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The Hidden Witch

(The Witch Boy #2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  448 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Aster and his family are adjusting to his unconventional talent for witchery; unlike the other boys in his family, he isn't a shapeshifter. He's taking classes with his grandmother and helping to keep an eye on his great-uncle whose corrupted magic wreaked havoc on the family.

Meanwhile, Aster's friend from the non-magical part of town, Charlie, is having problems of her ow
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Scholastic Inc.
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David Schaafsma
A solid and perhaps even better entry into the series about Aster, a boy who doesn't want to do what boys are raised to do, which is become shape-shifters. He wants to be a witch, which (!) requires some adjustment by his family and friends and society in general. His friend is Charlie, a girl who is neither a witch nor a shape-shifter, but is what J.K. Rowling would call a muggle (i.e., us). Charlie has a new friend, Ariel, a foster child, that seems to coincide with her being bothered by what ...more
Is there anything more marvelous when the second book in a series delivers on all the promise of the first? If you read my reviews you'll know I live in almost perpetual fear of what I call second novel syndrome. You read a terrific first book in a trilogy or new series and then BOOM everything goes to hell in a handbasket in book two. The fun, quirky sidekick with one or two clever bon mots in book one is now front and center spouting wisecracks every two minutes till you want to puke. The magi ...more
Rod Brown
While falling a little short of the first book, this is a pretty strong follow-up that establishes an appealing Scooby gang for ongoing adventures, which I will gladly read.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this an improvement on the first volume, and am curious to see more from the world and characters, should the series continue.
Review here (live 10/19/18).
Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn
I love this series so much, I can't wait for more!
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A solid follow-up to the first book, consistent in themes, story substance, engaging visuals, and array of characters.

This is a touching story of developing self-confidence in one's abilities and interests, learning about / cultivating true friendship, redemption and learning to move forward from one's mistakes. In particular, I think one of the story's strengths is the author's portrayal of Charlie's empathy, her genuine and simple attempts to welcome the new girl, Ariel, into her small circle
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, way more predictable than the first and seems like more of a middle filler than a sequel. While I read the first as more of an analogy for the trans experience, this one resonates with anyone being bullied for an outcast with a less than subtle metaphor for letting the anger fester inside you/the victim mentality.

I hope the author continues the series, the world is great and I wish to see more.
Colona Public Library
Still and excellent and strong title. Seems like they are exploring characters and creating bonds preparing for future volumes! A solid and strong follow up to the first book, I didn't enjoy it as much the first BUT I feel like there are some really good things to come. I really love the art style and am looking forward to future volumes.

Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Adore seeing the characters grow and change. Hope this will be a long series over the years.
Jessie Bond
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I could love anything more than The Witch Boy, but then it got a sequel. <3 <3 <3
Kim Clifton
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Turns out this series could get even sweeter, and it did. I’m a huge fan.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so beautiful and I may have shed some tears at the end. Full review to come!
Read November 2018
This is just so good <3
Kristina Jean Lareau
4.5 stars

Better than the first! A seamless story with great expression and emotion.
Elin (annotatedpaperbacks)
(full review here)

the hidden witch is, in its core, about friendship and acceptance and learning to love yourself – meaning it’s exactly the kind of graphic novel i want to read. it’s about characters who don’t really fit into the mould that’s been set for them, but instead of changing themselves they change the world around them, for the better.

where the witch boy focused on aster’s struggles of not being able to (or wanting to) be a shifter like all boys and men in his family, and instead bein
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The best way to respond to anyone who doesn't want you to be a witch is to become a very, very good one."

Aster is shaping up to be a very, very good witch indeed. This book picks up shortly after the first one, with Aster now attending lessons in witchcraft with the female witches in his family. Not everyone embraces the idea of a male witch, but he finds support in his grandmother, who offers to give him extra lessons in exchange for helping her remove the darkness that corrupted her brother's
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great sequel! It was such a pleasure to spend more time with these characters in this world. Once again, I totally bought in that witches and other fantastical creatures could truly exist in small town America.

I really enjoyed how Charlie plays a bigger role in this book. It’s almost impossible to go into specific details without applying the spoiler tag, but I was in awe of Charlie. This is truly a character that exudes kindness and compassion for others. There’s a couple scenes involvin
Just as solid as the previous book, The Witch Boy even as it broadens from Aster's point of view to include his best friends and non-witch, Charlie, and her new friend from school, Ariel, who has some power of her own. This was a satisfying follow-up from the developments for all the characters from the last book, showing how Aster's family is adjusting (or not) to having their traditions shaken up. Plus, we get to see how it's not just Aster who was chafing under the rather rigid roles availabl ...more
This series is a must-read for anyone, but particularly young readers, who have ever felt a crisis of identity, who have ever been made to feel like an outcast, who long to buck norms but feel a little powerless to do so. THE HIDDEN WITCH is every bit as charming as its predecessor, THE WITCH BOY, a book I’ve enjoyed putting into the hands of kids for the past year as a bookseller. Yes to more kids books that challenge gender norms and actually talk about mental health!

