Ratchet the Reluctant Witch By Sara Pascoe
The book is filled with adventure, magic, self-discovery and life learning – a story of a 14 year old girl that is perfect for a 14 year old girl.
Ratchet the Reluctant witch, is a 14-year-old girl called Rachel. At first, she does not know she is a witch but has been experiencing seeing things and hearing things. She believes it must be the same sickness her mother had- schizophrenia.
She is a typical teenager, which makes this book great for teen reading. Her world starts out with foster parents, social workers, family mental health issues, and homelessness. These are all reasons she needs to run away and find a new life for herself. This book puts a new spin on the typical life lessons by adding mind reading, talking cats, and portals into the past.
It is great how this book takes a modern day teenager and puts her into different places in the world and in different times of history. There is much learning in this book as well as the magic.
Bryony, Ratchet’s social-worker, surprisingly, becomes her mentor. It is evident that this book was written by a someone who is well versed in Psychology. Many lessons were found throughout this book. Even the social-worker finds her way at the end. Through their time travels, social issues are worked through.
One adventure is when she travels with her friends and of course her cat Oscar to the Witch Trials in England. Ready to be executed in the gallows, she saves everyone in an instant, by thinking of a Kebab, which put them down in Istanbul.
The characters are likeable and understandable.
Oscar the cat and Ratchet’s relationship grew stronger and stranger through their adventures.
“Oo, I like a good cat fight – especially when it doesn’t involve me’. Oscar the cat was humorous at most times. This is what he said when Bryony was trying to get Ratchet from looking at all the beautiful dresses in the market. Ratchet just wanted to be a teenage in the mall, not wanting to do any witch stuff.
Her adventures in Istanbul led her to many lessons and funny adventures. Then the time come to face a trial put to her by the Santana. She is forced to save her friends by telling the truth and having compassion.
One of my favorite quotes in the book that I found extremely enlightening is:
“Be careful, Rachel. It is dangerous to fall in love with any place, the one where you’re born, or one you choose. There are good and bad things about every place and everyone”.
Ratchet is a coming of age story woven through an historical fantasy. Her adventures in seventeenth century England and Istanbul help her heal from old wounds becoming a happier version of herself. You meet real people from the past, including an infamous witch hunter, his real-life victims, and the famous Ottoman scholar, Katip Celebi. And of course, every witch has a telepathic cat.
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