- B*Witch by Paige McKenzie
McKenzie, Paige B*Witch; written by Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin. Little, 2020 [304p] Trade ed. ISBN 9781368028769 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9781368045933 $9.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 7-10
In this alternate history, witches are real and persecuted, and two clashing teen covens in Sorrow Point, Washington unite forces against an unknown opponent after both receive threatening messages. Iris, sixteen, is new to Sorrow Point and scared of rejection due to her generalized anxiety disorder and sensory disorder; Binx, gamer girl and anime nerd, is a "cyber-witch"; Greta, coven leader, keeps her witches away from the rival coven's dark magic; and Ridley, a Black trans girl, hides being a woman from her family as she pursues the cute new girl at school, Penelope. [End Page 486] Though the spunky teen witches are diverse and sometimes fun, this story has an uninspired plot further hampered by numerous cringey moments. Binx's constant Pokemon references get old fast, as does the clichéd writing. Nonetheless, there's a highlight in Ridley's innovative use of magic to obscure her trans identity from her family, and this may draw some readers looking for diverse teen witches once they finish Sterling's These Witches Don't Burn (BCCB 05/19).