As a Pottermore-sorted (the most legit form of sorting other than just choosing yourself) Gryffindor, I can assure you I’m a pretty die-hard Harry Potter fan (my favorite classes would be Herbology and Charms and I would be a beater for the Quidditch team). I collect editions of the books when I travel because they’re beautiful, and they’re also cool keepsakes to remind me of where I’ve been.
But even Harry Potter isn’t the reason I turn to teen witch stories time and time again (even though Hermione is a bad ass and who didn’t want to just BE her?). And even though they’re TV shows, they’re still stories, and they’re what inspired my love of finding books with teen witches. Let’s look back:
Growing up, I was obsessed with Sabrina. I mean, who wasn’t? She was just a normal high school girl trying to fit in and not be the butt of everyone’s bullying/teasing. Oh, and she was a teenage witch. There was something so comforting about this totally pretty girl not fitting in with the cool kids because she was a little weird and feminist and loved science and her cat. I felt like it showed everyone has insecurities, and really, we’re all just trying to find friends and happiness in this world, and it doesn’t matter who we are, we all want that.
I mean, this girl spent high school living with her aunts because her parents separated, she earned her Witch’s License (while still doing normal school work), and ended up training a younger witch. Throughout her life, she made mistakes, but she had help from her aunts that taught her that mistakes are okay as long as you learn from them.
Next up was my interest in Charmed. While not exactly teen witches, it was broadcast on the WB, so I mean, close enough. This was three sisters trying to hide their powers from, you know, everyone who didn’t have powers, while trying to help the FBI along when a case was unsolvable because of magic foul play. They, too were still just trying to figure out their own path in the world and felt just as vulnerable as teenagers even though they had magical powers. I kind of thought this would be exactly what grown-up life was. (But I also thought living in NYC in a lower east side 2-bedroom apartment like Monica and Rachel did while unemployed was a thing, but man, did I turn out to be dreaming.)
Also because this was shot on the WB back lot, it was pretty much magic Gilmore Girls, which got me to a whole other level of thinking what if Lorelai had magical powers and how awesome/probably terrifying that would be.
And finally we have the one and only fabulous and unmatched Raven. I realize she’s not a witch, per se, but having clairvoyant, psychic abilities puts her in some supernatural camp, and I feel like this is the closest one she’s in, so we’re going with teen witch category (she’s certainly not a vampire or anything, so witch is fine, right?).
I learned everything I knew about high school from Raven. I watched it in middle school when it was airing on the Disney Channel, and this was right before I moved schools. Now, it wasn’t just a normal move. I was moving from tiny Catholic grade school to the big, public high school, and I didn’t know anyone or anything about how this school worked. So I relied, obviously, on fictional characters to help me out. I’ve never been one for wanting to be popular, I just wanted a few friends, and I’d be fine. So Raven helped me see that even if you’re super weird and kind of can’t explain yourself sometimes, if you can find the right people, it doesn’t matter because they’ll be weird with you.
She handled having psychic powers like a BOSS while dealing with stupid people at her school, embarrassing family members, and high school crushes all at the same time. She was also not afraid to flaunt it, and she loved her style and rocked it so well. This show also rocked at being diverse and positive about all backgrounds, cultures, body types, whatever else they needed. Great job, guys!
These ladies instilled in me a lifelong love of all teenagers with some sort of magical power because not only are they dealing with the ups and downs of teenagedom and the horror that is high school, but they’re also trying to save the world and their friends.
Even if a book doesn’t turn out to be my favorite, I always tend to enjoy books about witches more than other supernatural sort of things because of this. Here are some that I’ve read and reviewed here!