As autumn weather infiltrates the area, Halloween characters start to pop up. This month, read books about witches, good and bad, to get you in the spooky spirit.
“Up, Up and Away with the Little Witch” by Lieve Baeten (ages 4 to 8)
In this latest story about the Little Witch, Lizzy and her friend Trixie visit the Caravan Witch, the Boat Witch, and, most wonderful of all, the Balloon Witch.
“The House the Witchy Built” by Dianne De las Casas (ages 4 to 8)
This picture book, inspired by “The House that Jack Built,” is full of rhythm and spooky characters kids will love. Illustrated in vibrant cut paper and collage, it’s perfect for story time.
“Broom, Zoom!” by Caron Lee Cohen (ages 4 to 8)
On a bright, starry night, a little witch wants to go for a ride on her broom, but a little monster needs it to clean up a mess.
“The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare (ages 9 to 12)
A Newberry Award winner, and a must read, this is the story of Kit Tyler, who, in 1687, is in grave danger of being regarded as a witch. When Kit befriends an old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, it is more than the Quaker community can stand. She soon has to confront angry and suspicious townspeople.
“The Widow’s Broom” by Chris Van Allsburg (ages 9 to 12)
This gentle, strangely captivating book by Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, tells the story of a lonely widow who inherits a witch’s presumably defunct broom. The widow soon finds out that the broom still holds its magic powers. When the neighbors find out about this “wicked, wicked thing,” they demand that the broom be burned.
“Well Witched” by Frances Hardinge (ages 9 to 12)
After Josh, Ryan, and Chelle steal coins out of a wishing well in a nearby village, they discover that they are now in debt to the Well Witch, who expects them to serve her by fulfilling all the wishes made by people who have tossed coins into the well.
“Witch Child” by Celia Rees (ages 13 and older)
In the pages of her secret journal, Mary Nuttall reveals what it is like to live in a climate of mistrust and piety, where she must hide her heritage as a healer and pagan. She describes her beloved grandmother’s trial and hanging as a witch, her own rescue by a mysterious noblewoman, and her eventual passage to the New World.
“Once a Witch” by Carolyn MacCullough (ages 13 and older)
Born into a family of witches but without any special powers, Tasmin is bitter and can’t wait for the day she can run away. But when her beautiful sister is kidnapped, her true destiny reveals itself.
“War of the Witches” by Maite Carranza (ages 13 and older)
When her mother disappears, 14-year-old Anaid sets out on a dangerous journey. After learning that her mother is a witch, prophesied to be the one to end an ancient feud between two clans, Anaid must depend on her clever mind and developing abilities.
Lesley Mason is children and teen librarian at Washington County Free Library.