Author: Sean McHugh (also illustrator) and Katie McHugh Parker
Pocky McGuire has no idea why she is different. No one else in her family can levitate books or freeze and angry dog in his tracks. She felt alone in the world until one day she met a strange boy with a goatee. Unlike Pocky, Stamp had no doubt who he was. He was raised by witches and he was a witch. Upon meeting Stamp, Pocky hoped to befriend her magical counterpart and learn a few tricks of the trade. Stamp, however, wanted no part of anything or anyone mortal, including Pocky. Will it take magic to bring these two kindred spirits together?
What we need more of are cute, fun, refreshing books. Broomsticks is one of those books.
The Characters: Pocky is cool. She’s that kind of friend that everyone needs and the kid of girl we all wish our kids would become. I like that even as spunky (yes I said spunky) as she is – she’s also uncertain. It kept her real. There really is nothing worse than a character that seems like they have all the answers all the time – I teach kids and no kid I know is like that. Even the ones that want to be! Pocky’s cast of friends were fun and pretty typical. Maggie was fun – and a great balance to Pocky. As far as Stamp – the boy witch – I did have to get use to him a bit. He was so kind of snotty and rude, such a sharp contrast to Pocky, that he had to grow on me quit a bit. In the end I did like him better, and I do think that was intended.
The Plot: The plot of the story was pretty typical – girl who is trying to figure out her life, her friends and deal with the “cool” kids. As typical as it is, it completely works for the age group it’s written for. I can see the young tween set eating up the conflict that Pocky has between her friends and the “other group”. It’s a conflict that age group can relate to, so it would ring really true to them. Ok, ok so they couldn’t relate to the whole “I’m a witch” thing – but that Pocky’s conflict with that was done well enough to seem relatable.
I also liked how the whole story with Ricky went down. It had consequences, but you could tell that Pocky and Maggie were going to handle it in a great way as they continue on. I liked that they didn’t fall into the trap of paybacks! For the age group reading it, that would be a great model and message for them to see.
Over – all a super fun book that young tween girls will enjoy. I could see lots of stories come out of the adventures Pocky finds herself in.
Final thought: Paranormal conflict – realistic and fun story
Best stick-with-you image: Pocky freezing time
Best for readers who: Are young tween girls
Best for ages: 8-10