HOCUS POCUS and the Case of the Book Sequel

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Jenn Northington

Director, Editorial Operations

Jenn Northington has worked in the publishing industry wearing various hats since 2004, including bookseller and events director, and is currently Director of Editorial Operations at Riot New Media Group. You can hear her on the SFF Yeah! podcast nerding out about sci-fi and fantasy. When she’s not working, she’s most likely gardening, running, or (obviously) reading. Find her on Tumblr at jennIRL and Instagram at iamjennIRL.

A while back there was a lot of hubbub about a potential film Hocus Pocus sequel — I am firmly in Camp No Thank You. There are few things in this world as purely delightful as Hocus Pocus, and I will fight you about it. As of this week, Disney has clarified: it is not, in fact, getting a movie sequel. Hocus Pocus is getting a book sequel!


Very literally titled Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel, the book retells the original film and then jumps many years forward to follow the adventures of Max and Allison’s daughter Poppy. Like any good skeptical 17-year-old, she accidentally raises witches from the dead and then has to save Salem. You can read an excerpt here.

My first question, of course, was: who is writing it? According to the book’s information page at Disney, the author is one A.W. Jantha. After a judicious Googling and Goodreads search, I can report that the only mentions of that name occur in coverage of the book’s announcement. A.W. Jantha is an internet ghost. I smell a pseudonym!

Will the real A.W. Jantha please stand up?

Who is this mysterious writer? Will the book be any good? What did you think of the excerpt? I have so many questions.

While we wait for the book’s publication (July 10, 2018), here are some witchy books to tide you over.