Begone the Raggedy Witches

by Celine Kiernan

After Mup’s beloved Aunty dies, Mup begins to see “raggedy witches”... read more

After Mup’s beloved Aunty dies, Mup begins to see “raggedy witches” in the shadows of trees. It turns out the witches have been sent by Mam’s own mother, an evil queen wanting to make sure Mam won’t challenge her throne. Mam remembers nothing of her life in Witches Borough—Aunty took her away as a child—but when Mup’s dad is kidnapped by rebels fighting the queen, Mam crosses the barrier between worlds to rescue him with Mup, her baby brother, Tipper, their faithful dog, Badger, and the faintly glowing ghost of Aunty in tow. In the world of magic, Tipper turns into a joyful, talking puppy and Mup befriends sad, lonely Crow, who is both boy and bird. Mup also discovers that she, like her mother, has magical power. Aunty’s ghost tries to keep Mam focused on rescuing her husband and returning to her human life, but the queen’s cruelty has been boundless. Those who challenge her must talk in rhyme; those who defy her are punished and killed. For biracial (white/ Black) Mup, trying to understand the world of magic, her own power, and the wickedness of a grandmother she’s never met leads to big questions about
right and wrong, responsibility and freedom, love and family, in Book 1 of a breathless, beautifully written fantasy. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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