Middle grade fantasy was one of my first loves, and was the genre that helped me become the reader I am today. I vividly remember reading The Doll People one summer with the explicit goal of improving my reading with a chapter book, and I haven’t looked back since. All books are magic, of course, but there’s something so overtly magical (pun intended) about books where the impossible can happen. And of course what little kid doesn’t want to envision themselves being a little bit magical? That’s playground fare at its finest. And is there anything more magical than books about witches, in particular? I don’t think so.
These 10 magical witch books for middle grade readers are exactly the sort of reading that sparks the imagination and opens kids up to a whole wide world of wonderful reading. They’re full of novice witches setting out on quests to advance their magic, magic schools where kids can study their craft, and strange old women who turn out to be witches, after all. Rediscover the magic of reading or help the young readers in your life discover it for the first time with these magical witch books. They’re sure to cast a spell on you, and you won’t be sorry they did.
Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
When three young witchlings find themselves without a coven, they invoke an ancient ritual to save their powers. Succeeding in the impossible task means they’ll get another chance to become fully-fledged witches, but failure will mean being turned into toads forever. The risk seems worth it to Seven Salazar, who’s always dreamed of becoming a renowned witch journalist. But with her lifelong bully and an anxious new girl as her only allies, their task to track down a Nightbeast really does seem, well…impossible. If they can work together, they can prove their worth, save the town, and maybe even become friends along the way.
Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe
Eva Evergreen is the daughter of a powerful witch, but she only has a drop of magic to call her own. Like all young witches, she must help out a town in order to earn the rank of Novice Witch before she turns 13. Otherwise, she risks losing her magic forever. But the costal town of Auteri isn’t interested in a semi-magical witch; they want the real thing. And with a magical storm brewing on the horizon, it’s easy to see why. But Eva is determined to help out in her own way, opening a magical repair shop and helping anyone in need. Now, if only she can convince the town of her worth and show everyone what she can do, with only her heart, her courage, and a pinch of magic.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Amari knows her big brother’s disappearance wasn’t related to anything illegal, like the police claim, and she’s determined to find out what really happened to him. So when she’s nominated for a spot at Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she knows it’s her chance to finally get some answers. Not only was her brother involved in the supernatural world, he was apparently a hot shot. And now Amari’s attending the same program he did. But her brother really did disappear, and it has something to do with a powerful, evil magician. Good thing Amari’s got powers now, too. Powers so great, in fact, that all her classmates think she’s evil and her teachers distrust her. And if she can’t convince them to help her brother, she’ll just have to find some way to do it herself.
A Taste of Magic by J. Elle
Weekend school isn’t so bad when it’s an excuse to study magic. Kyana just learned she’s a witch and spends every Saturday at Park Row Magic Academy, where she studies all sorts of spells. But when their funding is cut, students have to pay hefty fees to attend a school all the way across town if they want to continue their studies. A baking contest with a big cash prize might be just the answer Kyana’s looking for, but will she be able to keep up her grades, make a good bake, and hide her magic all at the same time?
The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton
Come away to a magic school in the sky where magical children from around the world come together to study magic and practice their cultural arts. Ella is the first Conjuror to attend Arcanum Training Institute, and there are many who distrust her for her “unnatural” abilities. And unfortunately it looks like A.T.I. is no different. But Ella isn’t the only misfit in school, and she soon finds some friends among a girl who hates magic and a boy who’s constantly in the company of a magical creature or two. When her favorite teacher goes missing, it’s only Ella who seems to notice or care. And with rumors and suspicion spreading around her, can Ella get to the bottom of what happened to her mentor before she’s kicked out of A.T.I. for good?
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
A magical bakery where cookies and cakes are conjured for all occasions is the dreamy setting for this witchy middle grade read. When Leo discovers that she’s descended from a long line of brujas — witches of Mexican ancestry — she’s determined to prove she has what it takes to help prepare for the annual Dia de los Muertos festival this year. She might not have any training as a bruja yet, but she has the power. Surely doing one little spell couldn’t hurt, could it?
Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo
An age-old family feud and a forbidden book of hexes cause a whole lot of trouble when Delpha McGill and Katybird Hearn accidentally unleash a spell that awakens a graveyard full of their angry ancestors bent on destruction. Their only hope of saving the small town of Howler’s Hollow from total zombie annihilation is to work together and mend fences — even the ones that were broken generations back.
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
What’s even better than a book about witches? How about a book about witches and dragons? When Jaxon’s sent to spend a day with with the mean old lady his mom calls Ma, he learns not only is she not his grandmother, she’s a witch! And she needs Jaxon’s help to deliver a bag full of baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. Ma says there are two very important rules when it comes to baby dragons: don’t let them out of the bag and don’t give them any sweets. Seems easy enough, but before Jaxon knows it, he and his friends have broken both rules! Will Jax manage to deliver these dragons safely or will he let down a witch?
Snapdragon by Kay Leyh
In this adorable, feel-good graphic novel, a girl named Snapdragon befriends the village witch who’s probably not an actual witch — unless she is? When Snap rescues a litter of orphaned possums, she can only think of one person who might take them: Jacks, the croc-wearing, road-kill collecting old woman everyone calls a witch. It turns out, Jacks is just collecting roadkill to taxidermy and sell online. She agrees to keep the baby possums, but only if Snap agrees to help raise them. It’s the start of an unlikely friendship that reveals a touch of magic and a surprising connection to Snapdragon’s own family.
Root Magic by Eden Royce
In this historical ghost story, twins Jez and Jay are facing a whole lot of change, and not all of it good. Their beloved grandmother just passed away, the local police deputy won’t stop harassing their family, and integration has come to South Carolina, with Jez and Jay about to join a whole host of new classmates. But when their uncle offers to start teaching them rootwork, African American folk magic that has been passed down in their family for generations, it’s just the bit of good news they needed to keep going. And the magic has come just in time, because when evil both natural and supernatural come to town, it’s going to take every bit of magic Jez knows to stop it.
Need even more magical witch books for middle grade readers? Here are some more we recommend: