The Scapegracers
The Scapegracers

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Annotation: A YA crossover title combining the perennially popular genres of witches and high school society told in a bright, distinctive, and inclusive voice, and the debut of a talented young voice writing Erewhon's first series acquisition.
Catalog Number: #215826
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Workman Pub. Co.
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 394 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-645-66000-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7997-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-645-66000-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7997-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019956225
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Since becoming an orphan at 7, it’s mainly been Sideways Pike and her spell book—until a raucous Halloween party blasts her world open.In the West High social hierarchy, Jing, Daisy, and Yates are the queen bees who rule the roost. When they hire Sideways—offering her $40 in exchange for casting a spell to make their party the best of the season—the result isn’t only memorably spooky, thanks to the unbelievable creep factor à la Sideways, but also a disturbing mystery that bonds all four girls. To Sideways’ utter bewilderment, the triumvirate fiercely claims her, and she’s now a member of the most badass girl clique. Their camaraderie strengthens with each narrow escape as they curse toxic males and witch hunters and build their collective power. Readers will love the spooky pop-culture easter eggs and appreciate a fresh spin on the mean girls theme: Readers won’t despise, but will root for, this cunning, crass, and fiercely caring coven. Bitingly honest, fast-paced dialogue is a solid strength, as is the lyrical language, which is so intimate that readers will viscerally know how magic and emotions feel in Sideways’ body. Jing is cued as Chinese American, Yates is black, and all other characters are presumed white, including Sideways, who is lesbian, and her two adoptive dads.Teenage girl magic is palpable, urgent, and simply marvelous in this must-have debut. (Paranormal. 15-18)
Publishers Weekly
In this fierce debut, a trilogy opener, Clarke conjures up a powerful, passionate tale of female friendship and found family. Senior Sideways Pike, a witch, is used to being considered a social outcast, but when the three most popular girls at school pay her $40 to spice up a Halloween party with a little magic, she accepts. Her spell spirals out of control and leaves chalk sigils and runes all over the house, making an impression upon her fellow high schoolers. The clique adopts her as their own, and the four soon form a coven, exacting vengeance upon their enemies and exploring the depths of their new magical and emotional connections. As Sideways and her new friends-Yates, Jing, and Daisy-grow comfortable with their power, they-re hunted by a family dedicated to -purifying the world- by eradicating magic. Sideways-s lyrically defiant voice memorably conveys the group-s rough-edged intimacy, and messages about magic-s ambiguity and teenage girls- power grants this story a complex edge. Unapologetically queer-many of the characters, including Sideways and her adoptive dads, fall under the LGBTQ umbrella-and seething with raw emotion, this fantasy opens strong while leaving much to be explored in future installments. Ages 14-up. Agent: Abby Schulman, Rebecca Friedman Literary. (May)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up Three popular senior girls think Eloise "Sideways" Pike is a "skulky, gap-toothed weirdo," but that doesn't prevent them from paying her to produce magic at an early Halloween party. The results pretty much freak them out, and birth a complicated friendship among Jing, Yates, Daisy and Sideways, who need to figure out why there are dead deer, what to do about the witch-hunting Chantrys, and how to control the magic it appears everyone in the foursome can tap into. Although Sideways now has friends who understand "the witch thing," life is still complicated. The multi-volume Vade Mecvm Magici, the escape of Mr. Scratch, and efforts to matchmake for Sideways and Madeline alternately strengthen their friendships and drive them apart. F-bombs abound, but the language comes across as real for these sometimes snarky, sometimes brave companions, who don't fit neatly into traditional roles. The ending is satisfying, and indicates this may be the first in a series. VERDICT Dark and brooding, with a literary style and a hearty dose of witchcraft. Suggest to fans of Maggie Stiefvater, Melina Marchetta, and Holly Black.Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Since becoming an orphan at 7, it’s mainly been Sideways Pike and her spell book—until a raucous Halloween party blasts her world open.In the West High social hierarchy, Jing, Daisy, and Yates are the queen bees who rule the roost. When they hire Sideways—offering her $40 in exchange for casting a spell to make their party the best of the season—the result isn’t only memorably spooky, thanks to the unbelievable creep factor à la Sideways, but also a disturbing mystery that bonds all four girls. To Sideways’ utter bewilderment, the triumvirate fiercely claims her, and she’s now a member of the most badass girl clique. Their camaraderie strengthens with each narrow escape as they curse toxic males and witch hunters and build their collective power. Readers will love the spooky pop-culture easter eggs and appreciate a fresh spin on the mean girls theme: Readers won’t despise, but will root for, this cunning, crass, and fiercely caring coven. Bitingly honest, fast-paced dialogue is a solid strength, as is the lyrical language, which is so intimate that readers will viscerally know how magic and emotions feel in Sideways’ body. Jing is cued as Chinese American, Yates is black, and all other characters are presumed white, including Sideways, who is lesbian, and her two adoptive dads.Teenage girl magic is palpable, urgent, and simply marvelous in this must-have debut. (Paranormal. 15-18)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12

An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process. Skulking near the bottom of West High's social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she's had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now-unbelievably-Sideways' best friends. Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole 'having friends' thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated? Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series.


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