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The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow

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“A satisfying, brilliant sequel, solidifying Steinkellner’s reputation as a graphic novelist to watch.” —School Library Journal (starred review) In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgeme “A satisfying, brilliant sequel, solidifying Steinkellner’s reputation as a graphic novelist to watch.” —School Library Journal (starred review) In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag! Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself—one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?


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“A satisfying, brilliant sequel, solidifying Steinkellner’s reputation as a graphic novelist to watch.” —School Library Journal (starred review) In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgeme “A satisfying, brilliant sequel, solidifying Steinkellner’s reputation as a graphic novelist to watch.” —School Library Journal (starred review) In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag! Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself—one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?

30 review for The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Mocked by her classmates on social media, our eighth-grade witch turns to a magic wish charm to boost her popularity at school, and we all know how wishes go. Though the plot may be predictable, the characters and dialogue really clicked with me this time, showing much improvement over the first volume, just making me happy and eager to see what might happen during the next go round.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    My daughter and I agree: This is even better than the first! I love how Moth has to come to terms with being a witch, and still being bullied at school. And I love her solution to it. And it's just flat out hilarious and fun! My daughter and I agree: This is even better than the first! I love how Moth has to come to terms with being a witch, and still being bullied at school. And I love her solution to it. And it's just flat out hilarious and fun!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    A ya graphic novel sequel that lives up to the promise of the first book. The okay witch series is about discovering who you are and finding your way as an outsider; this volume explores the temptation of changing who you are and giving in to (literal) tempting demons to get along with the mainstream. While I still wish the rules of magic were a little more fleshed out, the characters are great and the lessons are just as good. **Thanks to the artist, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in e A ya graphic novel sequel that lives up to the promise of the first book. The okay witch series is about discovering who you are and finding your way as an outsider; this volume explores the temptation of changing who you are and giving in to (literal) tempting demons to get along with the mainstream. While I still wish the rules of magic were a little more fleshed out, the characters are great and the lessons are just as good. **Thanks to the artist, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    A middle-schooler witch learns that magic can't always solve her problems. Steinkellner portrays Moth's solution to bullying, which exists beyond the surface-level advice of "don't let them get to you," or "stand up for yourself", and challenges the flawed trope of nerdy-girl-takes-nerdy-disguise-off-and-is-actually-cool-girl-all-along to solve all her problems, with tender understanding and expertise. This book acknowledges that bullying is not often so random as it is systemic, prolonged, and s A middle-schooler witch learns that magic can't always solve her problems. Steinkellner portrays Moth's solution to bullying, which exists beyond the surface-level advice of "don't let them get to you," or "stand up for yourself", and challenges the flawed trope of nerdy-girl-takes-nerdy-disguise-off-and-is-actually-cool-girl-all-along to solve all her problems, with tender understanding and expertise. This book acknowledges that bullying is not often so random as it is systemic, prolonged, and sometimes influenced by social factors like racism, xenophobia, ableism, et al. By taking this approach, Moth's feelings are expressed and validated (and hopefully, readers will take note). I think this is one of the better, more helpful, books about dealing with bullying that I've read recently, and I think kids will feel seen, and perhaps more importantly, empowered. I am so happy to have picked up (and be sent!) this story about witches, friendship, and all the tough experiences of middle school. And with a yiddish-speaking (queer coded? eye emoji?) Cat? A CENTURIES OLD COOL MASTER WITCH GRANDMOTHER?? I love it ARC from Aladdin books (Simon & Schuster) through my place of work, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Back in Founder’s Bluff, it’s time to return to school after a vacation and the events of book one. The kids step up their bullying of Moth, and much as her mom and Charlie care for her, they don’t fully appreciate how badly Moth has wanted to be accepted by her classmates and how their unkind words and many aggressions hurt and devalue her. It’s not enough to just laugh it off or ignore it because it doesn’t stop, especially as it’s not just what Moth wears, or likes, but also her skin colour an Back in Founder’s Bluff, it’s time to return to school after a vacation and the events of book one. The kids step up their bullying of Moth, and much as her mom and Charlie care for her, they don’t fully appreciate how badly Moth has wanted to be accepted by her classmates and how their unkind words and many aggressions hurt and devalue her. It’s not enough to just laugh it off or ignore it because it doesn’t stop, especially as it’s not just what Moth wears, or likes, but also her skin colour and single parent family, and anything else her classmates can pick on. Is it really surprising that her pain and hurt overrule her understanding of the downsides of using the magical necklace? The artwork is great again, and I love the way Emma Steinkeller deals with bullying, showing its effects and possible causes, including racism, classism, etc.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Guess I'm in the minority. The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow did not meet the standard set by its predecessor, The Okay Witch, an almost 5-star read for me. There was a recap from the first book, but I still felt a little lost. And there were a lot of threads here that didn't fit together as well as the multitude of threads did in the initial story. If that makes sense? Plus the addition of several new characters to take up space, like Mr. Gorski-Garcia. (I finally figured out who he reminds Guess I'm in the minority. The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow did not meet the standard set by its predecessor, The Okay Witch, an almost 5-star read for me. There was a recap from the first book, but I still felt a little lost. And there were a lot of threads here that didn't fit together as well as the multitude of threads did in the initial story. If that makes sense? Plus the addition of several new characters to take up space, like Mr. Gorski-Garcia. (I finally figured out who he reminds me of - Bob in Stranger Things! He's dating a main character's mom, gets dragged into the weird paranormal stuff, etc. Totally vibes the same.) My favorite part of this series is when it addresses race and the inequality faced by the Hush women (and others like them, i.e. witches) in the past and present. That wasn't as big a theme here, just a little at the beginning and then it popped up right at the end. I wish there was more! All in all, a bit of a disappointment, but I'm glad we got to revisit Moth and her world. P.S. lemme guess, if there's a third installment, it'll focus on Moth's "dead" dad, right? Kind of reminds me of the progression in the Carpe Demon series...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steff Fox

