They say you write what you want to read, and I’m no exception. I love some goodold-fashioned (and newly imagined) witchy magic at any time of year but particularly as we enjoy the days leading up to Halloween. No matter your age, here are some fabulous witchy tales to enjoy this month. (I didn’t include the Harry Potter series because it’s a given that these books should lead any list in the witching/wizarding world.)
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler
The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? Copy And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?
Gritch the Witch is grouchy, grumpy, and very hungry. The only thing that could make her happy is something extra special for lunch, and that is: Piggie Pie! Gritch zooms off on her broomstick to find eight plump piggies – where else? – on Old MacDonald’s Farm. Cleverly disguised pigs impersonate ducks, chickens, a cow, and Old MacDonald himself, as this uproarious, quick-paced story builds to an ironically surprising conclusion. Wacky, hip, and illustrated with bold, bright paintings, “Piggie Pie” adds a new twist to an old fairy-tale scene.
Once there was a witch who longed for pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the pumpkin she had grown from a seed became so big she simply couldn’t get it off the vine. Although “she pulled and she tugged and she pulled…that pumpkin just sat.”
Along came a ghost. “I am bigger than you and stronger, too,” said he. “Let me try.”
Well, the witch wanted that whole pumpkin for herself. But she needed help – Halloween was just hours away…
With the rhythm and repetition that children love, Erica Silverman tells a rollicking story about a witch who, through her encounter with a ghost and other spooky creatures, discovers both the value of cooperating and the joy of sharing. S.D. Schindler brings this captivating crew to life in spirited paintings that are as warm as they are funny.
This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!
Mildred Hubble is starting her first year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches — and making a mess of it! She can’t ride her broomstick without crashing, she’s always getting her spells mixed up, and worst of all, the teacher’s pet, Ethel, has just become her sworn enemy.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch. Her non-gifted mother has been supportive, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—a warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who exiles her to “Hex Hall”, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fairies, and shape-shifters. By the end of her first day, Sophie has three new enemies, a futile crush on a warlock, a tagalong ghost, and a vampire roommate. Worse, Sophie soon learns that an unknown predator has been attacking students. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries converges, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discovery that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan’s power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong, almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her … secrets that could destroy them both.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…
In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life.
Cousins O’Dwyer Series by Nora Roberts (Dark Witch, Shadow Spell, Blood Magick)
From Book 1: With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…