Middle Grade Monday features Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan. Mup first sees the witches in the treetops when she and her brother are en route home with their mam after visiting her gravely ill great-aunt in hospital. The witches are deathly pale and terrifyingly serious and definitely following her as they leap from treetop to treetop. Mup is terrified to enter her own home and she should be. Turns out Mup's aunt spirited her mother away from the Witch's Borough for her own protection. Now that Aunty is dying, her protective spell weakened. The witch's have found "the heir" and intend to return her to her mother, the queen.
Vivid and creepy, this first book in the Wild Magic trilogy will hook readers on page one and not let go, leaving them panting for book two, which is due out September 3! The writing is lovely for so suspenseful a story. Mup is immediately endearing and everyone around her is unique and memorable from her baby brother, Tipper, who becomes an irrepressible talking dog in the Glittering Kingdom through Crow, a talking crow/ young boy who has trouble speaking in rhyme as required by the queen.
Kate Rudd subtly shifts her voice for each character in this measured performance.
Fans of scary stories will gobble this one up.
Here's a link to a pretty cool book trailer that I think conveys the atmospheric vibe of the book quite nicely.