    Oh my goodness, this was such an amazing read with a brilliant commentary! I’m so impressed with this book, sequel to the original The Okay Witch. This is definitely a story worth reading and one I imagine many young readers will relate to and learn a lot from. It’s even better than the first book! Full review to come.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jay G

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* Moth Hush is getting used to the discovery that she is a witch, but the kids at school are still bullying her any chance they get. Things get worse when her mom starts dating one of her teachers. Wanting to be liked by her peers, she takes a magical necklace from her grandmother, which gives her the abi Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* Moth Hush is getting used to the discovery that she is a witch, but the kids at school are still bullying her any chance they get. Things get worse when her mom starts dating one of her teachers. Wanting to be liked by her peers, she takes a magical necklace from her grandmother, which gives her the ability to emulate somebody else. Someone cooler, and more confident than she could ever be. Similar to the first book, this was a cute middle grade graphic novel about discovering who you are and that its okay to be different. The book begins with a recap of the first book, so you can read this without reading the first book and still understand the overall gist of the book. I enjoyed the social commentary in this and the way a lot of it is handled in the end. Mr. Laszlo, the talking cat, is still my favourite part of the story. BUT, Mr. Gor-Gar, the dorky teacher Moth's mother begins to date is a close second. Also a big fan of the art style and colours used! Overall, I think this is a cute read that middle schoolers will truly enjoy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    Just when Moth Hush thought being a witch would solve all her problems, life lets her know that is not the case. She’s still being bullied at school and only has one friend, Charlie. When the bullying meets new heights on the first day back at school, Moth has had enough and she’s ready change everything when she finds a magical charm. What’s the use of magic if she can’t use it to help her fit in with her peers? I loved the first book, so I was extremely excited when I heard that it was getting Just when Moth Hush thought being a witch would solve all her problems, life lets her know that is not the case. She’s still being bullied at school and only has one friend, Charlie. When the bullying meets new heights on the first day back at school, Moth has had enough and she’s ready change everything when she finds a magical charm. What’s the use of magic if she can’t use it to help her fit in with her peers? I loved the first book, so I was extremely excited when I heard that it was getting a second installment. I’ll be even more excited if it turns into a several book series because I’d love to see Moth’s adventures as she faces different problems. Plus, I’d love to continue learning more about her family as the series continues if that’s something that happens. This time around, we follow Moth as she tries to face her bullies once and for all. Of course, using magic to create a version of herself that is accepted by her peers goes south when it turns out the magical charm is revealed to be a curse. Through this excellent story, the story teaches its readers that changing yourself for other people doesn’t always give you the intended results. We see the other side of what Moth’s bullies really think about her even after starting to accept her in addition to the magical consequences of her choices. I also liked that we saw how four different people dealt with their different situations with not being accepted by society, and that each had a different outcome. One of them had quite a dramatic supernatural outcome that clearly represented what could happen after changing who you are long-term. I thought the moral of the story was excellently weaved with magic. I’m excited to see how this story continues should the series continue. I’ve enjoyed both books so much. I’ve got my fingers crossed that there’s a third installment at some point because Emma Steinkellner has developed such a stellar story with wonderful characters.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Seriously cute and there was a great message! I liked seeing more of Peter in this one. He was funny. And Mr. Gorski-Garcia was great. This is such a cute series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    orangerful

