Wayward Witch – Zoraida Córdova

 Wayward Witch – Zoraida Córdova, Sourcebooks Fire, 9781492650683, 2020

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review)  5

Genre:  Fantasy 

What did you like about the book?  As a lover of Sabrina the teenage witch and Charmed I was intrigued to read a book about witches and magic. In addition to a book about witches this book is about Latin American witches. The author does a phenomenal job tying in Latin American cultural aspects and traditional magic narrative. Also addresses topics that are often not talked about in ethinc families. From very early in the novel our main character Rose addresses the fact that “if we were the kind of family that verbalized our feelings, things might be different.” (pg.8) For many young ethnic readers this statement connects so deeply to the way many of us were raised. Initially one is led to think that the story will focus on Rose’s father and the secrets he has held from his past but as you navigate through the book and the world of Adas with Rose you quickly realize, that although a book about witches and powers, it is in essence a story of coming of age. There are no illustrations in the book, however Zoraida Cordova’s use of vivid imagery wording brings action-packed scenes to life in the reader’s mind. As we go through the story we grow with Rosie. We make new friends like Iris, we fall in love with a prince named Arco and we learn that our parents are just as human with flaws like anyone else. This was truly a beautiful story.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  This is overall an excellent novel to read but I do feel that some of the battle scenes are a little bit too descriptive in terms of violence for possibly younger readers. Additionally, topics such as forgiveness might be a little harder for younger readers to fully develop out on their own. If younger readers were to read this book it would be best in a book club setting where they could discuss some of the heavier topics i.e. death, love, mourning loved ones. 

To whom would you recommend this book?  High school students, age 16 -18

Who should buy this book?  High Schools and public libraries

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes 

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA

Date of review: 8/13/2020

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