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Witchlings

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A magical adventure for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers and Nevermoor, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers. Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And tw A magical adventure for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers and Nevermoor, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers. Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can't wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn't placed in one of the five covens. She's a Spare! Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn't work! They're stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic. Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they'll gain their full powers. If they fail... Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever. But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all… With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega's signature humor and girl-power vibes, this middle grade Latine witch story is truly a modern classic.


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A magical adventure for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers and Nevermoor, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers. Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And tw A magical adventure for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers and Nevermoor, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers. Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can't wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn't placed in one of the five covens. She's a Spare! Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn't work! They're stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic. Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they'll gain their full powers. If they fail... Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever. But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all… With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega's signature humor and girl-power vibes, this middle grade Latine witch story is truly a modern classic.

30 review for Witchlings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    I don't care what anyone says...this book is so sticking cute! I was really excited to get my hands on this book after I've heard so many great things about Ghost Squad. I haven't read it yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on it soon. If you're a fan of middle grade fantasy or books about witches, this is one that you're going to want to pick up. Witchlings has a little bit of something for everyone. There are witches, spooky creatures, covens, amazing friendships, advent I don't care what anyone says...this book is so sticking cute! I was really excited to get my hands on this book after I've heard so many great things about Ghost Squad. I haven't read it yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on it soon. If you're a fan of middle grade fantasy or books about witches, this is one that you're going to want to pick up. Witchlings has a little bit of something for everyone. There are witches, spooky creatures, covens, amazing friendships, adventure, and mystery. The story focuses on Seven who is extremely excited to be sorted into a coven with her best friend. They are both determined to make it into House Hyacinth; however, Seven doesn't make it into any coven and is considered a spare. Spares are witches that are looked down upon and typically only end up working as servants for the wealthy families in the community. Seven along with Thorn and Valley attempt to seal their bind, but fail. They then commit to completing an impossible tasks that will help them get their full powers and prevent them from remaining witchlings. The best part of this book outside of the amazing world-building was definitely the character development as it applies to the friendship that grows between Thorn, Valley, and Seven. These three are the most unlikely trio, yet they end up doing so many wonderful things together. By building a bond with Thorn and Valley, Seven learns a lot about what it means to grow away from past relationships and gain new ones. These three don't always get along and they definitely have issues to work through during the course of the novel, but the love, support, and care that exists between them is so endearing that it's hard not to love them as a coven. The other part of this novel that I thoroughly enjoyed was the the world building. Ortega does such a great job slowly incorporating the reader into this lush community of witches. There wasn't a moment where I was confused about the magic system or even the other which communities that exist in the grander scheme of the world building. The evil presence/foe made sense in regard to how the community is set up especially those thoughts and feelings that many have towards spares. And to be quite honest, I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't really put my finger on how everything was going to unfold. Overall, this is a great new novel from Ortega. The writing was simple, but thorough and really captured the world. I absolutely adored the characters and the world building. There is a content warning for child abuse which is described by a character. For some reason I got Halloweentown vibes from reading this book. I highly doubt that was the intention or the inspiration, but it definitely gives off cozy Halloween vibes that make it a for sure an annual spooky season re-read. If you haven't already, make sure you pick up this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This is literally one of the single cutest covers I've ever seen. I don't even know these characters, but I would fight to protect them 😠 This is literally one of the single cutest covers I've ever seen. I don't even know these characters, but I would fight to protect them 😠

