“Do you believe in magic?”
That is the question I asked Ms. Emma Steinkellner when she gave a virtual talk about her debut graphic novel, The Okay Witch, for the middle grade book club. Ms. Emma believes that the little things the world has to offer are magic, like a tree shaped like an animal. She is not so sure she believes in witchcraft now, but at the age of thirteen she attempted to do spells in her bedroom closet. Different forms of magic, then, infuse her book.
Ms. Emma is very interested in the history of magic. She is also passionate about unknown but important figures in history. For example, the character Hecate in The Okay Witch was inspired by the Greek goddess of magic.
Do you like the musical Wicked? Well, Ms. Emma does. She included allusions to the musical in her book. That is another fun reason to read The Okay Witch.
It is always a treat to know an author's favorite childhood book. Ms. Emma remembers loving the book Letters From Camp by Kate Klise. I, myself, based on her suggestion, am going to read Letters From Camp.
Here is a tip: better read the book quickly! There's a sequel on the way! The middle grade book club got to see a sneak peek of the new drawings for Ms. Emma’s next book. Part of the way she tells the story is with her drawings. For example, she uses color to make a focal point.
Do you believe in magic? Reading The Okay Witch might change your view.
Second Star Middle Grade Book Club member, Abby Heider, is a rising 5th grader who would like to be a mechanic when she grows up and this summer is trying to make a pair of working wings.