The best middle grade graphic novels about learning to be a witch

Who am I?

I write for middle grade readers because they still dwell in a place of possibility. They know flashy magic doesn’t exist but they’ll still check the back of a wardrobe to see if it leads to Narnia. Middle grade is a period where readers explore their identity, trying to figure out who they are as well as who they’ll become. In these witchy books, the protagonists are exploring their identities, trying to reconcile expectations and the broadening world around them with who they truly are. The resulting books are adventures both external and internal and the start of exciting journeys. 


I wrote...

Baba Yaga's Assistant

By Marika McCoola, Emily Carroll (illustrator),

Book cover of Baba Yaga's Assistant

What is my book about?

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu!

Spooky and poignant, my stunning debut—with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll—is a storytelling feat and a visual feast.

The books I picked & why

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Lilla the Accidental Witch

By Eleanor Crewes,

Book cover of Lilla the Accidental Witch

Why this book?

While staying with her aunt in Italy, Lilla comes across a book that reveals she’s a witch. But the Stregamama, an ancient witch, wants to use Lilla for her own means. Meanwhile, Lilla’s crushing on her aunt’s assistant and trying to avoid the local boy her family is trying to set her up with. As a bookish introvert who wanted space to read, draw, and grow on my own terms, I couldn’t help but see myself in Lilla. Slightly artwork brings movement to the story while the palette adds spots of spookiness. A cute, queer graphic novel of realizing and voicing one’s identities, this book charms. 


Witches of Brooklyn

By Sophie Escabasse,

Book cover of Witches of Brooklyn

Why this book?

When orphaned Effie moves in with her Aunts, she's expecting it to be the worst. But her spunky aunts are more than they appear and when Effie herself starts to exhibit magical talent, life gets interesting. Escabasse’s setting is contemporary Brooklyn, complete with smartphones and pop stars, imbued with the perfect balance of magic. As a reader who wants to believe that there’s always a hint of magic just around the corner, I fell in love with Effie’s world. With delightfully quirky characters and effervescent drawings, this book is sweetly smart, loving, and lovely. 


The Witch Boy

By Molly Knox Ostertag,

Book cover of The Witch Boy

Why this book?

Ostertag’s books wear their heart on their sleeve. Aster has always wanted to be a witch, despite the fact that boys can't be witches. When boys begin to go missing, it's up to Aster to help them, even if that means defying his family and realizing his true self. This coming-of-age graphic novel explores the bravery needed to express your identity and the strength needed to convince others of its' validity. Ostertag has created a contemporary fantasy for anyone who's struggled with defining their-self. What sets it apart from many others is the loving community in which it’s set. Yes, Aster has to fight to define himself but he does so armed with the compassion and love he was brought up with. 


Snapdragon

By Kat Leyh,

Book cover of Snapdragon

Why this book?

Most towns have stories of the local witch. Snap’s is Jacks: a woman in the woods known for her eccentric ways and tendency to collect local roadkill. But as Snap begins learning more about Jacks, she realizes that Jacks can do real magic as well. Creator Kat Leyh takes stereotypes and challenges them in fresh ways. This story of identity, and what it can mean to embrace and inhabit your identity, is just a dash of magic away from the real world and will appeal to readers starting to pick up fantasy or looking for a bit more realism in their magic. 


Beetle & the Hollowbones

By Aliza Layne,

Book cover of Beetle & the Hollowbones

Why this book?

This candy-colored gem has serious Steven Universe vibes. Goblin Beetle is friends with a ghost and a witch and it’s going to take the help of one to save the other! Confusing feelings and shifting relationships capture the essence of what it means to be a pre-teen…all heightened by a world infused with magic. As a preteen realizing the corruption of the adult world and the scary allure of growing up, I wanted to escape into fantasy. Beetle and the Hollowbones is a beautiful, safe place to explore realistic new feelings and realizations. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in witches, witchcraft, and comics?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about witches, witchcraft, and comics.

Witches Explore 85 books about witches
Witchcraft Explore 186 books about witchcraft
Comics Explore 111 books about comics

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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