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Tidesong

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Perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and The Tea Dragon Society, this is a magically heartwarming graphic novel about self-acceptance and friendship. Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy--the best magic school in the realm--even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to r Perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and The Tea Dragon Society, this is a magically heartwarming graphic novel about self-acceptance and friendship. Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy--the best magic school in the realm--even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to relatives she's never met. Cousin Sage and Great-Aunt Lan seem more interested in giving Sophie chores than in teaching her magic. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but the spell goes wrong, and she accidentally entangles her magic with the magic of a young water dragon named Lir. Lir is trapped on land and can't remember where he came from. Even so, he's everything Sophie isn't--beloved by Sophie's family and skilled at magic. With his help, Sophie might just ace her entrance exams, but that means standing in the way of Lir's attempts to regain his memories. Sophie knows what she's doing is wrong, but without Lir's help, can she prove herself? * Featured on the Today Show * An SLJ Best Book of the Year * A Nerdist Best Comic of the Year * A BookRiot Best Book of the Year *


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Perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and The Tea Dragon Society, this is a magically heartwarming graphic novel about self-acceptance and friendship. Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy--the best magic school in the realm--even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to r Perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and The Tea Dragon Society, this is a magically heartwarming graphic novel about self-acceptance and friendship. Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy--the best magic school in the realm--even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to relatives she's never met. Cousin Sage and Great-Aunt Lan seem more interested in giving Sophie chores than in teaching her magic. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but the spell goes wrong, and she accidentally entangles her magic with the magic of a young water dragon named Lir. Lir is trapped on land and can't remember where he came from. Even so, he's everything Sophie isn't--beloved by Sophie's family and skilled at magic. With his help, Sophie might just ace her entrance exams, but that means standing in the way of Lir's attempts to regain his memories. Sophie knows what she's doing is wrong, but without Lir's help, can she prove herself? * Featured on the Today Show * An SLJ Best Book of the Year * A Nerdist Best Comic of the Year * A BookRiot Best Book of the Year *

30 review for Tidesong

  1. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This was very cute and sweet! I highly recommend this story for anyone looking for Studio Ghibli vibes. I have to say I definitely didn't love it as much as I loved Mooncakes by this author, but I'm still very happy I read it. I especially enjoyed the way it challenged adults being too hard on kids (or downright verbally abusive) and how it highlighted the importance of adults respecting and apologizing to children instead of sweeping their mistakes under the rug. I do want to clarify one thin This was very cute and sweet! I highly recommend this story for anyone looking for Studio Ghibli vibes. I have to say I definitely didn't love it as much as I loved Mooncakes by this author, but I'm still very happy I read it. I especially enjoyed the way it challenged adults being too hard on kids (or downright verbally abusive) and how it highlighted the importance of adults respecting and apologizing to children instead of sweeping their mistakes under the rug. I do want to clarify one thing: I'm seeing a lot of people shelve this as a queer title, but there is no on-page or implied queer rep at all. I know that many people use Goodreads' shelving while making recommendations lists, library and bookstore displays, etc., and I think it's important that expectations are clearly set. ♥ Of course, this is still a gorgeous story with some very lovely representation inspired by Chinese mythology - it's simply not also a queer MG story. ✨ Representation: the story - and, presumably, characters - are inspired by Chinese mythology, according to the author's note ✨ Content warnings for: verbal abuse, a brief flashback to physical abuse ——— twitter | booktok | bookstagram | blog