  3. 4 out of 5

    cielo

    CW: Bullying, starving, child abuse, violence, death YALL I LOVED IT!! 😭

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    After reading Ghost Squad in 2020 I knew I wanted more from Ortega. I had so much fun with that book. The characters, the relationships, the humor, the heart; it was such a fantastically pure Middle Grade story. The perfect start for future Horror Readers like myself. In Witchlings, Ortega is able to bring a classic feel to a modern Fantasy story. Set in a magical town called Ravenskill, we follow 12-year old Seven Salazar, who on the night of her Black Moon Ceremony gets a result she wasn't expec After reading Ghost Squad in 2020 I knew I wanted more from Ortega. I had so much fun with that book. The characters, the relationships, the humor, the heart; it was such a fantastically pure Middle Grade story. The perfect start for future Horror Readers like myself. In Witchlings, Ortega is able to bring a classic feel to a modern Fantasy story. Set in a magical town called Ravenskill, we follow 12-year old Seven Salazar, who on the night of her Black Moon Ceremony gets a result she wasn't expecting. For context purposes you can picture the Black Moon Ceremony as a kind of sorting hat process. Young witchlings are essentially sorted into covens based on their skills and abilities. Seven and her best friend have always dreamed of being in the same coven. They want it so much that the girls actually begin to take it as a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, that's not how it works out and Seven ends up as a Spare. A witchling who doesn't get placed into one of the five covens. Spares, if we are being honest, are sort of looked down on by the whole town. It's not the greatest fate and disappointing for Seven, but she's not alone. Two other witchlings become Spares during that ceremony, Thorn and Valley. Making matters worse, when the three witchlings try to seal their circle, forging their bond as sisters, it doesn't work. Now they'll be doomed to a life without magic, except there's a catch and Seven knows it. She invokes their right to perform an impossible task. If they are able to complete it, their coven will be sealed and they will be able to gain full power. If they fail they risk being turned into toads. No pressure. Thus the three witchlings, who initially believed they had nothing in common, learn to work together and rely on one another to accomplish their goals. Friendship truly is magic. Witchlings is so engaging from the very start. Seven, as well as Thorn and Valley, are all very well fleshed out and super relatable. I love how pure their friendship is and the evolution of their relationship is so natural. I am sure young readers will be able to see a bit of themselves in at least one of these main characters. The witchlings uncover a bit of a mystery involving their town during the course of their impossible task and even in the face of dangerous odds, they forge ahead to reveal the truth. I loved that bit of mystery and intrigue. It was surprising and fun. You can tell that Ortega poured her whole heart into this one and I would definitely recommend reading the Author's Note at the end. Hearing a bit of Ortega's inspiration behind this story really helped me to appreciate all she brought to the page. I cannot recommend this one highly enough to both Middle Grade Readers and Fantasy Readers in general. Additionally, the audiobook is superb. I am super stoked for the sequel to this. Yes, there is one coming and I cannot wait!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Follows a 12-year-old witch who is sorted into a coven of unwanted spare witches with her bully and the new witch in town; they must now band together to defeat the fearsome Nightbeast or risk being turned into a trio of toads. the main trio is a misunderstood goth monster hunter, a botany-loving future reporter who reads too much, and a trauma sweet baby angel who's an expert with magical fashion. and there's even character art! 🥺️🥺️ Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Follows a 12-year-old witch who is sorted into a coven of unwanted spare witches with her bully and the new witch in town; they must now band together to defeat the fearsome Nightbeast or risk being turned into a trio of toads. the main trio is a misunderstood goth monster hunter, a botany-loving future reporter who reads too much, and a trauma sweet baby angel who's an expert with magical fashion. and there's even character art! 🥺️🥺️ Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  6. 5 out of 5

    Landice (Manic Femme)

    Oh my god I loved this so, so much! I’m so glad it’s going to be a series and I can’t wait to see where Seven, Valley, and Thorn go from here. If Goodreads allowed emojis, this is where I’d put approximately 10 of the big eyes UWU face emojis. Witchlings is out April 5th wherever books are sold! ARC Note: Thanks to Scholastic & Claribel for the review copy. This did not impact my opinions at all, and I can’t wait til my finished copy arrives! Let's be friends! Booktok | Bookstagram | Twitter Oh my god I loved this so, so much! I’m so glad it’s going to be a series and I can’t wait to see where Seven, Valley, and Thorn go from here. If Goodreads allowed emojis, this is where I’d put approximately 10 of the big eyes UWU face emojis. Witchlings is out April 5th wherever books are sold! ARC Note: Thanks to Scholastic & Claribel for the review copy. This did not impact my opinions at all, and I can’t wait til my finished copy arrives! Let's be friends! Booktok | Bookstagram | Twitter

