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Whispering to Witches

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,413 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
A short holiday with his mother turns out very differently for Joe than he could have imagined when he left home. Soon he is embroiled in a world of witchcraft, a world where the kind and innocent witches of Britain are facing a wicked foe. Can Joe and his young friend Twiggy put an end to the cunning plot, or will they, like their witchy friends, find the baffling mystery ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 6th 2004 by Bloomsbury Children's Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Isle of Winds by James FahyHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingThe Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Potential Fantasy Classics
51st out of 252 books — 256 voters
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Books that should get more attention
354th out of 1,853 books — 2,147 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,591)
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Nov 23, 2013 Adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
When I first saw this book, I was around twelve years old. I didn't want to read it. I saw it again in college when I was a page at a public library. I checked it out, but never got around to reading it. Then I checked it out for a fantasy project on which I am working, and I am so sorry I didn't read this book sooner. Anna Dale's writing is charming. It's not Harry Potter, though it does take place in England. I love her witches because they are stereotypical witches, yet not at the same time, ...more
May 29, 2010 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
I have no idea if this is one of those books that was published on the crest of the Potter wave, but I feel it suffers because of the existence of old Harry and his mates. The basic setup of boy meets witches is different enough as is the execution, but it lacks a lot of the flourishes Rowling brought to her series. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing - this is a different story entirely, after all - but a lot of the kids in my class found the plot progressing entirely too slowly for them. ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
As an adult, it was mostly "just OK" for me. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books much more—IMHO they appeal more easily to a larger audience, while this one is more fit for middle-graders and younger.

As a kid, though, around 10-12, I'd probably have loved it. There are nice plot twists, and seemingly insignificant events actually tying themselves together at the end.

So 3 stars it is.
Olive   Anoop
Jun 17, 2015 Olive Anoop rated it it was amazing
Whispering to Witches

Joe Blinks is going to Canterbury to spend his Christmas with his mother, stepfather and his half sister. But the train ride to Canterbury is filled with strange happenings. And before Joe knows it he is face to face with real witches! One of the witches he meets is a young girl about his age named Twiggy. Soon, Joe is caught up in a tangled web of good witches, bad witches, and evil magic.

This book is by Anna Dale, I have never read any of her books before. I liked her styl
Jul 09, 2011 Matthew rated it liked it
I agree entirely with the sentiment of the other reviewers that this is a book that suffered for the existence of Harry Potter. On the other hand, Harry Potter might have been its saving grace at the same time. This is definitely from the same genre and it was published at about the same time, so the HP comparisons are inevitable, but this is also the book that fans of HP would have picked up fresh from one of his adventures simply because they wanted to read a bit more of this semi-realistic ch ...more
Cassidy J.
Jan 27, 2016 Cassidy J. rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was younger (around 11 or 12, I think) and I loved it. It made such an impression on me that, although I forgot the title, and then the characters names, and then eventually, the plot, several years later, I realised I was unable to forget certain things, like: paperclips, a tricycle, a boy, a girl, two women (Aunty-like figures to the girl), a cat, a train, night markets which aren't always there, and flying on a broomstick. (I had to type "book witches tricycle night markets ...more
Apr 15, 2008 Terra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children and adults
Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale was a truly enchanting story for all ages. If you or your child like The Wizard of Oz then you most likely love this book. A pure bewitching tale with lots of magic.

Joe Binks is just your ordinary boy living with dad as mum has remarried. Being quite ordinary it is fun when on his way to mum's for Christmas holiday he is singled out by a witch and given a special item of which he has no idea of having such a thing.

Twiggy is a little girl witch who is in trainin
Nesa Sivagnanam
Mar 22, 2012 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing
Joe slid, face first, underneath a desk, narrowly avoiding a pair of square-toed black shoes with shiny silver buckles. A cat screeched in his ear and sprang on to his back. It sank its claws through his blazer and into his flesh. Joe rolled over to dislodge the cat, which hissed and spat as it leaped on to an armchair.

