As soon as I saw the title, I knew I just had to read Poor Little Witch Girl. I adore books about witches (might I also recommend Bras and Broomsticks, Frogs and French Kisses, and my all-time favorite:The Witch Family). And what a cute little book this is.
Verbena is a witch, just like her mother, and her mother's mother, and every woman in her family. At 12 years old, however, all Verbena wants is to be normal, to be liked by the cute boy at school (Soufi), and to find her father. All her mother wants is for Verbena to be a powerful witch. Thus, one could say that there is a bit of tension in the family home (and when there are witches around -- tension can be dangerous!)
The really interesting thing about this novel is the point of view. The story is told from several points of view -- the mother's, the grandmother's, Verbena's, and even Soufi's, and while switching POV isn't something new -- this is the first time (that I can think of) that I have ever read a youth or teen book from the parent's POV. And in this one, it really works.
This is an adorable modern fairy-tale, and I would definitely recommend it for pre-teen girls (and older too -- since I loved it).
Marie Desplechin has published many books for children and adults in France -- this is her first to be published in the US. I liked it so much, I was actually tempted to try to buy some of her other titles in French (but apparently, I was overestimating my French abilities -- I couldn't even understand the summaries on Amazon!)
*yes, I do realize that the Wikipedia page is in French, but it has more information than the English version.