Diary of Anna the Girl Witch by Max Candee 4/5
Blurb: What do you do when you discover you’re a witch… And that using your new powers destroys your soul a little each time?
Set in the Swiss countryside, this story blends ancient folklore with a coming of age tale about a young witch on the brink of womanhood. Anna Sophia has always known she was different. She didn’t know just how different until now.
On the eve of her 13th birthday — in the orphanage where she’s spent most of her childhood — Anna wonders about her past. She never knew her parents, doesn’t even know where she came from. All she has to go by is an unbelievable fairy tale her uncle used to tell: that she was found as a baby, tucked among a pack of bear cubs in the wilds of Russia.
To make matters even more complex, Anna has discovered that she can see and do things that no one else can. So far, she’s kept her powers a secret, and they remain strange and frightening even to her.
It’s only when Anna receives a letter from her mother — a mother she will never meet — that she discovers some of the truths about her past, and begins to uncover the possibilities in her future. As Anna continues to learn more about her secret abilities, she finds out that her neighbors are hiding something of their own: a plot to harm Anna and her friends.
Can Anna Sophia use her newfound supernatural powers to stop them? Can she fight back, without endangering her own soul? And maybe, just maybe, is her own secret tied up with theirs?
Through a story of otherworldly magic, Anna Sophia finds a sense of real-world belonging. With its cast of strong characters, inventive setting, and engaging storyline, this fantasy adventure is a relevant novel for middle grade children or young adults.
With thanks to Helvetic House and Netgalley for offering me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is the first children’s book I have reviewed on my blog, and I was pleasantly surprised with how the narrative drew me in. I had to keep in mind that the book was aimed at children/ young teens, but that being said, it was an innovative tale that I’m sure many parents would be happy to read to their children- that is if their kids don’t think storytime is uncool *hehe*.
The narrative has dark undertones and impresses morals upon the reader. Anna Sophia learns that she is a witch, and that her magic has two sides- light and dark. If she uses her magic to harm or for ‘bad’, then she loses a little bit of her soul. She has to use initiative to ensure she only uses good magic, or she may start becoming like an evil relative she has only recently learnt existed.
There are dark chapters and incredibly sinister adults, even wicked policemen, but good always triumphs over evil, and that’s an important ethic woven into the narrative. Anna Sophia’s character is typical for a thirteen year old girl, and I feel the author had her face her trials and hardship in a relatable way for children and young teens.
Squire was a funny little character- a hand that becomes animated when heated by flames. I couldn’t help but think of Thing from the Addams Family. I’m showing my age now, but I like that Thing has had a bit of an upgrade for the younger generations.
My own daughter is a little too young to appreciate this book, but I won’t hesitate to recommmend it to her when she’s older. The ending is open for a second book, and is set to be a good one.
The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.
All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman
K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.