Kat Leyh’s Snapdragon came out in 2020, and it’s been almost a year since the last time I read it, but I still find myself talking about it all the time! What was initially just an interesting-sounding graphic novel that I picked up on a whim quickly became one of my absolute favorite middle grade books.
This unique and charming story begins with our main character, Snapdragon (or Snap for short) searching for her lost dog, Good Boy. Her search has led her right to the last place she wants to go– a creepy old house belonging to her town’s very own witch. When Snap musters up the courage to venture into the house, she finds Good Boy… as well as the “witch”, who actually turns out to be just a strange old woman named Jacks who rescues injured animals and reassembles the skeletons of roadkill to sell on the internet. Meeting Jacks sends Snap tumbling headfirst into a life-changing series of discoveries– about Jacks, about her own family, about her friend Lu, and, most importantly, about herself. Pick up Snapdragon if you’re looking for a sweet, funny, and sometimes downright weird read that will make you laugh, cry, and then laugh again in the span of just a few pages.
Warning to readers: this book contains some depictions of bullying and deadnaming (using a transgender person’s old name, usually purposefully to hurt or invalidate them) and may be triggering or upsetting for some readers.
--reviewed by Athnie