Author Julie Abe joins us to read an excerpt from her Middle Grade debut, EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH!
Julie says: “If you love witches, Ghibli vibes, & underdog characters like Haikyuu’s Hinata or BNHA’s Midoriya, you might like Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch, available now!”
Don’t forget to check out our Q&A with Julie as well.
[We Need Diverse Books opening credits: text against an animated crinkling paper background. The text reads, “Book Giveaways, Grants, Mentorships, Writing Awards,” followed by the WNDB logo.]
[Author Julie Abe is in front of a plain background speaking directly into the camera while holding a copy of her book.]
Hi! I’m Julie Abe, author of EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH. I’m partnering today with We Need Diverse Books for a short reading of EVA EVERGREEN.
So just as a quick intro, EVA EVERGREEN is about Eva. She’s a 12-year-old girl with just a little pinch of magic who has to pass her witch’s test or she’ll lose her powers forever.
So. EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH. [Julie holds up the title page of the book.]
And the art is done by Shan Jiang. He’s a super talented artist and I’m so grateful he’s doing the art for Eva.
Part I: The Journey Begins [Julie holds up the book, opened to the beginning of Part 1.]
Chapter 1 – The Enchanted Bookstore [Julie holds up the book, opened to the beginning of Chapter 1, which features black-and-white artwork of the front of a bookstore. The door is ajar and a cat is poking its head just inside.]
The bell above the door chimed, and magic tingled at my fingertips. The scent of ink and freshly printed paper swirled invitingly in the air as I followed my parents into the bookshop.
Today was my last day as just an Apprentice Witch, the last few moments of being the unreliable Eva who summoned heads of cabbage instead of flowers or got a sunburn instead of calling down rain. Or, at least, I hoped it was the end of all that.
“Are you ready, Eva?” Mother nudged my shoulder.
I tightened my hands around the straps of my knapsack and summoned up a smile. “I’m ready.”
A set of bright, spectacled brown eyes peeped out from a teetering stack of books at the counter in the center.
“Welcome to Enchanted Ink, Rivelle Realm’s one and only magical bookshop.” Kaya Ikko, the bookseller, dipped into a bow, her black tunic fluttering around her. “Ah, Nelalithimus! And Isao! I did so enjoy the yuzu lemon trifles that Nela brought to tea the other day.”
My stomach usually growled at the thought of Father’s realm-famous pastries, but today, it churned queasily.
My father smiled. “My pleasure. I’ll bring over my latest creations the next time we’re in the city.”
Kaya’s warm eyes crinkled with delight when she spotted me behind Mother. “And Eva! So good to see you here.”
“Hello, Elite Ikko!” My heartbeat fluttered as I paused in the wide aisle leading to her counter. Books lined the walls, all the way up to the dim window cut into the ceiling. One of these books would be mine, for my quest. So long as I could summon it.
“Go on, Eva. You can do this,” Mother murmured, as if she had heard my thoughts. She adjusted my pointy hat, smiling down at me.
At first glance, Mother and I almost looked like mirror reflections. We had the same inky black hair resting slightly below our shoulders, rounded brown eyes, and slight tans from summer afternoons in the garden. We even had the same black witch’s dresses.
But that was where the similarities ended.
[Julie closes the book and holds it up again with the cover facing the camera.]
So that is just a quick intro to EVA EVERGREEN. Thank you so much for We Need Diverse Books, for partnering with me for this reading. And EVA is available in bookstores wherever you may go, or online too.
[Closing screen against an animated crinkling paper background. The text reads, “Read a Q&A with Julie on the WNDB blog: diversebooks.org.”]
[Closing credits with links to the WNDB Youtube channel]
Edited by JoAnn Yao
Graphics by Amber Hooke
Music: “Weekend in the City” by Silent Partner
EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL © Julie Abe and Little Brown Young Readers