  2. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    THIS WAS SO CUTE!!! I'm love how soft and gentle this slice-of-life fantasy story was. If you love the whimsy and fantasy of Ghibli stories, love witches and water dragons, and a flawed yet relatable heroine, then you absolutely need Tidesong. - Follows Sophie, a young witch who is sent to her great-aunt's house to learn to become a witch - though it seems that her great-aunt is more interested in making her do chores than teach her actual magic. When a young boy washes up on shore with no memori THIS WAS SO CUTE!!! I'm love how soft and gentle this slice-of-life fantasy story was. If you love the whimsy and fantasy of Ghibli stories, love witches and water dragons, and a flawed yet relatable heroine, then you absolutely need Tidesong. - Follows Sophie, a young witch who is sent to her great-aunt's house to learn to become a witch - though it seems that her great-aunt is more interested in making her do chores than teach her actual magic. When a young boy washes up on shore with no memories, Sophie discovers that their fates are intertwined with one another. - Water dragons!! Water witches! I loved the lore of this; it's simple with enough detail, and it'll inspire wonder in readers of all ages. - I loved the art in this. It was gorgeous and such a marvel to behold. The colours are gorgeous and I loved how Wendy's art captures the magic and wonder of the ocean. - Sophie was a wonderful protagonist. She's not perfect - she can be temperamental, impatient, and a little selfish, but her character arc was so gorgeous. I loved how she grows across the story, and how 'negative self-talk' was depicted in a validating way. - The relationships in this story was lovely. I also liked that the story depicts the actions of adults and how they can hurt young people, and the story portrays the importance of adults apologising and acknowledging that can be wrong. Content warning: parental abuse (not explicitly depicted, and challenged) I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book. This was such a cute graphic novel! I’ve read Mooncakes, which is another graphic novel the author co-wrote, and loved it so I knew I needed to read this one. The artwork was of course amazing. The art was very adorable and was appropriate for the middle grade audience of this book. Additionally, the font was super readable. It was one of the clearest and most legible fonts I’ve I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book. This was such a cute graphic novel! I’ve read Mooncakes, which is another graphic novel the author co-wrote, and loved it so I knew I needed to read this one. The artwork was of course amazing. The art was very adorable and was appropriate for the middle grade audience of this book. Additionally, the font was super readable. It was one of the clearest and most legible fonts I’ve come across in a comic book or graphic novel. Fun fact: the font is actually the author’s handwriting that was turned into a font. Sophie was a relatable character. I can see many kids relating to her struggles to learn magic and her feelings of failure. I found the storyline to be very basic. I know this is middle grade, but the plot could have been more fleshed out. For example, the magic system between the witches and dragons could have been explored more. Also, the beginning of the book happened so fast. Sophie was on the train to her relatives super quickly with very little background information. Overall, I recommend this book to readers of all ages who love magic, witches, or dragons. This book also makes a great gift because it is a gorgeous hardcover!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Francina Simone

    This was absolutely magical and heart-warming and just brilliant to see visually, and take in emotionally. Wendy has a way of delivering us the Ghibli magic of stepping into worlds that breathe magic and meaning while being fresh and exciting. I loved this. I want to frame some of the panels! Its just amazing. Please read it if you want your heart to be filled.

  5. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Features an ambitious 12-year-old who moves to a seaside town with her aunts for an apprenticeship in magic and realizes that it may be more than she bargained for. this synopsis is giving me Kay O'Neill vibes Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Features an ambitious 12-year-old who moves to a seaside town with her aunts for an apprenticeship in magic and realizes that it may be more than she bargained for. this synopsis is giving me Kay O'Neill vibes Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This was adorable and perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli, especially Kiki's Delivery Service! This was adorable and perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli, especially Kiki's Delivery Service!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A wannabe witch's impatience with the wax-on, wax-off nature of her magic training causes her to overreach and get herself entangled with a sea dragon. It's a perfectly fine middle-school graphic novel with lessons about communication and self-confidence, but I found the pacing a bit off and the ending very pat, with adult characters quickly and conveniently changing their entire attitudes about life after a couple heartfelt sentences from the kid. Also, the big finale is supposed to be the threa A wannabe witch's impatience with the wax-on, wax-off nature of her magic training causes her to overreach and get herself entangled with a sea dragon. It's a perfectly fine middle-school graphic novel with lessons about communication and self-confidence, but I found the pacing a bit off and the ending very pat, with adult characters quickly and conveniently changing their entire attitudes about life after a couple heartfelt sentences from the kid. Also, the big finale is supposed to be the threat of a horrible hurricane, but the pictures don't sell the high stakes, never making it look like more than a mild thunderstorm.

