Short Story Review: The Witch’s Staff


Hello there booksters!

Hope you’ve all been doing well. I’m counting down the days until my grad school semester is over, but in the meantime, let’s get into another story review!

This time I read The Witch’s Staff by Jessica Renwick.

I don’t read too many short stories, but I wanted a quick palate cleanser from my last read of The Crimson Corset (my book review here if you love adult vampire fiction!), and since I’m already subscribed to Renwick’s newsletter, I had a copy of this sitting on my Kindle. You can get a copy too! Just sign up for her newsletter and you’ll get a free copy. How nice!

Renwick is a super talented MG author, and I love her Starfell series (you can check that out here if you want), so I dove right into this quick read. What did I think? Keep on scrolling!



Originally published in the Mythical Girls Anthology by Celticfrog Publishing

Twelve-year-old Heather has never been popular. To make matters worse, the biggest bully at Leafside Middle School has it out for her. When he chases her through the park on their way home from school, Heather trips and lands on a knotted stick. But this isn’t just any stick! With its end carved into the roaring head of a bear, she has never seen anything like it. All it takes is one point at her attacker, and Heather finds herself in more trouble than she has ever imagined. With the help of a mystical faun named Basil, will Heather be able to set things right?



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The Review

Wow, what a fun quick read! I’m a big fan of Jessica Renwick’s works, and I really loved this story.

Heather is a girl running away from her school’s scariest bully. When the young boy corners her, she unwittingly stumbles upon a strange magical staff that turns her bully into a bear. Unsure of what to do, she meets a strange faun that enlists her aid in return for a magic potion that can return the bully back to his human form. The faun leads her to a magical world, where Heather learns how to stand up for herself, do the right thing, and embrace her inner power.

No one likes a bully, and it was so easy to put myself in Heather’s shoes since my middle school years were similar to hers. I liked that Heather wasn’t just a victim. She had spunk, even though the bully was stronger than her, and she grew a lot in this story as she faced some serious obstacles.

I also liked the main villain. She reminded me of Jadus the White Witch from Narnia, and the faun had a lot of attitude that I enjoyed.

The plot was relatively simple, but it was fun and I loved all the magic and fantasy along the way. This was a very memorable short story, and I think any middle school kid would get a lot out of this one. If you’re looking for a brief middle grade adventure, give this a go!


That’s A Wrap!

Well that’s it for this short story review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you read this story? Are there other short stories you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!

Have a great day!


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