12 year old Evangeline is apprentice to her witch grandmother, who spends her days and night studying the ways of magic and superstition, honing her skills hunting down banshees and other creatures of the night.
When she and Gran are called to a creepy old mansion for work, she encounters a monster who’s been after her family for generations and a secret that will shake her to the tips of her silver-toed boots…
A story of loyalty and determination, the powerful bonds of friendship and family, and having the courage to face your fears.
I know they say you should never judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, most of us do. Based on the cover for ‘Witch Girl’ I anticipated a Halloween read that would be pretty light and perfect for lower end Key Stage 3 pupils (around 11 or 12 years of age). But the cover had me fooled. This book was much more darker and grittier than I predicted!
I loved that it was set in New Orleans, for the most part, because it’s an area of America known for its folklore and nocturnal antics, and this story fit with that perfectly. Evangeline is easy to identify with: she makes mistakes, gets scared and doubts herself, but she constantly tries to protect the ones she loves and do the right thing. Even when everything is against her and her Grandmother tells her to go home, she strives to do what is best – even though it is pretty scary.
Whilst I would still happily give this to Key Stage 3 pupils, I think the older end of the key stage (14 years old) would enjoy it as much as the younger end. It is a great read and absolutely perfect for Halloween!
Many thanks to Laura Smyth and Scholastic for a review copy of this book. This was my honest opinion.