  8. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    Wonderful middle grade fantasy graphic novel. Frustrated by a lack of progress in witchcraft studies, Sophie unleashes a chain of events that leads a young water dragon prince to become stuck on land. I really liked the overall messages of “encouraging/non-disciplinarian education methods are better than harshness” and “adults should apologize to children if they’ve caused harm.” Lovely artwork, particularly with the water dragons and ocean texture. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the p Wonderful middle grade fantasy graphic novel. Frustrated by a lack of progress in witchcraft studies, Sophie unleashes a chain of events that leads a young water dragon prince to become stuck on land. I really liked the overall messages of “encouraging/non-disciplinarian education methods are better than harshness” and “adults should apologize to children if they’ve caused harm.” Lovely artwork, particularly with the water dragons and ocean texture. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    This was like a Ghibli film in book form, except about being hard on yourself and how the goals you aim for might not actually be what you need. I don't draw or know anything about graphic novels but I'm blown away at the art and the story. I kept thinking this should be an animated film. I'm like... god it's so pretty, every single frame! This was like a Ghibli film in book form, except about being hard on yourself and how the goals you aim for might not actually be what you need. I don't draw or know anything about graphic novels but I'm blown away at the art and the story. I kept thinking this should be an animated film. I'm like... god it's so pretty, every single frame!

  10. 5 out of 5

    M

    This was a really cute middle grade graphic novel that has some good messages in it. It was super basic as far as storyline, but it definitely made up for it with the art. Even though it was super basic it still was very good and really reminded me of Studio Ghibli which made it nostalgic for me. However it is tagged as LGBT/queer on Goodreads, but there wasn’t any queer rep in it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sakina (aforestofbooks)

    Okay this was adorable and I’m obsessed with the art style. I wasn’t expecting this to focus on how parents/guardians should apologize when they’re in the wrong and have hurt their children, but this was just very fitting considering the past week

  12. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    This is a delightful MG graphic novel, about dragons, witches who can control water, making friends, anxiety, and learning to deal with the past. I spent a lovely couple of hours reading it, and best of all, it cheered me up. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I love Wendy's art so much. I love Wendy's art so much.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cass Moskowitz

    I really enjoyed this! A sweet graphic novel that portrayed anxiety and those "negative voices in your head" very vividly and in a tangible way. I love the relationships in this and it just made me happy I really enjoyed this! A sweet graphic novel that portrayed anxiety and those "negative voices in your head" very vividly and in a tangible way. I love the relationships in this and it just made me happy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cherlynn (cherreading)

    4.5⭐️ Am I greedy to want a sequel AND a film adaptation of this wonderful book? I enjoyed every bit of it, with the story as beautiful as the artwork. The characters are amazing - I mean, there are dragons AND witches. You can't go wrong with that. I loved the mythology as well as themes of identity, family expectations and forging your own path. There's also a great dose of humour that had me cracking up at times. This graphic novel gave me Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service vibes, so I wo 4.5⭐️ Am I greedy to want a sequel AND a film adaptation of this wonderful book? I enjoyed every bit of it, with the story as beautiful as the artwork. The characters are amazing - I mean, there are dragons AND witches. You can't go wrong with that. I loved the mythology as well as themes of identity, family expectations and forging your own path. There's also a great dose of humour that had me cracking up at times. This graphic novel gave me Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service vibes, so I would definitely recommend it to all Studio Ghibli fans. What a magical read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jill Kenna

    Thank you to NetGalley for a free review copy of this! This was a fantastic fantasy mixed with slice of life, graphic novel. I loved the way that this graphic novel dealt with anxiety and never feeling good enough. Sophie's frustrations about her witchcraft studies is very relatable and so our her worries and anxieties. Overall, this was a great graphic novel and one I will be adding to my personal collection! Thank you to NetGalley for a free review copy of this! This was a fantastic fantasy mixed with slice of life, graphic novel. I loved the way that this graphic novel dealt with anxiety and never feeling good enough. Sophie's frustrations about her witchcraft studies is very relatable and so our her worries and anxieties. Overall, this was a great graphic novel and one I will be adding to my personal collection!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ness (Vynexa)

