cover image Snapdragon


Kat Leyh. First Second, $21.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-17111-5

When middle schooler Snapdragon’s dog goes missing, Snapdragon dares to enter the house of a reputed witch and finds the hound recuperating from an accident. The next day, encountering a dead opossum mother and her living babies, Snapdragon takes them back to the house for help. The purported witch, an older woman named Jacks who raced motorcycles in her youth, makes a deal with Snapdragon—Jacks will help Snapdragon care for the possums if Snapdragon helps Jacks with her work harvesting road kill, then cleaning and selling the articulated skeletons online. As the self-possessed girl develops an interest in vertebrate anatomy, she spends time in her trailer park home evolving a meaningful friendship with trans neighbor Lu, honing an interest in frightening tales, and navigating the fallout of her hardworking single mother’s most recent relationship. She also discovers that Jacks is deeply connected to her own family—and just might be an actual witch. In bright, dynamic art, Leyh packs Snapdragon’s world with an array of wonderful characters, full of quirks and contradictions, who represent a variety of ethnicities, sexualities, and gender expressions. Full of magic and humor, this intersectional, layered tale offers joyful and affirming depictions of social outsiders and comfortably complicated families. Ages 10–14. (Feb.)