  7. 5 out of 5

    Belles Middle Grade Library

    Wow! I absolutely loved Ghost Squad SO much..but I think I may love this 1 even more! Incredible read! I absolutely loved this town & its whole backstory. From the different covens, Spares, the Gran, the town Uncle, toads lol, Nightbeast, cucos, & more-phenomenal! So detailed, so atmospheric, & such vivid, incredible writing. So many incredible messages in here as well. Like when you grow up with expectations of how certain things will happen in life, & then they don’t. What it feels like when y Wow! I absolutely loved Ghost Squad SO much..but I think I may love this 1 even more! Incredible read! I absolutely loved this town & its whole backstory. From the different covens, Spares, the Gran, the town Uncle, toads lol, Nightbeast, cucos, & more-phenomenal! So detailed, so atmospheric, & such vivid, incredible writing. So many incredible messages in here as well. Like when you grow up with expectations of how certain things will happen in life, & then they don’t. What it feels like when you you feel like you don’t belong anywhere, & you desperately want to feel like you belong. This book is for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast, different, or like they didn’t fit in anywhere. In turn, it also has great messages on embracing & accepting yourself….being yourself. What makes us each special & unique ARE OUR DIFFERENCES. Be proud of who you are. The seemingly unlikely friendship that you can’t see happening at the beginning of the book….is even more beautiful & special when it DOES happen. Watching these 3 become friends was incredible to read about. Great dynamic between them, & they make the BEST team. The power of friendship is magic in itself. Seven, Valley, & Thorn are amazing characters, & have the BEST character development/growth. The topic of abuse is touched on briefly also, & I really loved the way the author handled that & wove it into the story. It’s a subtle reminder every kid needs to read(without even realizing the important message they’re getting while reading their witchy read-BRILLIANT)that if you see or hear something like that, you need to tell an adult immediately. If worried about your friend being mad at you-they won’t stay mad, & telling someone is more important anyway-FOR them. Emotional & physical abuse, either one or both-is wrong. Wanted to mention that, because even though it’s not a main focus or even a big big part in the book or anything, it really meant a lot to me to see that. Anyway, incredible writing, witchy goodness, mystery, monsters, magic, atmosphere, amazing characters & a phenomenal friendship all make for an epic magical adventure read. There is even a toad race. Lol So good! I loved this so much, & highly recommend. This is out now! STUNNING cover front & back by Lissy Marlin too!💜

  8. 4 out of 5

    theresa

    you don't understand how much i already love this, just LOOK at this character art!! I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter you don't understand how much i already love this, just LOOK at this character art!! I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

  9. 4 out of 5

    Racquel Marie

    # frog house

  10. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    This story follows 12 year old Seven Salazar who finds herself sorted into a coven of unwanted spare witches with two others…one of which is her bully. Seven, Valley, and Thorn must work together to defeat the Nightbeast or get turned into toads. This was such a fantastic read. It’s chock full of adventure, magic, magical creatures, covens, and unexpected friendships. There’s also some really great teaching moments when it comes to bullying, abuse, and prejudice. Thank you to Scholastic Inc for This story follows 12 year old Seven Salazar who finds herself sorted into a coven of unwanted spare witches with two others…one of which is her bully. Seven, Valley, and Thorn must work together to defeat the Nightbeast or get turned into toads. This was such a fantastic read. It’s chock full of adventure, magic, magical creatures, covens, and unexpected friendships. There’s also some really great teaching moments when it comes to bullying, abuse, and prejudice. Thank you to Scholastic Inc for providing review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kati Treu

    Thank you so much to Scholastic for sending me an ARC in exchange for review! 🍄🐸 Witchlings is a toad-ally charming tale of 3 witches on a epic quest of belonging in a world of covens & magical beasts. I love how this story explored not only friendship & belonging, but also the injustices of class systems. Seven, Thorn, and Valley, despite their differences, come together to stand up for themselves. Very empowering! 🪄 Having the super awesome character artwork on the cover really helped bring thes Thank you so much to Scholastic for sending me an ARC in exchange for review! 🍄🐸 Witchlings is a toad-ally charming tale of 3 witches on a epic quest of belonging in a world of covens & magical beasts. I love how this story explored not only friendship & belonging, but also the injustices of class systems. Seven, Thorn, and Valley, despite their differences, come together to stand up for themselves. Very empowering! 🪄 Having the super awesome character artwork on the cover really helped bring these characters to life. Sooo cute! also the illustration of Edgar Allen Toad?? FROGGIN' ADORABLE!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Josalynne Balajadia

