Fall 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“Cattywampus is filled with raccoon familiars, magic, and two kids aimed at saving their town from generations of zombie ancestors brought on by a spell gone bad! I loved the sense of place Ash Van Otterloo has brought to this book, plus the wonderful language and some beautiful representation.”
— Nathaniel Hattrick, Ballast Book Company, Bremerton, WA
In the town of Howler's Hollow, conjuring magic is strictly off-limits. Only nothing makes Delpha McGill's skin crawl more than rules. So when she finds her family's secret book of hexes, she's itching to use it to banish her mama's money troubles. She just has to keep it quieter than a church mouse -- not exactly Delpha's specialty.
Trouble is, Katybird Hearn is hankering to get her hands on the spell book, too. The daughter of a rival witching family, Katy has reasons of her own for wanting to learn forbidden magic, and she's not going to let an age-old feud or Delpha's contrary ways stop her. But their quarrel accidentally unleashes a hex so heinous it resurrects a graveyard full of angry Hearn and McGill ancestors bent on total destruction. If Delpha and Katy want to reverse the spell in time to save everyone in the Hollow from rampaging zombies, they'll need to mend fences and work together.
Fans of A Snicker of Magic and The Witch Boy will love this funny, folksy, fresh debut from Ash Van Otterloo that proves sometimes it takes two witches to make the strongest magic happen.
An Indies Next pick
An Indies Introduce pick
"Deftly weaving elements of magic and nature with a story of adolescent change, debut author Van Otterloo conjures a timeless contemporary fantasy." -- Publishers Weekly
"A spirited debut." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Lively and entertaining! Ash Van Otterloo delivers spooky fun and an essential new kid-lit character in this spirited debut." -- Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor-winning author of Savvy
"Cattywampus is a Southern yarn in all the best ways -- it's warm and welcoming and promises you a wild ride. You'll want to settle into this story and stay awhile." -- Erica Waters, author of Ghost Wood Song
"It is southern, witchy, magical fun about friends and family and the histories that connect us and haunt us. The dialogue is fireworks... The subtle creepiness won't scare you (too bad), but the vibrant, beating heart of this story will haunt you for a good long time." -- Natalie Lloyd, New York Times bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic