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The Witches of Willow Cove

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  163 reviews
It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.

Things only begin to make sense when a strang
Published May 26th 2020 by Owl Hollow Press (first published 2020)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
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Renee Godding
4/5 stars

Witches of Willow Cove is a magical middle-grade adventure, about six teenage girls who discover their powers of witchcraft on their thirteenth birthday.

What I loved:
- This book was quite the pageturner: once you get into the story, you want to see where the adventure takes you. 12-year old me would have loved this book for that.
- The friendships in the story started off a little iffy for me: there was some girl-girl-rivalry between friends that I wasn’t sure I would enjoy, but the
Christi M
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Well, this was quite a fun middle grade read. Full of mystery, history, friendships, bullies, jealousy, rivalries and magic. As an adult I enjoyed it. The younger middle-grade me would have devoured it.

What the description doesn’t do justice to is the fact that this is an ensemble cast. While it is true that Abby Shepherd is the main character, it is also true that her best friend Robby – a nonmagical person – plays a significant role as well. But there are several others with large ‘screen time
Rebecca M
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Witches of Willow Cove is my FAVORITE middle grade novel of the year! Filled with magic, daring, danger, and a *ton* of heart, this story will captivate readers and keep them cheering as Abby and her friends work to solve the mystery that's been haunting Willow Cove for centuries. It's the perfect spooky middle grade novel for kids who like reading about friendship and witchy mysteries. What I truly appreciate about this book is that there is a place for both magical and nonmagical kids to s ...more
Nen & Jen
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Witches of Willow Cove was a journey of magic, friendship and mysterious disappearances. Roberts’ writing was reminiscent of J.K Rowlings in Harry Potter (BIG statement… but let me explain) in regards to building young adult characters that had a bravery, curiosity and maturity that defied their years (but was also believable).

While the cover and synopsis of this story seemed to hint at a darker theme, the sudden disappearance of characters throughout the book made me uncomfortable. It seeme
anna ✩
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Witches of Willow Cove is a refreshing, extremely well developed fantasy story about witches. I didn't know what to expect when going in and honestly that made me love it even more. This is such a captivating and fascinating story and kept me gripped to the page.

Abby and Robby are best friends. On the night of Abby's 13th birthday, coincidentally Halloween, her and Robby decide t
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley for the e-arc.

The witches of Willow Cove is a middle grade book that follows Abby and Robby. Abby discovers she is a witch. This is a story about six young, thirteen year old witches that are getting teached by Miss Winter. But is everything what it seems like?
This story would be a middle grade, but sometimes it did felt like it is for an older auditory. Not that it was disturbing, I liked it more because of that. It may seem like a simple story at first, but it is a little
Shannon Rochester
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Every now and then I go through a phase of wanting to read books for much younger people so I take awhile and read books for middle readers or young adult books. This was one of my recent choices and I was not disappointed. I actually really enjoyed it. This is a book that is full of magic, danger, and a bunch of heart. It is a story that will captivate readers, young and old as we all root for Abby and
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just received an eARC of this book and I loved it! MG and YA alike will enjoy this mystery full of suspense, friendship, history, betrayal and magic. The flow of the story made it hard to put down! Definitely one to recommend to young readers who enjoy this subject matter and genre!
Bookish Selkie
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really fun, witchy middle grade book! Upon turning 13, Abby discovers that she has magical powers. When the strange Miss Winters shows up and wants to teach Abby and several of her friends magic, a chain of suspicious events begin to occur in the town. Meanwhile, Abby’s best friend Robby is trying to research what really happened to his mother, while drawing connections to the town’s mysterious history. Abby must work with her friends to uncover more about magic and friendship. Is Mis ...more
Jazz Nightingale
Such a bewitching read!

Thank you to Netgalley and Josh Roberts for generously allowing me to read this book. It was an absolute pleasure.

This book is absolutely incredible! My spooky little heart is so happy that I stumbled upon it and I NEED MORE!

When Amethyst, the school recluse, accidentally attacks students in her science class with magical green slime and tells Abby they're both witches, things start to get WEIRD. And when Abby's substitute teacher, Miss Winters, also reveals herself to be
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


A big thank you to NetGalley and Owl Hollow Press for providing me an advanced reader’s copy of “The Witches of Willow Cove” by Josh Roberts.

