Hannah and the Hobgoblins is a terrific book by Deborah Dolan Hunt that puts a positive spin on witches. It’s about Hannah Drew, who lives in Salem, Massachusetts. She thinks she’s growing up in a normal, traditional family, and she’s excited to be celebrating her 12th birthday on October 29th and 30th with friends and family at a Halloween-themed sleepover party. Trouble starts to find her when her Aunt Agatha sends her a Connemara Witches book that is an ancient family heirloom. She and her sister Kiki are bewildered when it takes on a life of its own. It can float in the air by itself. Its pages flutter open unexpectedly, and the witches on the front cover scowl, laugh, and wink. Suddenly, the Drew family home even has secret rooms, hallways, and staircases that the girls didn’t realize were there. When strange dreams that Hannah begins having about the same time become real life, she winds up on a wild, life-saving mission to another world in order to figure out what is happening to her and why.
Hannah and the Hobgoblins is an imaginative adventure that is full of witches, fairies, unique creatures, and mysterious magic. Everything about the book feels written for girls 8-12 years old. It begins with a special birthday party that shows off how girls act when they get together and the fun things they like to do with their free time. Most of the characters in this story are female. Often they drink tea, appear and disappear into thin air trailing colorful smoke, and wear pretty jewelry with protective powers. The enchanted castle and forest in the other world also are incredible places with non-stop surprises. As Hannah puzzles out what she should do in all of the circumstances she faces, the book has many twists and turns that make it fast-paced, suspenseful, and extremely easy to read.