Poor little witch girl

by: Marie Desplechin

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Poor little witch girl

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1st edition ( September 5, 2006


Genre: Speculative fiction


Awards: Bloomsbury USA Childrens


Daughter and granddaughter of witches, 11-year-old Verbena resents her fate. She’d prefer to be ordinary, to have a father, friends and a boyfriend. It’s her grandmother who brings her together with Soufi, the interesting boy at school, and who shows her that her developing powers can be used to see the father she has never known. Attracted by her difference, Soufi becomes the boyfriend she hoped for and connects her to her father as well. Told in four alternating voices and smoothly translated, this gently humorous French import captures the moodiness of the preteen girl, as well as the friction between mother and daughter that never quite goes away. The scary content of Verbena’s grandmother’s basement workspace contrasts nicely with the domesticity of her teatime crepes; the exaggeration of her mother’s vengeful witchcraft sets off the ordinariness of her father, the soccer coach. Middle-grade readers attracted by the premise will find the situation surprisingly familiar, although they may be disappointed that the mother has the first and last word. (Fiction. 8-12)

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