Snapdragon, who goes by Snap, is kind of a loner who doesn't believe in witches and magic like other kids in town. But even she's slightly nervous when she visits the Town Witch to rescue her dog. It turns out that the grumpy Town Witch, whose name is actually Jacks, isn't so bad at all and has actually fixed up Snap's dog. Snap is instantly taken with Jacks' mysterious and strange ways and decides to enter into a deal with her. She'll help Jacks in her "work" if Jacks will help Snap care for some baby possums she found. As they spend time together, Snap starts rethinking the possibility of witches and learns that she and Jacks have more in common than she ever could have imagined.
This graphic novel surprised me in so many ways and was a joy to read! The dark mysterious tone and slightly ghoulish details of Jacks' work contrasted with Snaps' humor and energy. It could have easily been a spooky book or one that focused on the not-so-happy things in life, but it wasn't. As Snap gets to know Jacks, she opens up in other areas of her life, meeting and befriending Lu, a transgender girl at school. The acceptance that Lu and Jacks are met with is lovely and parallels Snap's embrace and curiosity of the magic that she and Jacks hold.
Readers who like witchy, slightly creepy, and magical reads similar to The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag, The Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, or The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill will adore Snapdragon. Suggested for readers 9-12 years old.
Reviewed by Ginny H., Community Engagement Librarian