    This was a well done middle grade story. It was certainly meant for younger readers, which concerned me at first, but after I got used to the writing style it was easy to enjoy the story. It gave me Owl House vibes but was enough of it's own thing it did not feel like it was ripping it off. The world building was amazing, by the end of the I felt like I understood how an average person would spend their day in The Twelve Towns. Certainly something I would easily recommend to anyone who is lookin This was a well done middle grade story. It was certainly meant for younger readers, which concerned me at first, but after I got used to the writing style it was easy to enjoy the story. It gave me Owl House vibes but was enough of it's own thing it did not feel like it was ripping it off. The world building was amazing, by the end of the I felt like I understood how an average person would spend their day in The Twelve Towns. Certainly something I would easily recommend to anyone who is looking for a light fantasy regardless of age. One thing to note is that there is no romance and none of the main characters are confirmed queer. There is some LGBTQIA rep throughout the book but the main story is focussed on the three witchlings dealing with their task.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kamaryn

    I’m waiting until the live stream to give my thoughts!!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Epeeblade

    I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book as part of a librarian's reader group I am a part of. This book was simply a delight. Wonderful world building, interesting plot, nice plot twist. I'm sure 12 year old me would have been super into it. Definitely recommend for middle grade collections. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book as part of a librarian's reader group I am a part of. This book was simply a delight. Wonderful world building, interesting plot, nice plot twist. I'm sure 12 year old me would have been super into it. Definitely recommend for middle grade collections.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    RTC for blog.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from the publisher TW: systemic prejudice & oppression, threat of infanticide, mentioned family death, mentioned fire, themes of abuse (abuse of a servant & abusive parent) 3.8 Seven can't wait to be in the same coven as her best friend, but not only does she not get put in the coven she wants, and not only does she not get into the same coven as her best friend, but the worst happens- Seven is a spare. And her spare coven won't even seal, so they're doomed to be witchlings fo I received an ARC from the publisher TW: systemic prejudice & oppression, threat of infanticide, mentioned family death, mentioned fire, themes of abuse (abuse of a servant & abusive parent) 3.8 Seven can't wait to be in the same coven as her best friend, but not only does she not get put in the coven she wants, and not only does she not get into the same coven as her best friend, but the worst happens- Seven is a spare. And her spare coven won't even seal, so they're doomed to be witchlings forever, and never graduate into full witches. The only option is to invoke The Impossible Task, and it seems like they got the most impossible, hunting down Nightbeast. Between the danger, her best friend drifting away, and learning to trust a witch she's just met and one who's made fun of her for years, it doesn't seem doable. But Seven, Valley, and Thorn are sure if they can band together they can find the Nightbeast, and even unravel all the weirdness that seems to be stirring. This is a sweet yet adventurous middlegrade book! This is a book I could imagine having read in elementary school, the kind of thing that would've gone well right in between my Eva Ibbotson books and Harry Potter, but would have lended some much needed diversity. The cast of characters is also one that I think kids are going to connect with, and the themes of abuse and getting past misunderstandings to get to know someone better are really important and done with a careful hand. The disappointment for me, an adult of color, is that I thought I saw a build up towards more political, validating moments- and certainly saw space and potential for that- but not only does that not get met, but it almost feels like a bait and switch in that department at the end. To have so much of the story be about how the system is crooked, and specifically targeting a marginalized class that's already vulnerable, as well as even using them as scapegoats, and show on page abuse to someone in this situation and then end the book without ever even hinting that they're going to try to make things better for those peoples is incredibly upsetting. I was so ready for an early introduction to social justice, and the rug gets completely pulled out from under you. Particularly because of the ending. (view spoiler)[Having the former Spares, those whose horrible punishment seemed meant to reflect the atrocities done to colonized & otherwise marginalized peoples, become the villains???? Awful. They become predatory and all that was attempted to be done to them, and was actually done to their group at large, is thrown out. And those in power are revalidated as being good, right, and worthy of being in control. It felt.... gross, honestly. (hide spoiler)] I can understand that some things are going to be requested to get simplified a bit and perhaps an editor might want things more centrist, but this felt like undoing literally all of the work done throughout the book up to this point. This is a fun, diverse magical story of adventure and friendship. Had the ending not played out as it did, I would have loved it. Pre-review comments below Well, I got a surprise copy of this ARC in the mail yesterday, so I guess I can count myself in on this fun, diverse adventure!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carrington (ctonreads)

