How to Catch a Witch

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Ready for my first London review? As I mentioned in my earlier travel log, I bought many books in London, specifically at Charing Cross Road. How to Catch a Witch by Abie Longstaff is the first one of the book haul that I read. It’s a delightful children’s book about a young girl who is trying to break an evil curse even though she’s not a witch:

Charlie and her family have moved from the big city to a small country village, and everything feels wrong. Their cottage is old and creepy. Anxiety about her new school is causing Charlie’s stutter to return. And the villagers are just plain weird. Not least, Agatha, who may not have a broomstick or a cauldron, but is definitely a witch…

So Charlie has just moved with her family to a small cottage because her dad lost his job. She’s not fitting in at school so she spends her time making lists about all the weird things in this town. Walking through the woods one day, she meets Agatha, a strange older woman who Charlie is convinced is a witch. So when Charlie learns that Suzy from school has been cursed, she enlists Agatha’s help to defeat the curse. She learns that the curse was placed by a friend of Agatha who became a dark witch. Charlie searches for the items she needs to stop the curse, but her plans never work out. Mostly because Cat, another student, keeps interrupting her. So she decides to take Cat to see Agatha, now convinced that Cat is also a witch.

But it turns out that Charlie is actually the witch and that Cat is her human familiar (a person who can help her channel her powers and perform stronger magic). This is why Charlie has been getting buzzing feelings around magical things and why Cat can ‘see’ the magic. They must now band together to stop the curse once and for all, before it’s too late. In the process the girls become close friends and that is how they manage to break the curse.

It’s a short and sweet children’s book that will capture any young girl’s attention. Charlie is going through a tough time, having just moved and not feeling like she fits in at her new school. Agatha and Cat help her find herself and believe in herself. That’s when she and Cat can do amazing things. The message behind this is indeed very positive, wrapped up with a magical bow. A must-read for young girls who like a little bit of magic!

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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