    This was just what I needed right now. It’s a cute story about believing in yourself, even when nothing around you is going right. A story about how good and important communication is. With really cute art and a quick read. ⭐️ 5 STARS⭐️

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mira | I Read Like Phoebe Runs

    Gosh, this was so cute and heartwarming! Magic, family heritage and water dragons... What more could you ask for?! One of my new favorites, definitely.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    This was SO adorable and sweet!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Frank Chillura (OhYouRead)

    This book was so beautiful and magical and everything I was hoping it would be! If you loved Kiki’s Delivery Service or The Tea Dragon Society, you will LOVE Tidesong. The story was full of magic and dragons, with a few other mythical creatures thrown in and I loved every page more than the last. Not to mention the Artwork! I mean, come on!! Wendy Xu is uber talented!! Sophie is just your average, every day witch-in-training, sent to live with her great-aunt and cousin. When she feels like she i This book was so beautiful and magical and everything I was hoping it would be! If you loved Kiki’s Delivery Service or The Tea Dragon Society, you will LOVE Tidesong. The story was full of magic and dragons, with a few other mythical creatures thrown in and I loved every page more than the last. Not to mention the Artwork! I mean, come on!! Wendy Xu is uber talented!! Sophie is just your average, every day witch-in-training, sent to live with her great-aunt and cousin. When she feels like she isn’t being taught quick enough, she uses a spell that she shouldn’t. In which, obviously… chaos ensues! Enter Lir, a young water dragon who has lost his memories. He and Sophie have an instant connection. Their friendship is so cute and I adore them both!! I will say that if this does NOT become a series, I will write a strongly worded letter to someone’s manager. (Sorry!!! Chad/Karen came out for a sec.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cody Roecker

    I cannot wait to sell this to everyone. Absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Tidesong is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Wendy Xu. It centers on a legacy of magic, which binds two aspiring hopefuls from different worlds together. Aspiring witch Sophie Wu is determined to nail her Royal Magic Academy audition. She is part of the Wu clan, whose lineage included a dragon-human pairing, and whose descendants retain powers over storm and sea. Sophie is excited to spend a year studying in Shulan, a quaint harbor town accessible by ferry, with her contemptuous great-au Tidesong is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Wendy Xu. It centers on a legacy of magic, which binds two aspiring hopefuls from different worlds together. Aspiring witch Sophie Wu is determined to nail her Royal Magic Academy audition. She is part of the Wu clan, whose lineage included a dragon-human pairing, and whose descendants retain powers over storm and sea. Sophie is excited to spend a year studying in Shulan, a quaint harbor town accessible by ferry, with her contemptuous great-aunt, Auntie Lanny, and young, ever-patient, feline-like aunt Sage – an Academy alumna. However, Auntie's harsh discipline amplifies Sophie's deep desire to prove herself and in the midst of an ill-advised ocean-side experiment, Sophie's magic becomes entangled with that of Lir, the horned, amnesiac son of a powerful dragon, who now can't shift back from his human form. Tidesong is written and constructed rather well. In fluid, Studio Ghibli inspired graphic panels, scenes of smartly paced action follow Sophie's continuing pattern of mishaps and self-recrimination, and she encounters the first stirrings of wholesome romance with gentle, refined Lir. Though the magic tutelage theme is familiar ground, Xu gives her solo debut fresh allure with richly evoked Chinese mythology. All in all, Tidesong is a fun and fantastical adventure for a middle-grade graphic novel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    Wendy Xu's skilful world-building and rich color palette lured me into the world of Sophie, a teen witch sent to train up her magic skills with her strict Auntie Lan and Cousin Sage. I don't read a lot of fantasy books or graphic novels geared towards youth audiences, and was delighted by how sophisticated this story is — how I wish I was reading things like this when I was Sophie's age (though better late than never). Weaving together whimsical magic and hard-earned truths, Xu charts Sophie's jo Wendy Xu's skilful world-building and rich color palette lured me into the world of Sophie, a teen witch sent to train up her magic skills with her strict Auntie Lan and Cousin Sage. I don't read a lot of fantasy books or graphic novels geared towards youth audiences, and was delighted by how sophisticated this story is — how I wish I was reading things like this when I was Sophie's age (though better late than never). Weaving together whimsical magic and hard-earned truths, Xu charts Sophie's journey from an impulsive upstart to a mature friend who recognises the importance of apologies, admitting doubt and confronting whether the external validation we seek is truly the key to actualisation. Does Sophie truly want to attend the prestigious Royal Magic Academy, or might there be other ways she can harness her powers for the greater good? Does loving your family mean accepting everything they do, even when they're being mean or cruel? Do adults and institutions always know best? Her friendship with the dragon-temporarily turned human Lir is a pleasure to watch, in all of its misunderstanding, awkwardness, and eventually - trust and emotional kinship. These are devastating times and this graphic novel felt like a warm hug.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeska

    A beautifully drawn, sweet little tale of magic and family and friendship, of trying our best, and of overcoming the little voice inside our heads that makes us doubt ourselves.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Macy Davis

    Magic, Dragons, the Ocean??? What does this book not have!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    iz

    so cute!! reminded me so much of a ghibli movie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Benson

    just so damn charming and beautiful. studio ghibli vibes w/ a lovely discussion about learning how to listen to yourself instead of your anxiety. oh yeah and gorgeous dragons n sea creatures n art overall. i will never stop crying at work to sweet lil junior graphic novels i guess!!!!! oh well!! <3

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I just wrapped up reading this and it was a great read. Makes me think a lot more about how I should be easier on myself moving forward. Filled with beautiful art and a better story, I can't believe I read it that quickly. I definitely did get a slight Studio Ghibli give which makes me think I should watch that next. I just wrapped up reading this and it was a great read. Makes me think a lot more about how I should be easier on myself moving forward. Filled with beautiful art and a better story, I can't believe I read it that quickly. I definitely did get a slight Studio Ghibli give which makes me think I should watch that next.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky McGregor

    A beautifully crafted graphic novel about a young girl trying to find her way as a witch. Throw in a dragon some entwined magic and next thing you know you can't put the book down. The protagonist is flawed but relatable all in all it was a good read that I look forward to adding to the library! A beautifully crafted graphic novel about a young girl trying to find her way as a witch. Throw in a dragon some entwined magic and next thing you know you can't put the book down. The protagonist is flawed but relatable all in all it was a good read that I look forward to adding to the library!

  30. 5 out of 5

    skye

    I’ve been eagerly anticipating this comic ever since it was announced last year, and friends, Wendy Xu’s comics just never miss. Tidesong follows Sophie, who comes from a long line of water-magic witches who can commune with dragons, the masters of the sea. When she is sent off to a sleepy seaside town to train for her upcoming auditions for a prestigious magic school, Sophie soon begins to feel stifled by the criticism and tedious training she receives from her stern, disapproving great-aunt. O I’ve been eagerly anticipating this comic ever since it was announced last year, and friends, Wendy Xu’s comics just never miss. Tidesong follows Sophie, who comes from a long line of water-magic witches who can commune with dragons, the masters of the sea. When she is sent off to a sleepy seaside town to train for her upcoming auditions for a prestigious magic school, Sophie soon begins to feel stifled by the criticism and tedious training she receives from her stern, disapproving great-aunt. One stormy, stormy night, she accidentally tangles her magic with that of Lir, a young water dragon who ends up amnesiac the next morning. This was an adorable read, and I wish I could spend more time in its world! I really love Wendy’s brand of quiet, slice-of-life stories filled with magic, and the grounded, complex characters that inhabit them. Digital ARC provided by the publisher.

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