Meet The Worst Witch: Harry Potter for the younger set

When the folks at Candlewick Press offered to help me host a giveaway of The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy, it didn’t take me long to say yes! In our family we love Halloween-themed books, and we love finding well-written girl characters.

[The giveaway is closed (Nikki won!), but read on for more about this great series!]

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Mildred’s not a bad kid, but things just don’t seem to go right for her at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches! Partly bad luck, partly because she’s a not-stuffy kid at a rather stuffy school, and partly because the teacher’s pet doesn’t like her. But she has two things going for her: a good heart, and a loyal best friend. Now if she could just avoid turning anyone else into a pig…

The Worst Witch is recommended for Grades 3-6 (ages 8-12) but I knew from reading it myself that seven year old Boy Detective would be fine with it. So I read the first chapter out loud to him at bedtime… and then the second chapter, because he had to know what happened when Mildred got her kitten.

After he was in bed, my husband looked at me and said “So what do you think of that book?” I said “It feels like a younger kid Harry Potter, in a good way.” He agreed completely. It has the magic, the school, and the friendship, but without the tragedies and dark foreboding.

Murphy wrote the book when she was only 18, and I was struck by how easy it was to read aloud. The prose is smooth and has an understated humor we really enjoyed. Murphy says “I write as I speak, which is the best way to tell a story.” And it’s true, I felt like I was storytelling more than reading while sharing her story with my kiddo. The small illustrations every few pages were just enough to help him stay oriented while I was reading, since he’s mostly used to picture books, comics, and heavily illustrated chapter books. You can even read the first chapter of The Worst Witch online to try it out for yourself.

22 thoughts on “Meet The Worst Witch: Harry Potter for the younger set

  1. aimee fauci

    Oh my .. my daughter would love these! She needs help increasing her AR goal! My favorite costumes are themed ones! Last year my girls did a themed Storybook Characters dress up.

  2. Frenchell

    I am so so so glad I found this post! My daughter who is 8 would absolutely love this! I don’t know if I can hold out for the hopes of winning a giveaway. I will be ordering this tomorrow! Thank you!! She has been in a reading funk lately and I think this is just what she needs!

  3. Lexy

    This year my family is going themed for Halloween. The twins (21m) will be a Lion and a Tiger while the baby (3m) will be a Bear. My husband and I will be “oh my!”

    Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh my!

    My favorite costume I’ve ever worn was when I was in 4th grade and I went as a picnic complete with little marching ants!

  4. Lexy

    You have me at Harry Potter! I love love love Harry Potter and can’t wait for my boys to be old enough to read them. They aren’t old enough for this series yet either (darn!) but I have a niece who loves all things magical and I know would love these!

  5. Susan Evans

    My kids celebrate Harvest Festival with carnival games and dressing up, rather than celebrating Halloween, but my husband grew up trick or treating. He says he never got poisoned. LOL

  6. La La in the Library

    When I was in 3rd grade my mother made me a witch costume and she rigged this coat-hanger thing to the top of my hat, and attached a bat; when I walked the motion made the bat “fly” in circles around my head.Thank-you for this fab giveaway contest. :)

  7. Jennifer Corter

    Didn’t they make a movie out of the first book? I think that this is a pretty awesome giveaway! I entered, and I am going to share on my Facebook page! Gotta spread the book love!

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