    DNF at 46%, 1.5 stars. I wanted to love this, it sounded so fun and really cute. But what it ended up being is just a big mess. I could hardly visualize any of these scenes. There is a severe lack of detail and a whole lot of telling and not showing. It seemed like many of the rules of the world and magic system were just pulled out of thin air and revealed when the author felt like it served the plot. Nothing was established, I really don't think anything about this book was planned. It felt ver DNF at 46%, 1.5 stars. I wanted to love this, it sounded so fun and really cute. But what it ended up being is just a big mess. I could hardly visualize any of these scenes. There is a severe lack of detail and a whole lot of telling and not showing. It seemed like many of the rules of the world and magic system were just pulled out of thin air and revealed when the author felt like it served the plot. Nothing was established, I really don't think anything about this book was planned. It felt very clumsy and messy. Some of this writing really gave me second-hand embarrassment. The main character says every other page that she doesn't care what people think of her being a spare witch and that she'll prove everyone wrong, and then she's also blowing her BFF's phone up who has been ghosting her ever since they got sorted into different covens. She literally shuns her in public. Like come on, get a grip and move on. Also, these 12 year olds calling things "dope" made me roll my eyes. And the frequent use of "heck" or "heckin" was nauseating. If you can't use the word "Hell," please just avoid phrases where it's required. I decided I needed to DNF this book when I read "Heck had frozen over." Obviously this book isn't realistic because it's fantasy, but the dialogue between these characters really stuck out to me. The three girls constantly use slang, but are also somehow extremely grammatically correct and proper? Can we please get some contractions in here?! The dialogue consistently felt out of place, very forced and unnatural. This book is advertised as being some grand message about inclusion and friendship. You will find none of that here. The MC, Seven, is so adamant about not being judged by the town residents for being a spare witch, but she's the most judgmental character in the whole book. Only reason this didn't get a full 1 star is because I liked the side characters, Valley and Thorn. They were cute and actually likable. Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Surprise book mail. Thanks Scholastic! Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest You can never really have enough books about finding your place in this world. It’s one of those universal experiences that draws us all together. Witchlings sounds like many other beloved fantasy books: children come of age in a society that places them in groups that will shape their futures and of course, there’s trouble that comes along with the territory. Even though that’s a trope and story arc that’s been explore Surprise book mail. Thanks Scholastic! Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest You can never really have enough books about finding your place in this world. It’s one of those universal experiences that draws us all together. Witchlings sounds like many other beloved fantasy books: children come of age in a society that places them in groups that will shape their futures and of course, there’s trouble that comes along with the territory. Even though that’s a trope and story arc that’s been explored time and again, Witchlings feels fresh and new. It’s a different take on the magic that we often see within Middle Grade fantasy. Seven, Thorn, and Valley are a great group of characters. They feel fully developed and you just want to get to know them more. Some of the words & phrases in the world are a little too sweet and silly for my taste. Heavy subjects are touched on through the story in an age appropriate way. All in all, a charming new addition to the middle grade fantasy world.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessika

    This book was so much fun! I love a good middle grade read to kick back with now and again, and this cute, feisty read perfectly fit the bill. This story had a little bit of everything, and I think readers of all ages will enjoy this one. Full of magic and witches and spooky monstruos, this mighty little title also has important lessons about friendship and fitting in and learning to believe in yourself. And, like I said, it was just a lot of fun to read. I truly looked forward to reading this e This book was so much fun! I love a good middle grade read to kick back with now and again, and this cute, feisty read perfectly fit the bill. This story had a little bit of everything, and I think readers of all ages will enjoy this one. Full of magic and witches and spooky monstruos, this mighty little title also has important lessons about friendship and fitting in and learning to believe in yourself. And, like I said, it was just a lot of fun to read. I truly looked forward to reading this each time I picked it up. I’d love to read another story in this world! Thank you to Scholastic for the free ARC of this read in exchange for an honest review! This book is due to publish on April 5, 2022.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sammie V

    Every year on during the ceremony of the Black moon witchlings are chosen to join one of the five covens, but every year there are always 3 spares. Those who are not chosen and are left behind by the magical community, treated as second class citizens. Seven and her best friend Poppy have been working hard and getting the grades they hope will put them into house Hyacinth, but on the fateful night of the ceremony, Seven is not chosen for a coven, but is left to be a spare. Seven is not having an Every year on during the ceremony of the Black moon witchlings are chosen to join one of the five covens, but every year there are always 3 spares. Those who are not chosen and are left behind by the magical community, treated as second class citizens. Seven and her best friend Poppy have been working hard and getting the grades they hope will put them into house Hyacinth, but on the fateful night of the ceremony, Seven is not chosen for a coven, but is left to be a spare. Seven is not having any of that so she invokes an ancient rite called the Impossible task. Where the Gran Witch of the Town gives the three spares an impossible task to fulfill together. If they are able to complete it they will be able to become witches, if not well.... who knows. This was an absolutely wonderful read full of love, friendship, monsters and magic. The aspect of a tight nit family was one of the things I loved the most about this book. Sevens family was just so amazing, and the way her parents always had her back was just so beautiful to read. I was not expecting a middle grade reader to have such a great open dialogue on social issues/injustices that impact our society today. cw/tw bullying semi slavery/oppression