This was such a fun story to read! It is the perfect middle grade novel (that can even pass off as YA) if you are in the mood to read a good Halloween like story about witches. All the characters are distinctive, funny and interesting in their own manner. Amethyst turned out to be my favorite character even though I d
Floor Flawless
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy.

Witches in a pre-teen setting, looked like fun to me. And it was! It even got darker than I expected it to be. I really liked it. Although the beginning felt a bit slow, after a while you can't stop reading! The only downside for me was the romance between Robby and Becca, as that felt unecessary to use in the story. I also still wonder why Abby has stronger powers than the others, which is mentioned multiple times, but never really explained
Natalie Aguirre
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and Owl Hollow Press for an ARC. This is a great MG story. It’s got witches and magic, which I love, and also deals with issues you see in contemporary MG like friendships and feeling like you don’t fit in. It’s also a really action-packed story too that never drags. I know a lot of you that read middle grade novels would enjoy this one.
Daphne Jones
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you find the right book at the right moment and it's just pure magic. That was my experience with The Witches of Willow Cove, a spooky supernatural mystery that straddles the line between middle grade and young adult. More than anything, it reminded me of my favorite bits from the first 3-4 Harry Potter books (without being too similar) and more recently of City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. The perfect combination of magical adventure and spooky ghost story.

One of things I loved most
Anoeska Nossol
Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the ARC.

The middle-grade story called 'the witches of Willow Cove' reflects on the past. The Salem Witch Trials are part of the concept. When six thirteen-year-olds find out that they are witches, everything changes. Their new history teacher is there to help them out until they begin to notice something...

I LOVED this book. It's a middle-grade story but it read like a YA Fantasy. Overall, I'm not a fan of 'fairy tale witches' due to the fact that real
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this book.

I absolutely loved it. The characters were great and I enjoyed that boys were involved in it. Though I wish we could have seen a little bit more of Daisy and Delphi, they were quirky and fun but not as present as the others. Piper could also have used more space in the story. Other than that I feel like the book was well-balanced, well paced. I'll have to admit I was never bored ! It was filled with magic and friendship : a pe
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Filled with mystery, magic, suspense, adventure, historical fiction, and a splash of science, The Witches of Willow Cove is an enchanting page-turner all kids will enjoy. The young tween characters are fun, likeable, and believable. From creeping up and down long winding staircases in a lighthouse tower to crawling through spooky underground caves, The Witches of Willow Cove has all the necessary elements of the best in children’s novels. Hang onto your wand and check it out!
J.D. DeHart
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Josh Roberts give us a book that has interesting characters and its own world. As a former middle school teacher, I would have gladly shared this book with my students. I love the creativity and fantasy elements, so infused in a story that works well.
Jenn (Jenn’s Bookshelf)
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars


As I was looking through Netgalley, searching for a new middle grade, I stumbled across The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts, and was immediately intrigued. How could you not be, when the first line of the description is “Six teenage witches. One mysterious stranger. A secret that could destroy them all.”

I was incredibly pleased with how much I enjoyed reading this book. I quite honestly did not want to put it down
Cathy Ogren
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has it all – teen angst, romance, jealousy, betrayal, and witchcraft. The setting is a small Massachusetts town that dates back to the time of the Salem witch trials. Abby and Robby are best friends who live next door to each other. On Halloween night, which also happens to be Abby’s thirteenth birthday, the two of them decide to explore an abandoned mental hospital at the top of Whispering Hill. It’s there that Abby and Robby are caught up in unearthly experience. Later, Abby is hit w ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The witches of Willow Cove is a fun, middle grade book about teen witches and haunting past. Up until 13th birthday Abby Shepherd thought she was a normal teenager but that all changed when she and her best friend, Robby sneaked into Whispering Hills, an abandoned place famous for ghosts haunting from the mental asylum. After their escapade goes weary, Abby learn something that stuns her. Abby is a witch and not only that, there are five of them along with her. Gradually they find out and with t ...more
Keri Demers
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My 12 year old daughter and I read this together, and when I say "read" I should really say "fled" - because we couldn't put it down. The Witches of Willow Cove keeps you guessing - unexplained disappearances, mysterious teachers, volumes of rare old books in the town library, underground tunnels, and one-by-one, on their 13th birthdays, six "special" girls who are bound together on a mission- whether they like it (or each other) or not. All of it - a trail of tasty breadcrumbs author Josh Rober ...more
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect for fans of Hocus Pocus, this dark and mystical story contains just the right mix of ingredients needed for a fantastically-spooky witches’ brew…erm, I mean…for a fantastic middle-grade novel 😉

