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BROOMS by Jasmine Walls


by Jasmine Walls ; illustrated by Teo DuVall ; color by Bex Glendining

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 2023
ISBN: 9781646142675
Publisher: Levine Querido

Six witches get caught up in the excitement and danger of illegal broom racing in an alternate historical Mississippi.

In a world where children with magic are taken to the colonizing government’s schools, sisters Mattie and Emma are drawn to broom racing’s potential to help support their family and save themselves. Luella, whose magic was bound by the government after an incident in the residential school she was forced to attend, is their teacher and guide. Their team, the Night Storms, includes Billie Mae and Loretta, who read Black, and Cheng Kwan, who is transgender. They fight discrimination and overcome sabotage to win their races and their freedom. The author’s note describes the cast’s identities: Mattie and Emma are Choctaw and Black, Luella is Mexican and Choctaw, Chinese American Cheng Kwan speaks Cantonese, and Loretta, who uses a leg brace, has had a stroke. Emma, who is deaf, uses sign language and some lip-reading. This range in representation accurately highlights the broadly diverse experiences of folks in the South. There are also loving and intentionally presented queer relationships and experiences, highlighting the fact that there has always been and will always be room for queer folks in our communities. DuVall’s beautiful art is clean and luminous but so understated that it’s hard at times to follow the setting and characters through the panels. A scrapbook-style epilogue showing the witches’ futures is heartwarming and uplifting, however.

A fast-paced race to a satisfying, winning end.

(Graphic fantasy. 13-18)