The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
Moth Hush is just your average ordinary girl who feels really out of place in her small coastal Massachusetts town—and she discovers that part of her feelings are because she’s a witch. Witches and magic exist, and they’re not the evil beings that her hometown claims they are.
Okay this was just too stinking adorable. So cute. And this is not biased by my thinking that all people-turned-super-fluffy-cats are just precious.
From the adorable illustrations to the very relatable feelings of not fitting in (I’m saying this from a general “I’m weird and kids don’t like me,” without the added feelings of people a person of color in a town that has racist asshat kids like Moth experiences), this is just a fantastic book with lots of magic and witches and history.
And history is a big part of the story, from witch-hunting and the vilification of witches and people who were differentor didn’t fit into the white Puritan norm, to those in present day times who had trouble fitting in as well. And while history is very much written by the victors, there are ways to reconnect to the past and bring back the true history of what actually happened. So there’s definitely a deeper subtext to the story on top of being really, really cute.
Moth is hilarious (as are the illustrations), and her reactions are 100% what I would expect from someone who always felt different and just discovered why.
And bonus points for the huge cast of marginalized peoples. In addition to Moth, her mom and her grandmother, there are other people of color, and a very key gay couple that just made my eyes tear up (although I will not leave a mouse for my wife because ew—plus I think either the cat or dog would eat it before she came home anyways).
So. Ostracization. History. The deep discomfort of producing middle grade plays about a reimagined historical past. Friendship. Betrayal. Belonging. Facing the crimes of your ancestors. Magic. And one adorably fluffy talking Jewish cat.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
The Okay Witch releases 3 September 2019 from Aladdin Press