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Witchlight
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Witchlight
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Love — loss — witches — this YA fantasy graphic novel has it all! This thoughtful, emotional story will entrance you with its moving story and organic artwork.Lelek is a witch.That's...
Love — loss — witches — this YA fantasy graphic novel has it all! This thoughtful, emotional story will entrance you with its moving story and organic artwork.Lelek is a witch.That's...
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Description-

  • Love — loss — witches — this YA fantasy graphic novel has it all! This thoughtful, emotional story will entrance you with its moving story and organic artwork.
    Lelek is a witch.
    That's all Sanja knows when she meets Lelek in the marketplace. But Lelek is hiding secrets — and as her life begins to intersect with Sanja's, all that she's hiding starts to come to light.
    Secrets, friendship, and magic all come together as Lelek gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth about her past. . . .
    Witchlight is a wonderful adventure filled with friendship, family, falling in love, and dealing with the hardest bits of your past all along the way.

About the Author-

  • Jessi Zabarsky lives in Chicago with her cat and forty three plants. She was raised in the woods and will one day return there. You can find her online at https://cargocollective.com/hugbox or @jessizabarsky.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2020

    Gr 8 Up-Sparks fly between a scrappy witch and a young woman in this gorgeous graphic novel fantasy. When an argument breaks out between Lelek, a witch who travels the land selling amulets, and a villager, Sanja intervenes. Impressed by Sanja's swordplay, Lelek enlists the girl to teach her to fight, and Sanja, eager for a life away from her father and brothers, accepts. Sanja knows little about witches, other than what she's heard from rumors, but she's curious to learn more-like, is witch blood really poisonous? (No.) And are witches' souls contained in the candles that float above their heads? That last one is a more complicated question, at least for Lelek, whose soul was split in two when she was younger; she's been searching for it ever since. The pair move from town to town so Lelek can gain experience (and a bit of money) sparring with other witches-a popular pastime that sells tickets. Though Lelek and Sanja start off bickering, in spite of themselves, they become fast friends, and their relationship turns romantic as Sanja learns more about how witches are marginalized and Lelek contends with past trauma. Most of the characters are women, and there are other positive lesbian relationships depicted. Featuring muted colors and intricate details, the stunning artwork has a manga-esque flair. The panel work is also well rendered, and though there's not an abundance of text, it's always easy to tell what is happening in a scene. VERDICT Teens looking to branch out from shojo manga will eagerly pick up this romantic fantasy.-Gretchen Hardin, Bee Cave Public Library, TX

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2020
    A girl and a witch go on a quest to reunite the witch with her missing powers. Lelek is a witch who travels through the land cheating townsfolk to survive. Sanja witnesses her conflict with a disgruntled customer and the magical fight that ensues. Lelek, after seeing how expertly Sanja wields a sword, kidnaps Sanja so that she can learn from her how to fight. Sanja insists that Lelek stop cheating people. The girls decide to move from town to town challenging witches to battles and charging spectators for tickets as they seek to restore Lelek's missing magic. Along the way, they make friends and enemies, fall in love, and learn to trust. As Sanja's past catches up to them, the girls' journey takes a turn for the worse, and Sanja must save Lelek's life. Zabarsky's (contributor: Tim'rous Beastie, 2017) illustrations give texture to the abundant, fantastical natural setting. A mix of bright pastels and dark panels set the tone for this eccentric story. Dream sequences and flashbacks provide in-depth insights into Sanja and Lelek, furthering their characterizations and their relationship to one another. The minimal text will occasionally force readers to pay close attention to the visual cues and the meandering plot. Lelek is brown skinned and Sanja is white and fat; secondary characters are diverse in skin tone. A charmingly illustrated story with a strolling pace.(Graphic fantasy. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 2, 2020
    Lelek, a brown-skinned witch, meets subdued Sanja, who is white, while being run out of town for conning the townsfolk. Impressed by Sanja’s skill with a blade, Lelek abducts her, hoping to gain a tutor. After seeing Lelek’s untenable lifestyle, Sanja strikes a bargain: in exchange for sword lessons, Lelek must stop cheating and hurting people, and the two will make a living challenging local witches to prize fights. Lelek agrees, and the two wander from town to town encountering different magic styles and ways of life, meanwhile searching for the missing half of Lelek’s soul, which she lost as a child. A leisurely exploration of the young women’s evolving bond addresses themes of forgiveness, purpose, and community. The story’s framing includes flashbacks and dreams, presenting a unique, vibrant universe but also making some plot elements feel disconnected. Dynamic art is suffused with light (shout out to colorist Geov Chouteau), illuminating a strange and varied world filled with people, mainly female, with bodies in every shape, size, and color. The overall effect is warm and bewitching. Ages 12–up. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2020
    Grades 7-10 Gently atmospheric and suffused with intriguing magic, this graphic novel traces the unlikely but heartening friendship between Sanja, the put-upon daughter of a merchant, and Lelek, a witch with a hard secret in her past. At first, their relationship isn't equal?Lelek kidnaps Sanja and insists she teach her how to fight with a sword. But Sanja is more up for adventure than Lelek realizes, and the merchant's daughter has some very savvy ideas about how Lelek can make money. Zabarsky's soft, rounded artwork is full of refreshingly diverse body shapes and sizes, all of which are drawn with expressive movement and an impressive economy of marks. That rounded quality, coupled with Chouteau's warm pastels, perfectly matches the quiet pace of the story?both Sanja and Lelek live with troubling secrets from their pasts, but there's very little in the way of tension or suspense here. Rather, Zabarsky keeps the emphasis on the characters' growing closeness, their journey in search of the witch who trained Lelek, and the loving community they gradually find themselves in. Tenderly drawn and told.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus "A charmingly illustrated story with a strolling pace."

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    Random House Children's Books
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