    I was so happy to find that Moth Hush was back with another adventure! After everything that happened at the end of the first book, Moth is just trying to fit in. She's learning some magic but knows not to practice outside of her house. But the kids at school are being...well, middle schoolers. She both can't stand the "cool" crowd but also longs to be a part of it. And then she finds the enchanted necklace... A great story and Moth learns all the right lessons at the end. I can't wait to see wha I was so happy to find that Moth Hush was back with another adventure! After everything that happened at the end of the first book, Moth is just trying to fit in. She's learning some magic but knows not to practice outside of her house. But the kids at school are being...well, middle schoolers. She both can't stand the "cool" crowd but also longs to be a part of it. And then she finds the enchanted necklace... A great story and Moth learns all the right lessons at the end. I can't wait to see what she gets up to next!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Pretty much I want Moth's wardrobe, I think it's adorable and her quirkiness is what I love about her but what her classmates loath and try to make fun of her at every turn-including when she shows up in an almost identical winter vest as her teacher who everyone thinks is a dweeb anyway (plus he ends up dating Moth's mom in this book too). But Moth is battling that anxiousness of middle grade that is navigating friendships and bullying, being yourself while trying to fit in and be liked. There's Pretty much I want Moth's wardrobe, I think it's adorable and her quirkiness is what I love about her but what her classmates loath and try to make fun of her at every turn-including when she shows up in an almost identical winter vest as her teacher who everyone thinks is a dweeb anyway (plus he ends up dating Moth's mom in this book too). But Moth is battling that anxiousness of middle grade that is navigating friendships and bullying, being yourself while trying to fit in and be liked. There's witchiness and a cat, her adorable mother and her straight-as-an-arrow witch grandmother, and a whole lot of hijinks before Moth learns to stand up for herself. The colors, Moth's wardrobe, Moth's best friend, her family, all make it a fun series to adore. It's a perfect graphic novel format choice.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Moth, of the Okay Witch, returns in this one which is heavy on bullying, and how it makes you feel. Moth hates it so much she would rather use magic to gain the confidence to talk back to the bullies. She also uses this same magic to call out the paeople who just stand by and let the bullies say what they are saying. Too bad there is a price to pay for using this sort of magic, in this case a demon that will take over your body. Good story. And good examples of what to say to bullies. I also loved Moth, of the Okay Witch, returns in this one which is heavy on bullying, and how it makes you feel. Moth hates it so much she would rather use magic to gain the confidence to talk back to the bullies. She also uses this same magic to call out the paeople who just stand by and let the bullies say what they are saying. Too bad there is a price to pay for using this sort of magic, in this case a demon that will take over your body. Good story. And good examples of what to say to bullies. I also loved the talking cat liking a TV show that appeared to be a mix of Betwitched and Sabrina, the Teen Age witch, that is shown in the background throughout this novel. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Keisha | A Book Like You

    Emma Steinkellner has done it again! The first book in this series is still my favorite, but I really enjoyed the message in this one! I can’t wait to purchase a finished copy! *ARC provided by School Library Journal.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Breckenridge

    Representation. Inspiration. A hilarious talking cat. I LOVE THIS SERIES SOOOOO MUCH 💕💕💕💕

