Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Only a Witch Can Fly

Only a Witch Can Fly

Alison McGhee; Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Square Fish



Trade Paperback

Only a witch can fly.

But one little girl wants to fly—more than anything. So on a special night, with the moon shining bright and her cat by her side, she gathers herself up, she grips her broom tight, and she tries. And she fails. And she's brave. And she tries again. Until . . .

Utterly enchanting, New York Times–bestselling author Alison McGhee's lyrical language and Taeeun Yoo's transcendent linoleum block prints create a bewitching tale about finding one's own path that will send your heart soaring.

Only a Witch Can Fly is a 2010 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year.

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, Booklist Editors' Choice, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare List, Top 10 Editor's Picks: Teens, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, American Library Association Notable Children's Books, School Library Best Books of the Year, ALA Notable Children's Books, Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List, Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice


If you were a young witch, who had not yet flown,
And the dark night sky held a round yellow moon

and the moon shone her light on the silent broom
and the dark cat beside you crooned, Soar,



Praise for Only a Witch Can Fly

“The effortless quiet of McGhee's words is beautifully matched by Yoo's pictures. …There's more than enough magic in these pages…for young readers and for their parents, who might otherwise give up on finding anything truly enchanting about Halloween.” —The New York Times Book Review

“It's an enchanting book that makes a compelling point about the perseverance needed to follow your dreams. It's not hard to imagine such a potent message resonating with young readers this Halloween.” —BookPage

“This sophisticated picture book is rich with imagination… More personal, quiet, and transcendent than most Halloween books, this is not a call to witchcraft, but rather to following one's heart.” —Booklist

“Like its protagonist, this book soars.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This gentle, lyrical tale, written in the unusual poetic stanzas of a medieval sestina, recounts a young trick-or-treater's dogged attempts to make her dreams of flight come true. …This is a quieter, more reflective addition to Halloween collections that offers an enchanting storytime read-aloud.” —School Library Journal

“Beneath the vintage spooky setting lies a subtle message about perseverance and individuality.” —Publishers Weekly

“Written as a sestina, a poetry form that originated in the twelfth century, the words and pictures evoke the magic of Halloween and a little girl's longing to fly.…superb linoleum block prints with hints of another time fill each double-page spread.” —Children's Literature

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Alison McGhee; Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Alison McGhee is the award-winning author of numerous books for children and adults, including the New York Times–bestselling picture books Somebody, illustrated by Peter Reynolds, and A Very Brave Witch, illustrated by Harry Bliss, and the novel, Shadow Baby, a Pulitzer Prize–nominee and a Today Show pick. McGhee is a professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University and a founding member of Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Minnesota with her family.

Taeeun Yoo received the Founders Award—for the most promising new talent of the year—from the Society of Illustrators for her debut picture book The Little Red Fish, about which Publishers Weekly in a starred review raved, "exhilarating visual images . . . shutting the book feels like awakening from a dream." She also illustrated stunning new covers for Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time quintet. Born and raised in Korea, Yoo came to New York City to study illustration at The School of Visual Arts, where she earned her MFA. She lives in New York City.

Alison McGhee

Taeeun Yoo

From the Publisher

Square Fish

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