Molly Knox Ostertag. I love the webcomic she draws, Strong Female Protagonist, and I also very much enjoyed the sci-fi tale The Shattered Warrior that was released earlier this year. The difference with this book, The Witch Boy, is that she both wrote and drew it, so I was eager to see how it turned out. It is an impressive solo debut, and I appreciated very much how she told a nuanced tale of young people finding their way and also having to navigate their family relationships.
The narrative here follows Aster, whose family is touched by magic. All the women in the family become witches and are trained in mystical arts. All of the men are shapeshifters who learn how to fight and defend their homes and families. Aster is an outlier because he cannot seem to shapeshift, but he is highly interested in magic and sneakily learns how to cast spells and use magical objects. On top of this break with tradition, he is also quite friendly with a non-magical girl (can I call her a muggle if it's not Harry Potter related?) named Charlie.
Andrea Lipinski summed it up as "An excellent choice for reluctant readers, fans of fantasy, and those looking for books that explore gender roles." In another starred review, Kirkus Reviews concluded "With charming artwork, interesting
supporting characters, natural-feeling diversity, and peeks of a richly developed
world, this book leaves readers wishing for more." Mugglenet called it "smart and fun."
Ostertag speaks more about her work and inspirations for this book in this interview.
The Witch Boy was published by Scholastic, and they have more info about it here.