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: “Faerie Wars” by Herbie Brennan
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Henry Atherton lives in present-day England and he has very present-day problems. He does odd jobs for a crazy old man who believes in fairies and UFOs, in order to save money for an MP3 player. His sister is horse-crazy. His parents are splitting up. Henry hardly knows how to help himself, or his family. So he certainly isn'’t prepared to find out that old Mr. Fogarty is right about fairies and alien abductions.

Book review: “The Sweet Far Thing” by Libba Bray
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Central to this book and to the trilogy named for her is a young lady named Gemma Doyle, who could be described as exactly what Harry Potter would be if he were a girl attending not Hogwarts but a Victorian girls' finishing school called Spence. Instead of both her parents being murdered by a dark lord, Gemma lost her mother only, to a dark lady who later turned up in disguise as one of Gemma's teachers at Spence. So she still h…

Book review: “Knight’s Castle” by Edward Eager
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

This 1956 story tells the adventures of a little boy named Roger, his younger sister Ann, and their cousins Jack and Eliza, all of whom are descended from the children in "Half-Magic". When Roger's father takes ill and needs treatment at a Baltimore hospital, the children go to spend the summer with their cousins. Aided by a magic model soldier that has been in the family for generations, Roger begins a quest to earn a magical c…

Book review: “The Alley” by Eleanor Estes
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Connie Ives is a gentle, sweet little girl who loves her mom and dad and her spicy, Southern grandmother, and the alley where they live. Nestled on a college campus in Brooklyn, the T-shaped alley is surrounded by brick houses where professors and their families live. The alley provides a sheltered place for children to play, from bossy Katy to rotten brat Anthony, from the two little boys who like to pretend to be Zorro to the …

Book review: “Planet of the Apes” by Pierre Boullé
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Our older readers, and some younger ones who stay up past their bedtime watching cable TV, may remember a long series of movies from the 1960’s or so, beginning with "Planet of the Apes" starring Roddy McDowell and Charlton Heston. In and amongst those movies were two or three TV series “spinoffs.” Only a couple of years ago, Tim Burton resurrected and refurbished the concept in a big-budget picture starring Mark Wahlberg.

Book review: “The Stones of Green Knowe” by L.M. Boston
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

I discovered this sixth and final book in the "Green Knowe" series several years after reading the first five. Yet in no time, I felt comfortably at home in Lucy Maria Boston's fantasy world based on the centuries-old manor house she owned and loved. Her writing is as lean and sinewy as ever, gripping the senses with taut description and creating a timeless mood.

Book review: “The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode” by Eleanor Estes
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Like the characters in "The Alley" a few years earlier, best friends Nicky “Copin” Carroll and Timmy “Tornid” Fabian live in a gated group of “faculty houses” on the campus of Grandby College in Brooklyn, N.Y. When not at school, they spend most of their time in the T-shaped alley that runs behind the three rows of brick houses, and they play games (such as avoiding the “contamination girls”) and invent folklore (such as drawing…

Book review: “The Witch Family” by Eleanor Estes
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

From the author of "The Moffats" and "Ginger Pye", here is a very cute little story about two little girls, Amy and Clarissa, best friends, who sit and color stories Amy's mother tells them about the wicked Old Witch who lives on the Glass Hill

Book review: “The Moffats” by Eleanor Estes
Book Reviews / January 1, 2013

Here is the first part of a popular series of four books about the Moffat family of Cranbury, CT--a widowed mother and her four children, Sylvie, Joe, Jane, and Rufus. In this first book they are aged 15, 12, 9, and 5, and the main point of view is Jane, though a chapter here and there is told from Joe or Rufus' point of view.