cover image How to Succeed in Witchcraft

How to Succeed in Witchcraft

Aislinn Brophy. Putnam, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-35452-0

T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School junior Shayna Johnson, a biracial (Black and white) lesbian witch with working-class parents, will stop at nothing to win her Florida school’s Brockton Scholarship, which is only awarded to one student per year. The scholarship is essential to helping fund her way into a good magical licensing university, an invaluable step toward getting a well-paying job and setting her parents up for an easier life. The only thing standing in her way is beautiful, academically gifted Cuban witch Ana Álvarez, Shay’s rival since freshman year. When popular drama teacher and scholarship committee head Mr. B pressures Shay to join the high school musical to improve her chances at beating Ana, she feels compelled to agree. But Shay’s preconceived notions about the lengths she’s willing to go to in order to succeed at witchcraft are tested when Ana plays the show’s lead opposite Shay and Mr. B makes increasingly inappropriate advances. Brophy’s rapidly paced debut grounds its magical backdrop by exploring themes of capitalism, grooming, privilege, and racism, and Shay and Ana’s enemies-to-lovers romance offers a sweet reprieve from Mr. B’s ominous intentions. Ages 12–up. Agent: Gemma Cooper, Bent Agency. (Sept.)