Vexed & Hexed
When tween witch Vietta’s ADHD quirks provoke her best friend into ending their lifelong friendship, her desperate attempt to salvage their unraveling relationship is a magic potion dud that accidentally destroys a vengeful sprite’s home. Surviving middle-school is going to be a challenge friendless and alone except for the pesky sprite wreaking havoc. Vietta must break the curse behind her pest problem while braving her loneliness to ultimately accept herself – including her quirks – and embrace the opportunity for new friendships.
The magic and mischief of Pico’s ASTER AND THE ACCIDENTAL MAGIC meets the neurodivergent middle-school friendship rollercoaster of Ormsbee & Brooks’ GROWING PANGS in this middle-grade graphic novel.
Age Range:Middle Grade
Page Count Estimate:224-256
Friendship has been tricky in my life with the first scars formed in middle-school. I eagerly made new friends at the start of 6th grade. As the awkward one, I bounced between talking too much or not enough, but I thought I had made friends. On the last day of school they purposefully ditched me. I managed to build confidence back up for the start of 7th grade and was relieved when I made new friends. At the end of the year, I was ghosted again. When 8th grade brought the same, I thought I was broken. My ADHD diagnosis at 30 meant clarity and healing. Few stories focus on the devastating loss when a friendship ends. I wish my younger self had a book like this to normalize the experience with a sprinkle of humor and a dash of magic.
Nicole Harwood is an author/illustrator from Vancouver, WA. As an American Sign Language/English Interpreter, she regularly transforms English phrases into the visual medium of ASL to paint a picture of meaning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients, or in reverse. Creating comics and graphic novels allows for a similar process with more flexibility, fewer time constraints, all while emphasizing her own voice. She is inspired by her Neurodivergent sons, husband, and her own mental health journey.