Written & Illustrated by: Aliza Layne
For Ages: MG & YA (graphic novel)
Topics Covered: Witchcraft, Non-Binary Identity, Graphic Novels, Friendship, LGBTQ, Magic.
Summary: Spooky fantasy graphic novel with LGBTQ representation for middle grades? Sign me up! Beetle is a goblin being homeschooled by her grandmother in magic. Beetle’s best friend is Blob Ghost (BG), a non-binary ghost that haunts the local shopping mall.
Out of the blue, Beetle’s ex-best friend moves back into town from boarding school. Kat has a sorcery internship with her aunt, an intimidating and powerful witch. Kat and Beetle attempt to rekindle their lost friendship and Kat’s aunt decides to buy the shopping mall to demolish and reclaim lost lands for their family. However, BG is stuck to the mall grounds unable to leave and Beetle is terrified that if the mall is demolished something awful will happen to her best friend. Is Beetle’s magic strong enough to save Blob Ghost, and is there more on the horizon than just friendship for Beetle and Kat?
Folx, I’m obsessed with this book. I read it in a single sitting one night, fully intending to just read a few pages before bed. Instead, I got instantly drawn in and needed to find out what happened. I love graphic novels, and I think they have a unique ability to draw in reluctant readers. I find myself frustrated at some fantasy that refuses to acknowledge the diversity of the real world. I love when books such as this one can seamlessly integrate LGBTQ and non-binary representation in such a normalized way, it’s hardly discussed, it just is. If you love magic and spooky comics, you definitely need to check this one out!
This book was kindly sent by Simon & Schuster, but all opinions are my own!