Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Witchy Reads for the Summer Solstice

Tonight is the summer solstice so we put together a list of wickedly good witch books to help you get into the spirit. Let us know which one is your favourite!

Akata Witch
By Nnedi Okorafor
384 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780142420911 | Speak

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them combat a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House
By Janet Hill
240 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499249 | Tundra Books

It has been a year since Lucy Crisp graduated from high school and she still hasn’t found her calling. That is, until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge. On a whim, she applies and is thrilled to be accepted into their program. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and stays in the house her father buys as an investment: a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality –perhaps too much personality. . .

Strange things start happening: Lucy hears voices and footsteps in empty rooms. She sees people and things that should not be there. Furniture disappears and elaborate desserts appear. What’s worse is that the strange events are not restricted to her house. Lucy begins to understand that the town and its inhabitants are hiding many secrets, and Ladywyck is at the heart. As the eerie happenings escalate, Lucy fears she is being threatened — but she is determined not to let fairy potions, spells and talk of witchcraft scare her away.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found
By Moïra Fowley-Doyle
384 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780147517333 | Speak

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won’t talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it’s full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it’s leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…

Tarot
By Marissa Kennerson
288 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451478412 | Razorbill

Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers–the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules–and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just forbidden expression. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create–as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.

The Babysitter’s Coven
By Kate Williams
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707370 | Delacorte Press

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

The Lost Coast
By Amy Rose Capetta
352 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536200966 | Candlewick

Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall
368 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204315 | Candlewick

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers.

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.

The Waking Forest
By Alyssa Wees
304 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525581161 | Delacorte Press

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

These Witches Don’t Burn
By Isabel Sterling
336 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451480347 | Razorbill

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

Isabel Sterling’s delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven–and any chance she has with the new girl–is destroyed.

Undead Girl Gang
By Lily Anderson
320 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478245 | Razorbill

Meet teenage Wiccan Mila Flores, who truly could not care less what you think about her Doc Martens, her attitude, or her weight because she knows that, no matter what, her BFF Riley is right by her side. So when Riley and Fairmont Academy mean girls June Phelan-Park and Dayton Nesseth die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders. But they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

The #7SillyPrompts Revealed

At the end of March, we introduced the #7SillyPrompts from seven of our authors to help spark your creativity. If you missed them when they were revealed live on social media, we’ve compiled them all here for you:

We’d love to see what you can do with these #7SillyPrompts – submit your work to YoungReaders@penguinrandomhouse.com and we’ll collect them in our gallery!

Introducing #7SillyPrompts

Newsletter Header

Hello!

We are working with some of our authors to create a fun 7-day challenge for you to do at home. Each day, a silly prompt will be revealed by an author to help spark your creativity!

Feel free to send your art or story or both to us at:

YoungReaders@penguinrandomhouse.com

Put #7SillyPrompts in the SUBJECT heading of your e-mail. Then please let us know which prompt you’re submitting for.

We will group them into 7 collections for everyone to see on a few of our platforms like Pinterest and Facebook. You can do them in any order or pick and choose the ones you want to do. There are no set rules, just have fun with it!

Author Prompt Reveals:

  • Monday, March 30, 2020 – Kelley Armstrong
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – Eric Walters
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – Anna Humphrey
  • Thursday, April 2, 2020 – Tanya Lloyd Kyi
  • Friday, April 3, 2020 – Janet Hill
  • Saturday, April 4, 2020 – Marthe Jocelyn
  • Sunday, April 5, 2020 – Esme Shapiro

So stay tuned and get ready to create!

The Royal Guide to Monster SlayingA Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
By Kelley Armstrong
288 Pages | Ages 10-14
ISBN 9780735265370 | Puffin Canada
Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her monster hunting aunt’s glorious sword and joining her queen mother for boring diplomatic teas. But tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon.

Broken StringsBroken Strings
By Kathy Kacer and Eric Walters
288 Pages | Ages 10-14
ISBN 9780735266247 | Puffin Canada
It’s 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers – and the death of her beloved grandmother – Shirli Berman is intent on moving forward. The best singer in her junior high, she auditions for the lead role in Fiddler on the Roof, but is crushed to learn that she’s been given the part of the old Jewish mother in the musical rather than the coveted part of the sister. But there is an upside: her “husband” is none other than Ben Morgan, the cutest and most popular boy in the school.

Megabat Is a FraidybatMegabat Is a Fraidybat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
192 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN 9780735266025 | Tundra Books
Daniel is not so sure about going to camp. There will be bugs. And uncomfortable beds. And leeches! Megabat can’t WAIT to go to camp! There will be so much smooshfruit, and he loves a good sing-along. Daniel starts to think camp isn’t so bad. He’s made friends, and his bed isn’t THAT uncomfortable. Megabat has made a new friend too. But his new friend wants him to go flying to spooky caves. And her mom is very toothy.

Me and BanksyMe and Banksy
By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
272 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735266919 | Puffin Canada
Dominica’s private school is covered in cameras, and someone is hacking into them and posting embarrassing moments for the whole school to see. Like Ana picking her nose. When Dominica quickly changes her shirt from inside out in what she thinks is the privacy of a quiet corner in the library, she’s shocked – and embarrassed – to discover a video has captured this and is currently circulating amongst her schoolmates. So mortifying, especially since over the past three years, they’ve had a half-dozen school talks about social media safety.

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing HouseLucy Crisp and the Vanishing House
By Janet Hill
240 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN 9781770499249 | Tundra Books
After moving to a seemingly quaint and quiet new town, Lucy faces a new reality in which fairies exist, weather can be bottled and witches hold grudges. Accompanied by gorgeous color paintings, this novel is perfect for fans of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Hazel Wood and Gregory Maguire.

Aggie Morton Mystery Queen The Body Under the PianoAggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body under the Piano
By Marthe Jocelyn
Illustrated by Isabelle Follath
336 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735265462 | Tundra Books
Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn’t got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects grows and the murder threatens to tear the town apart, Aggie and her new friend will need every tool at their disposal – including their insatiable curiosity, deductive skills and not a little help from their friends – to solve the case before Aggie’s beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn’t commit.

Alma and the BeastAlma and the Beast
By Esme Shapiro
44 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735263963 | Tundra Books
Alma lives happily in her hairy world, where she can braid the trees, comb the grass, pet the roof and feed her plumpooshkie butterfly. Until one day . . . a hairless, button-nosed beast appears in the garden! At first Alma is scared but when she realizes the beast is lost and misses her hairless home, Alma offers to help her find her way back. As the two take a fantastical journey through the red-headed woods and the bearded mushroom glen to the beast’s bald abode, they discover that they are much more alike than different.

Thank you to our authors for helping us come up with 7 silly prompts!