One: This is a First Second Graphic Novel. Which meant I HAD to read. Regardless of the seemingly obviously crazy, off the wall, fantasy look to it.
Second: This is not an obviously crazy, off the wall, fantasy. It is a not so obviously crazy, off the wall realistic fantasy. (See the difference?)
Finally: Witches are real, and Snapdragon by Kat Leyh proves it.
While there a few bumps to the storyline, it is a neat story about being yourself as well as about friends and family. The bumps come from the fact I was curious where was Snapdragons father? And wondered why Jacks and Jessie never ran into each other over the years? And did Jacks and Vi run into each other? After all, Snap and her mom Vi, seem to live close to Jacks. The other part is how there is no natural stopping point. It is all one big, wonderful story. The storylines melt into each other and sometimes you are thrown out of the flow when the new scene does not feel naturally introduced.
Now that I have written the above, I should start back at the beginning. Snapdragon (in the tradition of the women in her family, named after the mother’s favorite flower) is a feisty, independent girl who is not like other girls. She gets into fights. Does not feel she fits in her body. Not that she is a boy like her friend Lu/Lulu is a girl, but she does not do what she is supposed to. But as her mother tells her, Snap is already who she is supposed to be: a friend who stands up to bullies, helps people and is a loving daughter.
Characters diverseness is shown smoothly. There are people of color, Lulu’s transition is tender, Jacks love story was sweet and sad. Magic is real but shown in a mostly realistic fashion (after all one does not pick up a scummy ex-boyfriend and dump him in a trashcan normally). There are multiple layers and while not for everyone, this is a great book for ages 10 to 14 (and adults) and however you might identity.