FICTION

Mooncakes

Lion Forge. Oct. 2019. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781549303043.
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Gr 7 Up–Nova is a small-town witch, fulfilling her apprenticeship at her grandmothers’ New England bookshop. When rumors surface of a white wolf wandering the forest, Nova knows it’s her long-lost werewolf friend Tam. Nova goes to find them, only to encounter a terrifying demon who’s possessing a neighbor’s horse—and who can’t be defeated by any magic she knows. The two get away, and Nova and her grandmothers take in Tam. With their combined witch and wolf magic, Nova and Tam must work together to defeat this demon, all while their undeniable chemistry rekindles their long-dormant mutual crush. Xu and Walker have created a charming, magical tale. Tam and Nova are multifaceted, with developed backstories and motivations. Their shared identities (they are both Chinese American and queer) are integral to their characters; Tam’s nonbinary identity and Nova’s hearing impairment are similarly authentic. Xu’s illustrations infuse the spells and witchcraft with a dynamic, exhilarating magic. There is some mature language, some violence, and a gentle romance.
VERDICT This sweet, spellbinding story will appeal to fans of magic and romance.

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