BOOK RIOT -- Nova Huang is a witchcraft expert. She works at her grandma's bookshop, a special one that loans out spell books and helps unearth mysteries in their supernatural town. When exploring such a mystery, she finds her childhood crush Tam, who is in a bit of trouble. Together, they rekindle their friendship (and maybe more?) as they try to stop cults, demons, and other otherworldly foes. Charming, inclusive, and so much fun.
BOOKLIST -- Teen witch Nova works at the bookstore run by her grandmothers (who are also witches) and helps their town handle magical problems. One night, she discovers a horse demon battling a white wolf-who turns out to be her childhood friend Tam, a werewolf who moved away years before. Reunited, they rekindle their mutual crush and, as a nefarious cult manipulates Tam for dark purposes, the teens experiment with love and magic as they rediscover themselves in their coming-of-age. Walker and Xu offer a wonderfully cozy, magical romance that also happens to be a cornucopia of beautiful representation. Nova and Tam are Chinese American; Tam is non-binary, using they pronouns; Nova is hard-of-hearing, relying on hearing aids; her nanas are an irresistible pairing, as warm as they are powerful; and everyone in Nova's life models an ideal support system that will bring hope to many readers. While the romantic tension takes center stage, there's enough sorcery here to please aspiring witches. Throw in refreshingly natural dialogue and relatable family drama, and you've got a must-have for all graphic-novel collections.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (STARRED) -- Gr 7 Up-Nova is a small-town witch, fulfilling her apprenticeship at her grandmothers' New England bookshop. When rumors surface of a white wolf wandering the forest, Nova knows it's her long-lost werewolf friend Tam. Nova goes to find them, only to encounter a terrifying demon who's possessing a neighbor's horse-and who can't be defeated by any magic she knows. The two get away, and Nova and her grandmothers take in Tam. With their combined witch and wolf magic, Nova and Tam must work together to defeat this demon, all while their undeniable chemistry rekindles their long-dormant mutual crush. Xu and Walker have created a charming, magical tale. Tam and Nova are multifaceted, with developed backstories and motivations. Their shared identities (they are both Chinese American and queer) are integral to their characters; Tam's nonbinary identity and Nova's hearing impairment are similarly authentic. Xu's illustrations infuse the spells and witchcraft with a dynamic, exhilarating magic. There is some mature language, some violence, and a gentle romance. VERDICT This sweet, spellbinding story will appeal to fans of magic and romance.-Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn
About the Author
Suzanne Walker is a Chicago-based writer and editor. Her academic work has been published in Classical World and Barriers and Belonging. She has spoken widely on topics ranging from disability representation in sci-fi/fantasy to applying the themes of science fiction to everyday political activism. Wendy Xu is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist. Her work has been featured in Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology and as part of the New York Historical Society's Chinese in America exhibit.
Wendy Xu is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist with three upcoming graphic novels from Harper Collins. She is the co-creator of "Mooncakes", a young adult fantasy graphic novel published in 2019 from Lion Forge Comics, and part of it can be read on mooncakescomic.tumblr.com. Her work has been featured on Catapult, Barnes & Noble Sci-fi/Fantasy Blog, and Tor.com, among other places. You can find more art on her instagram: @artofwendyxu or on twitter: @angrygirLcomics