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Review: The Lunch Witch

The title of this latest original publication by Papercutz might make you think of the Lunch Lady graphic novels, but mark my words: The Lunch Witch bears very little resemblance, though it will be a hit with the kids.

The Lunch Witch
By Deb Lucke
Papercutz, 174 pp.
March 2015. ISBN 978-1-6291-162-5 hc $14.99
Recommended grades 5 and up

Grunhilda is from a long line of witches. Her many-greats-grandmother was the originator of Hansel & Gretel Pie, but there isn’t much of a need for magic anymore. After trying a number of vocations, Grunhilda accepts a position as a Lunch Lady in the local school. There she encounters Madison, and she is sure that Madison knows her secret. Madison is a child with thick glasses who is not doing well in school and is in danger of being held back a year. When she discovers Grunhilda’s secret, she blackmails the Lunch Witch into helping her out, but helping out isn’t Grunhilda’s style. It stands against everything Grunhilda knows—and yet when the initial spell goes awry, Grunhilda really goes all out to help. Will her ancestors get in her way?

This fast-paced story is a perfect blend of spooky and funny. The quirky characters, with their exaggerated features, like Grunhilda’s nose, or Madison’s glasses, or even the principal’s head, add to the entirety of the story. Color is used carefully. Though mostly colored with a sepia tone, the story starts out in dark drab colors, but every so often, where it’s meant to move the story, there is a surge of color that livens up the page. For instance, at the end of the book, color is used to highlight the happy resolution.

This will be a great addition to any collection. Middle grade readers will devour this title. After all, don’t all students think the cafeteria is run by a bunch of witches?

This review is based on a complimentary advanced copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright ©Papercutz

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Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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