The best children’s books with magical brooms (that aren’t Harry Potter)

Who am I?

I’ve always been a lover of enchanted items—particularly brooms. Maybe this is because my grandfather used to handmake his own brooms (I can still remember that magical and musty smell of his workshop). It took me a long time to write my own “broom book,” with something different and distinctive to say. The books on my list are some that inspired me along my journey. In addition to being a writer, I teach creative writing and art therapy, which means I’ve logged many hours leading lit circles with kids. I feel it has given me a pretty good handle (pardon the pun) on what makes a child’s imagination soar.


I wrote...

Spell Sweeper

By Lee Edward Födi,

Book cover of Spell Sweeper

What is my book about?

Even at wizard school, brooms aren’t for flying... Most wizarding students spend their days practicing magic—but not Cara Moone. She’s on the fast track to becoming a spell sweeper, cleaning up messes left behind when “real” wizards spell-cast. That makes Harlee Wu, Dragonsong Academy’s star pupil and so-called “Chosen One,” one giant chore creator, and Cara’s sworn enemy—or she would be if she knew Cara existed. But when one of Harlee’s spells causes a slime-spewing rip in the fabric of magic that may end all spellcasting forever, Cara realizes it’s going to take more than a magic broom to clean up the mess. 

Ghostbusters meets wizard school in this humorous and magical underdog story.

The books I picked & why

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A Hat Full of Sky

By Terry Pratchett,

Book cover of A Hat Full of Sky

Why this book?

It jerked back, and there was a sickening feeling in her stomach as the stick curved away towards the mountains.

There are five books in the Tiffany Aching series, but this one, Book 2, is my favorite because it’s when Tiffany really rolls up her sleeves as a witch—it also marks her first time riding a broom, but, in a delightful twist, Tiffany doesn’t like it. It’s not because she’s afraid of heights, it’s because she’s afraid of falling. Not to worry, even though she’s not an expert broom flyer, Tiffany has plenty of magical friends to rely on throughout the series: a lawyer who has been permanently transformed into a toad and has a penchant for cursing (“croap”), Horace the cheese, Miss Level (a witch of two bodies and one mind), and the ever-delightful Wee Free Men (they can escape from anywhere . . . except a pub). Full of clever language, wit, and social satire, this book is pure joy.


The Little Broomstick

By Mary Stewart,

Book cover of The Little Broomstick

Why this book?

At the touch of the purple juice the little broomstick gave a leap, a violent twist, a kick like the kick of a pony.

A classic book, with a voice in the spirit of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, this book triggered the idea for Spell Sweeper because of the image it painted in my mind of a lonely broom sitting there, waiting to spring into action. And spring it does! When young Mary finds a broomstick, she accidentally ends up investing it with magic and it instantly whisks her away across the English countryside to arrive at Endor College, the school of witchcraft. But this is not a lovely school—Mary discovers a menagerie of animals being subjected to evil experiments, including her own cat. With her broomstick as her trusty companion, Mary sets out to free the animals. This book is also the basis of the animated film Mary and the Witch’s Flower.


Kiki's Delivery Service

By Eiko Kadono, Emily Balistrieri (translator),

Book cover of Kiki's Delivery Service

Why this book?

Following Kokiri, she shyly mounted her broom and kicked off the ground. Instantly, her body grew light—she was floating!

This is the classic book that inspired the beloved film of the same name. Thirteen-year-old Kiki sets off, in the tradition of witches, to find a town to serve for a year. When she arrives at the seaside town of Koriko, she starts her own business—delivering parcels by broomstick. At first, she assumes it will be easy—hey, she’s Kiki!—but she soon discovers that winning over the locals of Koriko is not so easy. Thankfully, she’s got her wise-cracking cat Jiji on her side . . . as well as her magical broom. This book is absolutely charming!


The Worst Witch

By Jill Murphy,

Book cover of The Worst Witch

Why this book?

On her first day at the Academy, each pupil was given a broomstick and taught to ride it, which takes quite a long time and isn’t nearly as easy as it looks. 

I love an underdog story, and this certainly fits the bill. Mildred is the worst witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She can’t seem to do anything right, whether it’s casting a spell or—you guessed it—flying a broom. If she’s going to survive witch school, she’s going to have to do it in a more . . . unconventional way. The first in a series, this enchanting book is perfect for younger readers who aren’t quite ready for Harry Potter but want all of the magical fun. It features beautiful illustrations by the author.


Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch

By Julie Abe,

Book cover of Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch

Why this book?

I glanced at my broomstick propped in the corner. I’d told Conroy that I could fly, but that was a bit of a stretch. Like my magic, I’d practiced and practiced but never quite gotten the hang of it.

This book is like a love letter to Kiki’s Delivery Service, striking upon similar themes and notes, but forging its own path with distinctive characters and a strong system of magic. Readers are going to love the flamefox (I did)! There’s also a sequel.


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