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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Through the Witches Stone by Scott A. Johnson introduces Hadley, who wasn’t so sure about spending the entire summer with Grandma. Isolated, out in the woods, with no cell service, no television, and no neighbors, it sounded, quite simply, bleak, not to mention boring. It would just be her grandparents, her twin brothers, and herself. Other than chores, what could she find to do? Then Grandma broke the news with a blunt statement: "Didn't anyone tell you that you come from a long line of witches?" That’s when the excitement began. Who needs modern technology when you have witchcraft, magic, changelings, magical creatures, and a forest full of ominous beings? She and her brothers were warned that it was not safe out there, but Hadley didn’t listen and her adventure in the forest threatened all she held dear. Would she ever be able to trust what she sees as real?
Scott A. Johnson’s middle-grade novel Through the Witches Stone is an adventure like no other. Full of magic, fantasy, unbelievable creatures, and a young girl trying to find her place in the world, this story has a lot to attract young readers. The plot follows Hadley’s arrival at Grandma’s, her discovery that she’s a witch, her lessons in magic, and her dangerous treks into the forbidden forest. This all built up to the main threat, the one that could well take away her family and her life - her real life. Descriptive narrative is used effectively and dialogue is believable and helps set the mood and develop both the characters and the plot. This is a real page-turner and readers will be anxious to read more, so hopefully there’s another book in the works, one that will further follow Hadley’s magic training as well as that of her younger brothers.