Many thanks to GP Putnam’s Sons Books/PYR for a copy of How to Succeed in Witchcraft in Exchange for an honest review.
Content Warnings are this time at the top, like How to be successful in witchcraft deals with questions of care in the education system.
Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. As a junior at TK Anderson Magical Magnet School, she is determined to win the Brockton Scholarship – her ticket to the university of her dreams. your competition? Ana curses Alvarez. The key to victory? Impressive Mr. B., drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee.
When Mr. B asks Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive musical, She cautiously agrees, even if she has to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But in rehearsals, Shay realizes that Ana . . . not the despicable witch she had in mind. Maybe she could be a friend – or more.
And Shay could use someone in her corner once she becomes the target of Mr. B’s unwanted attention. When Shay learns she isn’t the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide whether to come forward. But how can she speak up when her future is at stake? — From the publisher.
Aislin Brophys How to be successful in witchcraft is visceral in a way that’s hard to read, but that’s a good thing. This book is not subtle. A book about how horribly society treats children, especially marginalized ones. should not be. This novel combines metaphor and real life. Shay and her friends live in an alternate reality version of the USA, but it’s not the different from our society. Sure they have magic, but if anything, those are just IRL injustices.
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As a teacher and former theater child How to be successful in witchcraft made my blood boil. My best friend’s mom was my drama teacher and is essentially my second mom. She is so popular that her students call her “Mom”. Like Mr. B., she often drove BIPOC children, who lived 30 minutes outside of the district home, after theater rehearsals so they could attend without having to wait for buses that might not be coming.
Unlike Mr. B, my drama teacher is not abusive. But because of that relationship, and my subsequent work as an educator, I understand how easy it is for criminals like Mr. B to exist and find their victims. The trust that students and parents place in the educators is enormous. Sure, we get fingerprinted and run background checks, but…dangerous monsters still pass the tests.
While I don’t want to perpetuate a culture where we don’t trust each other, we need to create a culture that recognizes warning signs and abuses them before they happen.
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OK, but how is the book?
I have thrown many comments about the merits of How to be successful in witchcraftideas. But rest assured. It’s good to read too. Shay is a great character. I loved watching her grow: as a human, witch, daughter, friend – everything. I particularly enjoyed her friendship with Lex, as Brophy avoided many of the typical pitfalls of teenage drama friendships. The romance in the book was light and airy, an excellent balance to the book’s darker material.
Shay’s relationship with her parents is also well drawn; they want so much from her that she is nervous about going to them when things are difficult. Likewise, the socioeconomic realities of Shay and Ana’s lives were pervasive, and it’s a nice, authentic touch. Her queerness feels less central to her identity, which is a critical and valid perspective on reading.
Should you read it?
Yes indeed. Aislin Brophys How to be successful in witchcraft Should be required reading for all children and parents. It could probably save lives. Knowing how to know the characters and it’s not your fault are of the utmost importance. Other than that, Brophy’s book is good. It’s entertaining. Not surprisingly, Brophy is an actor himself. She captured this world really well. Can’t wait to read what they come up with next!
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How to be successful in witchcraft out September 27, 2022. Pick up a copy at your local independent bookstore or library. 📚🧪🔮
If you are experiencing abuse but are unable to discuss it with an adult, please contact one of these crisis hotlines:
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