Moon, Russell. Witch Boy. Harper Collins, 2002. ISBN 978-0064407953 208 pp. $
Marcus is terrified by his strange power to move things with his mind. Just before he and his mom are going to move to a new town, he gives in to his longtime girlfriend’s plea to make love and becomes certain he has done something terrible to her when she disappears in a blaze of light, and he comes to gripping a handful of her hair in his fist. Is she dead or alive? Who or what kind of monster is he? And why do all of the people in his new town seem so familiar to him?
The first book in a trilogy, Witch Boy gets off to a slow start. It takes way too long for the reader to figure out what is going on here we are as much in the dark as poor Marcus for most of the book, and a good deal of the plot is internal struggle. Still, it is a nice change to find a boy character who is a witch; given the popularity of series such as Cate Tiernan’s Sweep (Puffin, 2001-) and Lynne Ewing’s Daughters of Moon (Hyperion, 2000-) and of course J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (Scholastic, 1999), teens seem eager to read about magic and the craft. Both the cover and the premise are appealing, and the cliffhanger ending induces the reader for wait for the second book, if only to discover once and for all if Russell will follow his destiny or not.