Naifeh, T. (2003). Courtney Crumrin and coven of mystics. Portland, OR: ONI Press.
This is a great middle grade graphic novel about a young girl who is learning magic from her uncle Aloysius and her teacher Ms. Crisp. The book is set up so that each chapter is a separate story but each story connects to form the larger narrative. This makes it a particularly great book for reluctant readers as it can easily be read one chapter at a time with out any cliff hanger chapter endings. The overall story is potentially a bit dark and scary for some readers and there is minor swearing for example early on in the book Courtney says something is bull and later in the book she says the word ass. This swearing however is a very minor part of the book and is not overdone or superfluous. The plot of the book revolves around different monsters and other friendlier night creatures as well as the coven of different warlocks and witches. Someone has summoned a powerful monster and cursed one of the witches in the coven and Courtney is trying to figure out who in order to save an innocent magical creature, Skarrow, who is being blamed for cursing the witch. Ultimately she is unable to save Skarrow but she summons up the monster previously summoned by the villain to kill him and prevent him from harming anyone else.
Because this story is pretty dark with several deaths I would recommend it more for older tweens however the language is simple enough that younger tweens who are more mature may still enjoy it. The book itself says its for ages 7 and up. This is a good book for readers who are looking for something a bit scary and I would recommend adding it to Halloween book lists or displays when tweens may be more likely to be looking for a scary book. I would also reccomend it as a slightly darker read alike for fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. As well as recommend it fans of darker fairy tales or other fantasy graphic novels. This is actually the second book in the Courtney Crumrin series though it works well as a stand alone novel. There are seven volumes in the Courtney Crumrin series.