Dear readers, I’m truly excited today to bring you this stop on the blog tour for THE WITCH OF WOODLAND by Laurel Snyder. This one is for the witches and the questioners out there.
The Witch of Woodland
by Laurel Snyder
Walden Pond Press, 2023
Review copy kindly provided by the publisher. Ebook and audiobook available through Libby.
About the Book
Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island [as well as Seven Stories Up and Bigger than a Breadbox], returns with a story of one girl’s quest to answer the seemingly unanswerable questions about what makes us who we are.
Hi, whoever is reading this. I’m Zipporah Chava McConnell, but everyone calls me Zippy.
Things used to be simple—until a few weeks ago. Now my best friend, Bea, is acting funny; everyone at school thinks I’m weird; and my mom is making me start preparing for my bat mitzvah, even though we barely ever go to synagogue.
In fact, the only thing that still seems to make sense is magic.
See, the thing is, I’m a witch. I’ve been casting spells since I was little. And even if no one else wants to believe in magic anymore, it’s always made sense to me, always felt true. But I was still shocked the day I found a strange red book at the library and somehow…I conjured something. A girl, actually. A beautiful girl with no memory, and wings like an angel. You probably don’t believe me, but I swear it’s the truth.
Miriam is like no one else I’ve ever met. She’s proof that magic is real. And, it’s hard to explain this part, but I just know that we’re connected. That means it’s up to me to help Miriam figure out what she is and where she came from. If I can do that, maybe everything else in my life will start to make sense too.
Anyway, it’s worth a try.
About the Author
Laurel Snyder is the beloved author of many picture books and novels for children, including the National Book Award nominee Orphan Island and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Charlie & Mouse. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program. Laurel lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.
Friends, these days both my TBR and my backlog of books that I need to write reviews of are so long that I very rarely take book review requests. I am so happy that I took this one! The story is told in Zippy’s own point of view, looking back on a school year so full she’s now writing down the details she can remember as she knows she’s already forgetting. Her notes on the writing process and how she’s not sure her English teacher would approve on how she’s telling the story are hilarious. But what really won me over was Zippy’s painfully difficult sincerity, her inability to pretend to her best friend that she cares about the school dance, to the other kids at school that she doesn’t truly believe in magic, or to her rabbi that she feels Jewish. And while I didn’t have the same questions as a tween that Zippy does, I empathized deeply with her not fitting in. Plus, Zippy really is justified in believing in magic, and I loved how her magic brought her closer to finding a home in faith tradition. There are so many young readers I want to give this to now!
Blog Tour Stops
|May 16||Nerdy Book Club||@nerdybookclub|
|May 16||Unleashing Readers||@unleashreaders|
|May 17||Teachers Who Read||@teachers_read|
|May 18||Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers||@grgenius|
|May 26||A Library Mama||@librarymama|
|May 30||A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust||@bethshaum|
This educators’ guide was created by Robbie Medwed, who teaches middle school at a Jewish Day School in Atlanta and has offered wonderful context and background information to support the story.