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Red may not know who her true family is, but she’s determined to find out where she belongs, in this story about magic, nature, family, love, and betrayal. There Flies the Witch will enchant fans of Erin Entrada Kelly, Tae Keller, and Grace Lin.
Red doesn’t remember who she is or where she came from. In fact, her only memory is a terrifying, repeating dream of a threatening shadow and a foggy field. But after many years, she wonders if that’s just something she made up.
Red does know that she now belongs with Yakaka, the witch who rescued Red when she was a little girl. Full of power and magic, Yakaka travels the world, healing the planet when it calls for her help. Yakaka carries Red between the wings on her back during these journeys, teaching her the skills of witchcraft, storytelling, and healing—skills Red can never seem to master.
After a dangerous mission leads to Yakaka and Red’s falling from a great height and into the stormy ocean, Red wakes up alone on a seemingly deserted island. Days later, a young boy and his mother find Red and help her recover. For the first time, Red has a friend her own age to play with, and a chance to live a different kind of life. But what happened to Yakaka?
Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev explores themes of family, identity, belonging, and resilience in this truly extraordinary coming-of-age story for readers of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea, and Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island.
Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev was born in Liberia, where she was exposed to a culture of oral storytelling at a young age. She lived in the Netherlands for several years, where she learned to stuff her klompen (wooden shoes) with carrots and developed a love for reading stories—especially tales written by Roald Dahl and Astrid Lindgren. She lives in Georgia with her family.