the characters. Some of them may be considered a bit odd, but the book treats each one with dignity and respect. There is room for everyone in Effie’s world and, though the characters may have disagreements, these are never based upon how a character dresses or looks, or what they enjoy. Even the one character who acts like an entitled snob is taken seriously by the others and treated kindly, something which ultimately helps her to learn and grow. I loved how welcoming Effie’s friends and family are! It made me wish I could visit her world.
The illustrations, too, drew me in. They are perfect for the story, having a kid-friendly feeling to them, but also utilizing a color palette that suggests magic and mystery, without being too scary. Illustrations are a large part of what will make me decide to pick up a graphic novel. These did the job of attracting me to the book, and then keeping me glued to the pages.
Finally, the plot kept me engaged. Like Effie, I wanted to figure out what her aunts were all about. And then I became interested in their mystery. Why can’t they figure out how to lift the curse? Who put it there? Will this person be a friend or a foe? Combined with this sense of drama, however, is a sense of whimsy. There’s a talking suit of armor who acts as a librarian. There’s the character who keeps baking for everyone, often with comedic timing. And there’s the babysitter who has unusual fashion sense, but who clearly has a big heart. These light moments balanced out the little bit of darkness that could have stemmed from the idea of someone being cursed, keeping the book more magical than scary.
Witches of Brooklyn is only the first book in a series, but it is the perfect book to get readers hooked! I know I’ll be keeping my eyes out for the sequel.