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] I loved this book so much! Even though I have not read the previous book, “The Okay Witch,” I had no trouble catching up, thanks to Mr. Laszlo, who gives us a recap. Firstly, I adored the storyline and thought it was superb! As someone bullied in school and found myself average, I always thought of possible ‘what if’ situations to quickly fix and famous with my peers. It was so exciting to see this portrayed in the tale, and I [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] I loved this book so much! Even though I have not read the previous book, “The Okay Witch,” I had no trouble catching up, thanks to Mr. Laszlo, who gives us a recap. Firstly, I adored the storyline and thought it was superb! As someone bullied in school and found myself average, I always thought of possible ‘what if’ situations to quickly fix and famous with my peers. It was so exciting to see this portrayed in the tale, and I loved reading every page. The author provides a beautiful message on how to accept and love yourself, irrespective of your shortcomings. Moreover, all the characters are simply adorable! Moth is terrific in the lead, and I loved her family and friends. Charlie always sticks by her side, and I adored their friendship. Mr. Gor-Gar is a sweetheart, and it was fun to see Moth’s reaction when she finds out about her mom. I also loved Peter and hope he has his spin-off series where he experiences the modern world. Furthermore, the illustrations are also excellent! I loved the bright colors and tone used to give the story a special touch. The character’s expressions are unique, and I loved some of the emotions that characters express. Probably the only thing I would have liked to see more of is Moth’s family history with her father. As I have not read the previous book, maybe we get more information there. I am going to pick out Book one to see how it all started! Overall, “The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow” is my favorite graphic novel of 2021 so far, and I cherished every moment of it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Moth and Charlie have had such a good winter break that they don't want to go back to school, but Moth's mother won't let her stay home even though she's just found out about her magic powers and traveled to her grandmother's realm, Hecate. Pike, who is descended from the founders of their town, is an enormous jerk who blows everything out of proportion and is relentless in his bullying of Moth. The other kids play along, although Moth hears a few girls who seem s E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Moth and Charlie have had such a good winter break that they don't want to go back to school, but Moth's mother won't let her stay home even though she's just found out about her magic powers and traveled to her grandmother's realm, Hecate. Pike, who is descended from the founders of their town, is an enormous jerk who blows everything out of proportion and is relentless in his bullying of Moth. The other kids play along, although Moth hears a few girls who seem sympathetic to her. When she travels to Hecate for a celebration, she is glad to see Peter, and finds an amulet called a nyklum. It is supposed to absorb the traits that Moth admires from other people and transfer those things to Moth. She uses it when she goes back to school, and is able to stand up to Pike. Her mother is dating her English teacher, Mr. Gorski-Garcia, and the other students have given her a hard time about this, but wearing the nyklum gives Moth the self confidence she needs to stop hiding. She is nominated for Founderella, a time honored position at a local festival, and wants to keep using the amulet until after the winner is announced, but there is a catch. Will Moth be able to withstand the forces of evil with her limited magic, and find a way to get through middle school? Don't want to spoil the twists in the story by giving away too much of the plot! Strengths: Graphic novels usually are a bit light on storyline and character development, but this book had a lot of character backstory and development. The secondary characters are fun as well; Mr. Gorski-Garcia is delightfully goofy, and even the cat, Lazlo, has quite a history. There's a fair bit of social commentary as well, with the social hierarchy of the small New England town being called into question, and a significant discussion about the racial discrimination experienced by Moth's grandmother. The Founderella tradition is handled in an interesting fashion as well. On top of all of that, there is some fantastic magic at work. Weaknesses: The noses. Why do they always bother me so much? What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and glad to see a graphic novel with a girl of color on the cover. We're seeing more of these, but graphic novels have been less diverse than middle grade books in general.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    I absolutely loved the moral of this story! Moth is being bullied in school and turns to magic to solve her problems, but it's not all that it's cracked up to be. The commentary within this book is quite topical as it addresses the beauty standards that have plagues POCs of all colours, shapes, and sizes for years. The book also looks beyond simple platitudes and delves into the actual hurt that bullying causes its victims. More fun characters and beautiful art, I absolutely love this series! The a I absolutely loved the moral of this story! Moth is being bullied in school and turns to magic to solve her problems, but it's not all that it's cracked up to be. The commentary within this book is quite topical as it addresses the beauty standards that have plagues POCs of all colours, shapes, and sizes for years. The book also looks beyond simple platitudes and delves into the actual hurt that bullying causes its victims. More fun characters and beautiful art, I absolutely love this series! The art is detailed in such a way that Moth's emotions really come through the pages and the dialogue, as well as the subtle changes in her demeanour throughout the story. Absolutely fantastic! The only thing I hate is how long I'll have to wait for the next installment! ARC gifted by Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dylan

    one of the principles of working with/teaching/writing for children is that they can understand any concept as long as you approach it with generosity and clarity - this takes on weighty topics like finding your place, valuing your self, having moral integrity, and how cool having a talking cat would be, and does it all with generosity of feeling and clarity of understanding. delightful. cool. fantastic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    #1) The Okay Witch ★★★★☆ ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[racism, persecution for witchcraft, and bullying (hide spoiler)] . Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram #1) The Okay Witch ★★★★☆ ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[racism, persecution for witchcraft, and bullying (hide spoiler)] . Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I loved this just as much as the first! There was also a great lesson weaved in this story. I really hope this author comes up with more adventures for Moth.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dubzor