  21. 5 out of 5

    FloeticFlo

    This was adorable! Seven wasn't the greatest at first, but I really enjoyed her character arc and loved the friendship journey of her coven. The setting/worldbuilding was completely fun and captivating, and I'm so excited that there will be another book so I can return to this world! The ending, of course, completely threw me for a loop -- never saw it coming! At the end of the audiobook, Claribel shared an Author's Note, talking about the inspiration for the book and a few others things and it This was adorable! Seven wasn't the greatest at first, but I really enjoyed her character arc and loved the friendship journey of her coven. The setting/worldbuilding was completely fun and captivating, and I'm so excited that there will be another book so I can return to this world! The ending, of course, completely threw me for a loop -- never saw it coming! At the end of the audiobook, Claribel shared an Author's Note, talking about the inspiration for the book and a few others things and it was a really nice touch. I also liked that this wasn't super long, which meant that the pacing kept up the entire time and I never felt like it was dragging. If you want to escape into a fun, magical world for a little while, then definitely check this one out!

  22. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Witchlings begins with this idea of what happens when we feel like we don't belong anywhere. When we aren't sorted to a house. It revolves around our desperate want to belong, to fulfill these expectations we grow up with. But Seven's story is about this unlikely group of Spares who are faced with an impossible task. The danger and quest will force them to trust each other and, th (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Witchlings begins with this idea of what happens when we feel like we don't belong anywhere. When we aren't sorted to a house. It revolves around our desperate want to belong, to fulfill these expectations we grow up with. But Seven's story is about this unlikely group of Spares who are faced with an impossible task. The danger and quest will force them to trust each other and, throughout the book, become friends. Watching their friendship bloom is one of my favorite elements of Witchlings. They are forced to see beyond what our first impressions are and what we think we know about a person. Friends who turn out to abandon us and others who choose us against all odds. At the same time, our Spares face a prejudice against them as well as some truly cruel treatment. Ortega uses this as a lens to examine these issues of prejudice and the ongoing struggle for rights. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marte

    This was such a delight, and any fan of Nevermoor or Amari and the Night Brothers needs to give this a go! I would also highly recommend listening to the audiobook; the narrator was great. The audiobook also had an interview with the author at the end, and in it a sequel/companion was teased. So, I’m crossing my fingers for this to become a loooong series. An obvious nominee for the Goodreads' Choice Awards, Best Middle Grade of 2022, if you ask me. This was such a delight, and any fan of Nevermoor or Amari and the Night Brothers needs to give this a go! I would also highly recommend listening to the audiobook; the narrator was great. The audiobook also had an interview with the author at the end, and in it a sequel/companion was teased. So, I’m crossing my fingers for this to become a loooong series. An obvious nominee for the Goodreads' Choice Awards, Best Middle Grade of 2022, if you ask me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    keith

    how can a book with a toad in a mushroom shaped traveling tank named edgar allan toad not be incredible?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Witchlings Author: Claribel A. Ortega Book Series: Standalone for now Rating: 5/5 Diversity: Latine MC and characters, queer characters, one f/f romance mentioned Recommended For...: middle grade readers, fantasy, magic, witches, Latine/Latinx characters and inspired Publication Date: April 5, 2022 Genre: MG Fantasy Age Relevance: 10+ (bullying, violence, death, starvation, child abuse, assault, gore, scary monster Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Witchlings Author: Claribel A. Ortega Book Series: Standalone for now Rating: 5/5 Diversity: Latine MC and characters, queer characters, one f/f romance mentioned Recommended For...: middle grade readers, fantasy, magic, witches, Latine/Latinx characters and inspired Publication Date: April 5, 2022 Genre: MG Fantasy Age Relevance: 10+ (bullying, violence, death, starvation, child abuse, assault, gore, scary monsters) Explanation of Above: There is some bullying and very slight violence shown. There is also some very slight gore shown. Death is mentioned, never shown. There is starvation mentioned, as well as child abuse mentioned here and there (in very vague context) and an assault via magic shown (very brief, not graphic). There are also scary monsters that might be frightening to younger or sensitive readers. Publisher: Scholastic Press Pages: 352 Synopsis: Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can't wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn't placed in one of the five covens. She's a Spare! Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn't work! They're stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic. Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they'll gain their full powers. If they fail... Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever. But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all… Review: For the most part I really REALLY loved this book. It was so sweet and magical and definitely has that School of Good and Evil / Amari feel to it! I loved the magic system and how well detailed it was. I loved seeing how the world interacted with the characters and I loved seeing the character development as well, not only with our main character but with the side characters as well. The book has an amazing premise and it will keep you hooked from beginning to end. The book is also so magical and I would LOVE to see more from this world. Also, this is a total girl-power book. The only issue I had with the book is that it is a bit fast paced, which had me a little confused here and there, but it would be perfect for younger fast readers who are craving new magical journies. Verdict: I highly recommend this one!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diana N.

