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Title: Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation
Author: Silver Ravenwolf
Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publication date: September 1998
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This is probably the most difficult review I have written so far. It's been a battle to try and get my thoughts on this one down on paper.
I found Teen Witch at an outlet mall for $4.50, so I thought, "Great! Here's a good one to review." However, I'm not a teen, or a parent, so I don't have any youthful insight on this one. I wouldn't have liked the book when I was a teen, and I don't like it now. But I can't in all fairness use my experiences as a teen to judge this book by. I was reading on the college level in about 6th grade. The tone of the book would have annoyed me.
Judging the book as an adult, I know that I would not give it to a young person to learn from as a main source. It's far too shallow in its information and too focused on spellcrafting. I think it would be a fine book for general questions, for a supervised youth. I would tell them not to read the section on spells (not that they would listen, probably (grin), as I don't think the section on spirituality is a good enough foundation to jump directly from there into magick. And it jumps there far too quickly. Half of the book is about magick. That is too much for a beginner.
Another dislike is the "Angels, Angels, everywhere" quote. In my opinion, this is a straight out encouragement to lie. Pagans don't need the rap of telling kids to lie to their parents. We are regarded in a bad enough light as it is. Ravenwolf also has a tendency to talk about deity as "God." I don't mind the God, he's half of the Wiccan religion. But in her other books, Ravenwolf mainly refers to the Goddess. Here, it's as if it's a mask so that a parent picking the book up won't freak out. Wicca is a religion. Don't water it down.
So, needless to say, I'm giving this one a thumbs down. It's shallow, less than honest, and not a good book for it's target audience in my opinion. Reading it with an eye of experience allows me to recognize the good information, but I am at a stage where I don't need this book. If I had a child who grew up in the Craft, and had a firm foundation in the spirituality, I might let them read the spellcrafting section. They could get a bit of inspiration from it and ideas for their own. For someone who is beginning this path, I would encourage them to read Cunningham over Teen Witch - his writings encourage the spiritual side, and are not hard to understand. This book, quite honestly, didn't need to be written.
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