All in all, a worthy follo
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A solid follow up to Witch Boy, this time Aster and non-magical friend Charlie are working hard to help new girl Ariel. Ariel is a troubled child who has never known her parents and has moved around to many schools and foster families. She has magic, but has no idea how to use it or control it. Her hard life has twisted her magic, and Aster and Charlie must work hard to help the suspicious girl. Aster is also struggling to catch up with his girl cousins to learn the basics of witchcraft. What I ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-ya, comics, magic
I had a dream that I opened this book and it was a short, illustrated prose novel, and I thought "Ah, of course! It came out so soon after the first book that it couldn't possibly be another full-color graphic novel." (Not that writing prose doesn't take time...)

But no! I awoke, and we are that blessed! A stellar sequel just one year after the stellar The Witch Boy. It builds beautifully on the first book and Aster's sporty, non-magical friend Charlie gets to play protagonist. I finished it in
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This ultimately very sweet story about friendship sees Aster and Charlie growing into their roles - Charlie as a ferocious protector and Aster as a witch who helps others. It was so wonderful to see Aster reaching out and creating safe spaces for his friends, and offering advice and support. Ariel is a great new character with a really interesting story (I would be v unsurprised to be reading an Ariel focused book this time next year.) I didn't think about this as much with the first volume, but ...more
Derek Newman-Stille
“The Hidden Witch” continues the tale of Aster and Charlie and their encounter with the world’s Of shape-shifting and witchcraft from “The Witch Boy”. It is a beautiful continuance of Ostertag’s exploitation of belonging and exclusion and the role of gender in defining people’s lives and traditions BUT, this second volume also explores what it means for someone to be cut off from their heritage as well as looking at school as a place of intense desire to belong, and also toxic encounters with re ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, comics
I'm loving the subtlety of Ostertag here. Much like with Witch Boy, you have this sigh of LGBTQ in the subtext. I'd say this story is a little less gripping than the first book, but still a nice read on its own. I also like that Ostertag does not necessarily setup a main character so much as she sets up a nice ensemble for the readers to get to know. I think that is very different from what's happening in other areas of younger YA lit. There is a focus on the world and people around these kids, ...more
Wonderfully done and just as good, if not better than the first! It did seem like a smaller plot than book one, but Hidden Witch tied up all the little loose ends while bringing in a new character and new troubles. Lovely drawing style again and the atmospheric color palette and border panels worked well together.

(view spoiler)

Now t
THIS SERIES IS SO PURE. Aster and his friends are so adorable I could cry. This was a really fun sequel!! It didn't quite wow me the way the first one did but it was still a super fun read and I don't have any solid critiques. I really enjoyed the addition of Ariel's character and the development of Sedge. Honestly, this is the cutest friend group I've seen in a while and I just want them to have the best in the world.
Natalie Hills
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
YES!!!! I was SO excited when I saw that there was a sequel to The Witch Boy!!!! This one was so good and started devleloping a better story with a new character that I really love. :-) If you liked The Witch Boy, you'll love this one, even though it seemed much shorter. Maybe it was because I devoured it in one sitting!
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's very nice and cute and sweet. It somehow felt simpler and tighter than the first one, but I read that a while ago. I like these books because while they're pretty simple on the surface, you can read in quite a bit more than they're explicit about, and I know that's literally the point. (They're coming-out allegories, and good ones, and digestible.)
Sue Jackson
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book 2 in The Witch Boy series continues the fun, colorful adventures of the witch boy and his friend, Charlie, in this fantasy graphic novel series for middle-grade readers that combines magic with real-world issues. Read my full review:
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think I liked this one better than the first. My one complaint is that the pacing felt a little weird to me. Slow to start and then the climax seemed to fly by in a few pages.
I like how the author is encouraging children to be themselves even if others don’t agree but uses the magic to deliver this message and the author is about to deliver the message in a nonpreachy way.
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I grew up in the forests of upstate New York, where I spent the first half of my childhood reading about fantastical adventures and the second half acting them out with foam swords at a live action roleplaying camp . I graduated in 2014 from the School of Visual Arts, where I studied cartooning and illustration, and I currently live in Los Angeles. My artistic interests include women in fiction, f ...more

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