I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{The Witch Boy: Molly Ostertag}The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
Series: The Witch Boy
Published by Graphix on October 31, 2017
Genres: Graphic Novels, Junior High, Middle School
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Source: Scholastic Press
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{Synopsis} – In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

{My thoughts} – Aster is a remarkable character. He has the desire to learn spells and witchery, but that is what girls are meant to learn. Since he was born a boy he is suppose to learn to shapeshift and to become a demon hunter. He is one of the last boys in his age group that hasn’t been able to shapeshift. He doesn’t seem to let it bother him. Instead he sneaks around and he listens in on the girls witchery lessons and takes as many notes as he can. He also takes any and all opportunity that he is presented with to ask questions when witchery is taking place so that he can better understand how spells are done and cast.

Aster doesn’t feel like he is able to talk to anyone that he lives around. He feels like he has to keep his feelings and thoughts about wanting to learn witchery to himself. One night when he goes for a walk he meets a human girl. They become close friends and he starts confiding in her about his life and why things are so different and complicated for him.

It is the friendship that he builds with Charlie that helps him to see that he can do witchery and that he can make a difference. It is her support and help that leads him to helping his family and friends when a mysterious danger appears and starts causing trouble for all the young boys that are learning to shapeshift.

I really enjoyed this book for so many different reasons. The first is that the artwork on the pages is incredible. It stands out and it helps to pull you into the story. I also loved seeing that even though Aster chose not to conform to the gender roles of his family and friends that they eventually came around and accepted that he was born a witch and not a shapeshifter.

I think that all too often children are forced to conform to the beliefs of those around them and that causes so many problems. I don’t think children should be forced to be anything other then who they are on the inside. I think that by allowing children to be true to themselves that we as their family and friends are able to show them that despite their differences they are still very much loved and accepted.

I highly recommend this book for any child that seems to be struggling and having problems conforming to the gender roles that society has forced upon them. I think that any and all children can learn that it’s alright to be different. It’s alright for them to stay true to themselves!

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.