Mostly cast as the villain, often without rhyme or reason as to why, witches have always seemed so mysterious. They are the opposite of damsels in distress, Sleeping Beautys, Cinderellas, Snow Whites. They are mistresses of their own fortunes. They have the power to change lives – their own and others’. They have magic.

Our Author Takeover this month is dedicated to everyone headed to university/college this autumn/fall! It comes from Brit authors Lucy and Tom, whose novel "Freshers" is all about that first transitional year. In particular, the benefits of fandom and clubs for finding your people.

Our Author Takeover for July comes from Aisha Bushby, a debut author and Potterhead whose short story "Marionette Girl" is published next month in "A Change Is Gonna Come" from Stripes. #ChangeBook is an anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change.

Our May Author Takeover is by Cat Clarke, whose latest YA novel, "Girlhood", is a darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief. Set in a boarding school in Scotland, the familiar halls are the perfect place for "Potter" fans to escape to in this compulsive, addictive read. Yet there are some sinister secrets that threaten to tear friendships apart.

Our April Author Takeover features Aliette de Bodard talking about something the "Potter" fandom knows all about: warring Houses. Join Aliette as she discusses her own House wars and the continuation of the beautiful "Dominion of the Fallen" series.

Our new Author Takeover comes from New York Times–bestselling author of "The Lunar Chronicles" Marissa Meyer, with her new novel, "Heartless". The "Potter" fandom knows all about characters with a predetermined fate, and we're well used to the idea of the Chosen One. In Marissa's "Heartless", we have a vision of Wonderland like none you've seen before.

When Mary Adams sees Millais’ depiction of the tragic Ophelia, a whole new world opens up for her. Determined to find out more about the beautiful girl in the painting, she hears the story of Lizzie Siddal – a girl from a modest background, not unlike her own, who has found fame and fortune against the odds. Mary sets out to become a Pre-Raphaelite muse, too, and reinvents herself as Persephone Lavelle.

The first of our March Author Takeovers comes from Gemma Fowler. Her new novel, "Moonlight", is an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller with a contemporary voice. Gemma would be pleased as punch to find herself on the highest tower of Hogwarts. Her soul is still and always will be 13 years old, and her characters embrace teenage rebellion and refusal to blindly comply with authority, much like our Golden Trio.

Our final February Author Takeover comes from Lisa Williamson, whose second novel, "All About Mia", is out now from David Fickling Books. In this standalone after her first book, "The Art of Being Normal", Lisa now turns to look at family dynamics and the structure of sibling personality types.

Just imagine: what would your year look like if you read only marginalized authors? What would the world look like if we all did the same? And how many books do you read each year, anyway? If it’s more than 30, I challenge you to pick up every one of these. I know you can do it!

Book Review: The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

This first book in The Magician Trilogy introduces Gwyn Griffiths, an ordinary Welsh farm-boy who is about to begin an extraordinary adventure. On his ninth birthday his grandmother, Nain, gives him five strange gifts which, she claims, have been handed down through generations of her family, going back to the legendary Welsh magician Gwydion. Nain hopes that her own Gwydion Gwyn will turn out to be a magician too. She is not di…

Book Review: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

This second book in the Earthsea Cycle does feature the heroic young wizard Ged (a.k.a. Sparrowhawk) who is dear to all who have read A Wizard of Earthsea. Don’t worry. But also, don’t be surprised when he doesn'’t turn up in the first half of the book. For this tale is told from the point of view of Arha (“the Eaten One”), the current reincarnation of the First Priestess of the Tombs of the Nameless Ones, a.k.a. the Dark Powers.

Book Review: Little Darlings by Sam Llewellyn
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

For the first chapter or two, this book threatens to be merely a hilarious knock-off of the Nurse Matilda/Nanny MacPhee stories. It introduces us to three children – Daisy, Cassian, and Primrose – who are being raised by a succession of nannies. A long succession of nannies, that is; for their combination of culinary mischief, technological cunning, and insight into nanny psychology has enabled the Darling children to drive away…

Book Review: Savvy by Ingrid Law
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Mibs, short for Mississippi Beaumont, belongs to a rather queer family. As a trait inherited from her mother's side, Mibs can expect to develop some kind of super-power on her thirteenth birthday--which is right around the corner as this story opens. For example, her oldest brother Rocket has a way with electricity. He can't quite control, or scumble, his savvy yet. So, when Rocket gets upset, anything can happen from popping li…

Book Review: House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

In this first book of the Dreamhouse Kings series, the King family moves into their dream house and joins a nightmare already in progress. The oldest of three kids, Xander is bitter about leaving his friends, home, and budding film career to live in the remote, Northern California town of Pinedale. But his father is going to be the new school principal, and for the sake of his family Xander has no choice but to move.

Book Review: The Magic City by E. Nesbit
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

One of Edith Nesbit's best-loved tales of magic features a boy named Philip Haldane, an orphan who has been raised from a baby by his older sister Helen. Helen has been his teacher, playmate, and boon companion all along. Together they invented an imaginary island, which they mapped out in fantastic detail, and built sand castles and pretend cities out of toys, books, and bric-a-brac. It is a wonderful life for an imaginative bo…

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

The 1956 Newbery Medal went to this piece of biographical fiction about a mathematical genius who lived in the infancy of the American republic. In spite of being taken out of school at the age of ten, first to work in his father's barrel-making shop and then to spend nine years as an indentured servant, Nathaniel Bowditch (rhymes with "cow ditch") went on to make great achievements as a navigator, a businessmen, and a scholar. …

Book Review: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

This celebrated 1968 book is the first in a series of at least five novels and one book of short stories set in the fantasy world of Earthsea, which some have compared favorably to C. S. Lewis’ Narnia and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. It tells of a world somewhat like Earth, except that mankind is confined to a scattering of islands—some of them quite large, most of them almost too small to show up on a map—making up a vast a…

Book Review: The Borrowers Avenged by Mary Norton
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

It was a little longer and slower-paced than the others, but a gripping story nevertheless. The nefarious Platters, the couple who tried to catch the Clocks in The Borrowers Aloft and turn them into a tourist attraction, are back, trying to recapture them. Meanwhile Pod, Homily, and Arrietty have moved into the rectory of a little village church, while their cousins Lupy, Hendreary, and little Timmus live in the church proper. S…