    While perhaps not as enjoyable as its predecessor, this still manages to be an extremely fun read. If I had one complaint it would appear that the art is not as dynamic or engaging as it once was.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Scratch

    This is very much a middle-grade book. The characters were all middle-schoolers and the problems were very relatable, but very middle-school. The story was largely about the protagonist's attempts to navigate bullying at school. She struggled with adults giving her repetitive advice (that was more about themselves than her), and she struggled with classmates who didn't quite care enough about her to stick up for her. But because the protagonist is a witch, she tried to use magic to solve her pro This is very much a middle-grade book. The characters were all middle-schoolers and the problems were very relatable, but very middle-school. The story was largely about the protagonist's attempts to navigate bullying at school. She struggled with adults giving her repetitive advice (that was more about themselves than her), and she struggled with classmates who didn't quite care enough about her to stick up for her. But because the protagonist is a witch, she tried to use magic to solve her problems. And there is a rule to speculative fiction saying that that can never work out. Enjoyable, but not quite deserving of 5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    A great follow-up! Laszlo the cat is turning into an all-time favorite character for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    "I don't bother you, why do you bother me?" The sequel to the far-transcending-okay 'The Okay Witch' graphic novel does not disappoint. It does not underwhelm. It is just as brilliant as the first instalment, if not more so. 'The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow' is all about bullying at school, and all the feelings that come from such a hard and traumatising time in a kid's life. And it contains the genuine, understanding words of wisdom needed in order to help overcome it all; the pain, the suff "I don't bother you, why do you bother me?" The sequel to the far-transcending-okay 'The Okay Witch' graphic novel does not disappoint. It does not underwhelm. It is just as brilliant as the first instalment, if not more so. 'The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow' is all about bullying at school, and all the feelings that come from such a hard and traumatising time in a kid's life. And it contains the genuine, understanding words of wisdom needed in order to help overcome it all; the pain, the suffering, the isolation, the aggravations, the frustrations. This is especially true for an outcast and "weird" kid (which applies to everyone, really, and this is normal and they should be proud of it!). To any child who is perceived as "different" - due to race, ethnicity, background, gender, disability, health issues, sexuality, weight, height, clothes, hair colour, literally anything because bullies are sad human beings - going to school every day is a nightmare and a minefield. Because they are "different" and therefore bad, they are made to feel lesser by their peers; to feel like there is something wrong with them; that they don't belong; that they don't matter; that they're not enough; that they can be made invisible, and be ignored, laughed at, harassed, ostracised, and abused, with no consequences for the privileged bully, and every baggage put on the victim. This is the message that society at large sends to the youth, unintentional or not, unconscious or not: If you are a victim, an outsider, and a misfit, you should hate yourself for being who you are. You need to change, because there is oh-so-definitely a "better" version of yourself that you can be, if you just try hard enough to achieve it. Conform, put on that mask, and suppress the real you, because no one likes the real you. In school - in life - being liked by everyone, pleasing everyone, setting yourself up by whoever's standards, is the most important thing. Except that no. This is a lie. A scam. "Weirdos" can't achieve in being a "better" and therefore popular person, no matter what they do. Because the system is rigged. Because the people who actually need to change for the better often refuse to, and will not give any "lesser" and "inferior" person a chance to reach their level. Either way, the weirdo loses, doomed from the start, and they are never happy. Bullies live to put others down in order to make themselves feel superior, and achieve a false sense of high self-esteem. The responsibility should not be placed on their victims - that is complicity in abuse, and can be dangerous and even deadly. The sooner the perpetrators are made accountable for their actions, that's when the real "better" begins. Also, many, many kids in middle school and high school are monstrous spawns of evil. It's best that they learn early on that the horrible things they get up to are not, in fact, okay. Otherwise, well, you know what will happen once they grow up and get involved in politics. Bullying is a subject in life that I am all too familiar with. And I think that 'The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow' pulls it off very well. Emma Steinkellner clearly knows a lot about this topic, as well. Basically, the plot is as follows: Eighth grader and secret witch Moth Hush is starting a new school year. Already an outcast for being a POC in a mostly white school, and for being "plain" and "unfashionable", things escalate terribly when she is mocked and made into a humiliating meme on the first day. Her only friend in this hellhole is Charlie, and not many kids are sympathetic towards her. The popular girls in her year pity her at best, and remain silent as she is being bullied. To make matters worse, her mother Calendula starts dating one of her dorky teachers, who is a target of constant ridicule by the students. Moth can't ignore the incessant harassment and pretend that it doesn't bother her, and she shouldn't have to. To add further realism, the teachers are woefully useless at dealing with bullies. Convinced that she should change so that her life will be easier and she will be cool and confident like every other kid in school appears to be, out of hurt and desperation, Moth steals an ancient magical pendant from her grandmother's altar of history in the witch realm, Hecate. She activates the charm, and uses it to turn into her "best" self. No longer awkward and shy, she becomes bold, daring, self-assured, loud, proud, spontaneous, and popular in school, turning the tables on her bullies. But of course this is a Monkey's Paw situation, and darkness and danger lurk in that pendant. Will Moth end up losing herself, forever? Charlie's three-hundred-year-old ancestor from Hecate, Peter, who is in a teenager's body, also tags along on this adventure. Moth's fat, gay, talking black cat Lazlo remains an awesome cutie. There is as much hope in this story as there is in the first graphic novel. It is life-affirming to anyone who is being bullied, with seemingly no end to the suffering in sight. Moth, the witch in training, the poor schoolgirl, is a sweetheart. Moving aside the magic in her life, she is a realistic thirteen-year-old girl. She is so relatable. It is impossible for anyone with a soul to not feel for her in every moment of the story, negative or positive, unfantastic or magical, mundane or dangerous. She is a flawed young human, still learning, still growing, and that's more than okay. Moth is more confident than she thinks she is; she is a natural, no personality-changing spell required. She certainly does not need to change herself, as she's wonderful as she is. And who wouldn't want to be a witch?! It is never good to make someone who is obviously a victim feel like they should change. No, they are never to blame. They are never responsible for being bullied - the ones doing the bullying are responsible. Marginalised people should love and respect themselves, even if other people do not, especially if other people do not, since the worst people on the top of the privileged food chain of society count on the misery and self-loathing of their enemies. The ostracised should be made aware that there are people out there - their family and friends (it doesn't matter how many they have) - who love them for who they are, and who support them. It is society that needs to change, that needs to accept them. Plus, for all that, the book is so charming and cute! The moral concerning bullying fits naturally into the story, and serves the characters and their development. It is a lovable joy for all ages. I love, too, that there is no romance or love triangle happening with Moth. None whatsoever. She and Charlie (and Peter!) are platonic friends, and that's that. The story never feels cheap, clichéd, forced or contrived. It doesn't fall into any tropey traps, like a cliffhanger, or hints of foreshadowing contained in a cliffhanger, nor does it pull any predictable tricks and twists. It's too good for all that arbitrary rubbish. The 'Bewitched' TV show parody that Lazlo watches is an extra nice, funny touch. He is freaking adorable and huggable. Go read this important piece of witchy fiction now! 'The Okay Witch' is coming-of-age at its finest. It simply must be adapted into a cartoon series. For more, click the link to my review of the first 'The Okay Witch' graphic novel here. Final Score: 5/5