Set in a small town in Massachusetts – Willow Cove – the book begins on Halloween, setting the scene perfectly for things to come. We meet the main protagonists, Abby and Robby, as they are about to set off ‘trick or treating’. On their way, when they bump into Zeus (who is wearing a costume that c
MK Mahoney
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Josh Roberts’ novel The Witches of Willow Cove is an entertaining and cleverly crafted middle-grade novel with a range of appealing characters.

Abby Shepherd and Robby O’Reilly have just turned thirteen, and are wrestling with ordinary dilemmas (friendships, bullies, and romantic feelings) as well as less usual ones (a centuries-old mystery connected to the Massachusetts witch trials and Abby’s discovery that she’s actually a witch). Abby and Robby are surrounded by a cast of minor characters—bo
Darby Karchut
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, NetGalley and Owl Hollow Press, for the advanced readers copy of THE WITCHES OF WILLOW COVER by Josh Roberts.

Talk about one wild ride of an adventure! With an engaging ensemble of characters, laugh out-loud humor, thrills and chills galore, and loads of relatable young teen angst, this story will make readers wish they had supernatural powers of their own. Fans of Harry Potter have a new series to fall head-over-broomstick in love with.

Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)
The Witches of Willow Cove is an eerie, suspenseful middle grade novel that explores complex questions of family and identity. It follows six very different teenage girls who discover that they are witches and that their powers are tied to a secret in the town’s history. The setting is delightfully spooky: a New England town close to Salem (home, of course, to the infamous witch trials) that features weeping hemlock trees, mist and fog that are constantly rolling in from the sea, mysterious cave ...more
Michelle Kenneth -
Boy, do I love a good witchy tale.

When I saw this book's name and cover, I knew I would love this story. While this YA book focuses on a group of 13 year old girls new to their powers and their non-magical friends, the sinister elements surrounding Miss Winters will leave you wondering if she is a good witch or a bad (i.e. misunderstood) witch.

This book was excellent from start to finish. I did learn that there is a difference between the word riffle and rifle. I had to look it up, because the
Alyssa (Intotheheartwyld)
Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC.

The Witches of Willow Cove, is absolutely captivating from start to finish, Had I not been interrupted by my daughter numerous times I would have completed this in one day. I did not want to put it down at all.

Willow Cove is a place where witches exist and unexplainable things are happening to them. We are immediately thrown into the story and the pace never lets up. The story starts out by following Abby and Robby, but the cast of characters slo
Annette Jordan
The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts is a fantastic middle grade adventure. It follows the story of friends Abby and Robby who have been friends since childhood and are still close as they enter their teenage years, though that is not without complications as they navigate crushes and first kisses. The biggest complication however is that Abby is a witch. a startling revelation to both of them, but one that excites and intrigues them. When reclusive orphan Amethyst starts to exhibit magica ...more
Rachel Smith
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On Halloween night every thing changes for Abby. She and her best friend Robby sneak up to an abandoned property on Whispering Hill, but Abby is unaware that Robby is actually trying to understand his mother’s disappearance. When a mysterious woman sends stone chimeras after them, she saves her own life and the life of Robby by flying away on a broom. That evening sets in motion a chain of events that reveals secrets about Abby, her ancestry, and the history of the town. Can Abby figure out what ...more
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An award-winning travel writer and editor, Josh Roberts has written for publications as varied as USA Today, The Boston Globe, and Business Insider. These days, Josh writes the kind of middle-grade and young adult novels he always enjoyed when he was a kid growing up in a spooky Victorian funeral home. He is currently at work on the second book in the Willow Cove series, The Curse of Willow Cove.

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