    This book is a lot of witchy fun! This book had a good pace and the characters were really unique and well developed. My 3rd grader read this book and it was a good level and really kept her interest. She had wished, however, that it had been more descriptive in detailing the scenes. Overall, this is a fun witch filled fantasy and the cover art is amazing!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    I was literally being miserable about not getting Witchlings until April when I noticed the ARC on the shelf at work and made the ugliest noise possible. But trust me when I say this is worth the wait!! I love this world and I’m so glad kids are going to be able to grow up with it! And to just see various casual lgbt representation in a middle grade book??? And it was never a big deal it just WAS. It made my heart happy! Also? It’s hilarious! I can’t wait to get my final copy!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brigid M

    Do you like 1. Witches 2. Hilariously named toads 3. ADVENTURE? then this is the book for you! I feel like Witchlings is poised to be the NEXT BIG THING and I really hope this book becomes the sensational hit that it deserves to be. It’s a quirky friendship story that really captures what it feels like to be an outcast. But at the same time its also a super action packed exciting magical adventure filled with lots of challenges and overcoming obstacles. Theres even a frog named edgar allen toad. Do you like 1. Witches 2. Hilariously named toads 3. ADVENTURE? then this is the book for you! I feel like Witchlings is poised to be the NEXT BIG THING and I really hope this book becomes the sensational hit that it deserves to be. It’s a quirky friendship story that really captures what it feels like to be an outcast. But at the same time its also a super action packed exciting magical adventure filled with lots of challenges and overcoming obstacles. Theres even a frog named edgar allen toad. Its amazing and filled with many magical shenanigans and a ton of heart. I also highly recommend following Claribel Ortega on social media. Shes fantastic. EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Snuck in a few pages of Witchlings every chance I got today! Seven, Valley, & Thorn must defeat a Nightbeast as a challenge to their fate of becoming spares, and this #mglit is nonstop action and magic - with twists & turns along the way! Out 04.05.22!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hunter

    *3.5 Stars I really enjoyed this book. The characters were written and talked as if they were their own age, and not an adult, which is something I appreciated. As an older teen, I can think of things differently than the characters, and when I thought back to when I was their age, I would've acted in a very similar way. The plot was interesting. The magic system was well developed, but sometimes hard to follow because you were just thrown into the world. I appreciated that there weren't any info *3.5 Stars I really enjoyed this book. The characters were written and talked as if they were their own age, and not an adult, which is something I appreciated. As an older teen, I can think of things differently than the characters, and when I thought back to when I was their age, I would've acted in a very similar way. The plot was interesting. The magic system was well developed, but sometimes hard to follow because you were just thrown into the world. I appreciated that there weren't any info dumps, but once something was mentioned there were often explanations that took you out of the story. I found them sometimes annoying, but it wasn't that big of a deal to me. Seven was a brave little girl, who was very family orientated and thought she was always in the right. She was very much me when I was her age, besides the brave part, and it was strange seeing so much of a younger me in a character. Valley was badass. She is someone I would've been friends with, but we probably would've had a bunch of mature talks about appropriate actions. Thorn is someone I would protect with my entire being, she was so sweet. But don't push her. She'd be my best friend. Trigger Warnings: metions of abuse, child abuse, abusive parent, murder of a child, animals being hurt(not nesessarily abuse, but they do get hurt a lot), and a lot of violence--magical violence.

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