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eliani

    I loved The Okay Witch. Originally read through my library, enjoyed it so much it's now part of my personal collection. Book 2 however, didn't hold quite the same spark. The story picks up on what seems the natural progression of events we left off with Moth Hush, exploring her magic and with school. Overall the focus of this story was very unclear at first. It seems like multiple topics of this story, while important, felt a strain to make them center stage. Given the title, I had some ideas, but I loved The Okay Witch. Originally read through my library, enjoyed it so much it's now part of my personal collection. Book 2 however, didn't hold quite the same spark. The story picks up on what seems the natural progression of events we left off with Moth Hush, exploring her magic and with school. Overall the focus of this story was very unclear at first. It seems like multiple topics of this story, while important, felt a strain to make them center stage. Given the title, I had some ideas, but by page 80 (1/3 of the book) I wasn't sure where the story was going or what it was really building towards. Quite the slow burn. That said, the ending was SO SWEET and definitely worth the read. I simply felt book 2 wasn't quite the continuation I was looking for, but more of a strive to be a different story. Is this story going to make you fall in love with magic? Probably not. But it might help you fall in love with the Hush family and what they have to offer, if you haven't already.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mariela

    If you love the first one, then you'll want to read this! Moth's life did not get easier just because she has powers. Instead, it may be harder because she still feels so helpless. When she finds a magical object that helps her become more than what she really is, she decides to take a chance. What she discovers is that trying to be something that you're not can completely overwhelm you and run away pretty quickly if you're not watching. I love the artwork, I love the story, I love the character If you love the first one, then you'll want to read this! Moth's life did not get easier just because she has powers. Instead, it may be harder because she still feels so helpless. When she finds a magical object that helps her become more than what she really is, she decides to take a chance. What she discovers is that trying to be something that you're not can completely overwhelm you and run away pretty quickly if you're not watching. I love the artwork, I love the story, I love the characters, and I really hope that I get to read so much more about Moth's adventures! I received this arc from the publisher for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    I thought this graphic novel was excellent. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is perfect for the middle-grade age group. I absolutely loved Moth and also had a soft spot for Mr. Gorski-Garcia. This is the second book in a series but luckily Moth's cat/friend gave a quick recap at the beginning which allowed me to follow the story. It touched upon race and bullying in a very age-appropriate manner, which was very well done. I would absolutely recommend this novel to any middle-grade rea I thought this graphic novel was excellent. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is perfect for the middle-grade age group. I absolutely loved Moth and also had a soft spot for Mr. Gorski-Garcia. This is the second book in a series but luckily Moth's cat/friend gave a quick recap at the beginning which allowed me to follow the story. It touched upon race and bullying in a very age-appropriate manner, which was very well done. I would absolutely recommend this novel to any middle-grade reader, it's a quick, fun read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anna Beth

    A solid sequel!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lost in Book Land

    Hello Again! It is August third and I have somehow almost finished five books this month already! I am honestly really happy with myself for being off to such a fabulous start to the new reading month. This month I decided I wanted to pick up a few more graphic novels and manga, I feel like I have a small stack building up calling for my attention. One of those is the newest Okay Witch! Last year, I read the first graphic novel in Okay Witch series as an E-ARC and I absolutely enjoyed my time wi Hello Again! It is August third and I have somehow almost finished five books this month already! I am honestly really happy with myself for being off to such a fabulous start to the new reading month. This month I decided I wanted to pick up a few more graphic novels and manga, I feel like I have a small stack building up calling for my attention. One of those is the newest Okay Witch! Last year, I read the first graphic novel in Okay Witch series as an E-ARC and I absolutely enjoyed my time with it. It was such a fun, cute, adorable, witchy graphic novel with an unexpected plot. So when I saw that there was going to be a second one I was absolutely in! I was super fortunate to receive an E-ARC of this second book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions (and honestly super excited for more witchy fun)! So without further ado, let's talk about the next story in the Okay Witch series (and hopefully not the last)! SPOILERS AHEAD Moth is just getting started as a witch but unfortunately, school is not going as great as being a witch in training is. Moth still has her best friend but she is constantly getting picked on at school and when she goes back to school after winter break and on the first day happens to be wearing the same sweater as a teacher, all the kids start to make fun of her over again. But when Moth visits her grandmother on Hecate she finds an item that starts to help her stand up to her bullies and be a bit more cool. Moth starts using the item a lot to help her solve her problems but is this new found helper, without consequences? Or is something really bad about to happen to Moth? I really enjoyed getting to revisit Moth and everyone from the last book (and also a few new people)! In addition to the characters, I loved the little nods to Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the 90's show), I was such a huge fan of this show as a kid, and in this second book the cat is watching a witchy show and it just felt like a nod to the show, it might not be but I absolutely loved it and it really made me want to hop onto a streaming service and watch some favorite episodes. I am really hoping there are more books in the Okay Witch series because I could read about Moth and her friends/ family for a long time to come (plus something more with her father could be really interesting)! Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars P.S.I want to give a huge thank you to the publisher for the E-ARC in exchange for my honest opinions!

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