So begins the real adventure of Joe Binks when he journeys to Canterbury to spend what he thinks will be a dull holiday with his mother, stepfather and 7-year-old sister. Getting
Jun 12, 2013 Riffana rated it it was amazing
I first read this book around maybe ten years ago,and something about it still makes me pick it up at the library from time to time until now. I read the other reviews before writing this, and I think that alot of people mentioned harry potter. Funny thing is, the thought of harry poter never crossed my mind. I am a huge fan of harry potter and i think that i never thought of these two books together because even though both has witches, they are dealing with very, very different type of witches ...more
Joe expected to spend Christmas with his father as usual, but at the last minute his father was summoned to Scotland, so Joe has to go to Canterbury to stay with his mother, stepfather, and younger sister. An odd happening on the train leaves Joe at the wrong station, and a borrowed bike--which turns out to be a broom in disguise--leaves Joe at the headquarters of the Dead Nettle Coven of witches. Although the witches' first inclination is to wipe Joe's memory and send him on his way, a young wi ...more
Debbie Price
Apr 19, 2015 Debbie Price rated it it was amazing
While Joe and his father are making plans for their Christmas together, things change abruptly. Joe is sent to Canterbury to spend Christmas with his mother, stepfather and young stepsister. This is where the fun begins! With a wild train ride, a mix-up when Joe departs the train, an enchanted bike that propels Joe down the wrong rode and into a house full of witches, Joe doesn't know how his holiday could get more exciting! It does! Together with his new witch-friend Twiggy, they share adventur ...more
Molto piacevole l'atmosfera natalizia che si respira in questa storia, ambientata in una nevosa cittadina inglese, dove solo la descrizione ambientale basterebbe a far percepire la magia nell'aria. Ma ecco che invece le magie ci sono sul serio, dato che la cittadina è abitata da molte streghe...
La trama di questo libro l'ho trovata carina e piuttosto interessante, anche se poteva essere scritta meglio, ci sono scene un po' confusionarie, dove non si capisce "cosa sta succedendo e a chi", ma a p
Stephanie Ruby
Aug 14, 2010 Stephanie Ruby rated it it was amazing
I think i read this book a hundred times as a kid!!!!!! It never gets old- LOVE it!!!!
Feb 22, 2009 Ame rated it liked it
Good book for youth. It was entertaining and a quick read.
Klara Woodson
Jul 16, 2015 Klara Woodson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una splendida avventura natalizia, ricca di mistero e di un'atmosfera incantata, che ricorda un po'Harry Potter ma in maniera solo positiva. Scene descritte con dolcissima poesia, intrise di magia, scene d'effetto e sorprese inaspettate (anche da un pubblico di adulti): tutto questo rende il libro un viaggio incantato, non un semplice bestseller. Lo consiglio a tutti quei bambini che, stanchi dei soliti film americani che danno in TV in periodo natalizio, vogliono immergersi in una vera e propri ...more
Sep 02, 2014 EL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood-books
I was gonna give this book a 4 star rating but then I thought wait a minute I read and reread this book between the ages of 7-11 so what would me 7-11 self rate it and she would give it 5 stars because it's the book that I would keep rereading it and borrowin it from the library I finally bought the book now that I'm 14 because I remember how much I loved this story and I want to reread and relive my favourite book from my childhood it has such an amazing story and I loved it so much let's hope ...more
Dec 25, 2012 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe muss die Weihnachtstage bei seiner Mutter und ihrer neuen Familie verbringen. Während der Zugfahrt trifft er auf merkwürdige Menschen und zu allem Übel steigt er einen Bahnhof zu früh aus und muss sich auf einem Dreirad auf den verschneiten Weg nach Canterbury machen, doch das Dreirad hat ein Eigenleben und bevor er sich versieht, landet er in einem Hexenhaus und wird in das größte Abenteuer seines Lebens verwickelt.
Ein sehr schönes Buch, das Kinderherzen nicht nur zu Weihnachten höher schla
Robin Conley
This was a cute story -- but it is definitely for children and was kind of silly/ridiculous at times. Sometimes in ways I don't think it was supposed to be. I think it was really great hearing it read because the speaker did wonderful voices which helped distinguish all the characters and made it much more interesting. I'm not sure how much I would have gotten into the story if I had been reading it myself.

Dec 09, 2015 Cee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems like everyone wants to create their own version of Harry Potter and glean from Rowling's success, but Whispering to Witches stands alone as an original and whimsical take on the witch story. Every now and then I like to pick up a young adult or children's book to re-enter the lighter side of life, and occasionally I strike out with over simplification and poor writing. This book was well written, and just mature enough to not offend my twelve year-old side by proving YA authors DO think ...more
A really sweet and good book, one that will definitely be on my top ten. A little hint about what the story says is that there is this boy, Joe, who is on his way to another place in England, to stay with his mother and step father. Joe is sad to leave his father, because he was really anxious to spend Christmas with him, and as his great aunt is in hospital after being involved in an accident, it looks like it will be a journey to Scotland that won't be a short trip around the bend. As soon as ...more
Cecilia Rodriguez
Jul 27, 2015 Cecilia Rodriguez rated it it was ok
Set in England, the plot is heavily influenced by the "Harry Potter" series.
Joseph Binks plans for Christmas vacation get changed when his father has to look after an injured relative on short notice.
Joe's adventures are funny and intended for young chapter readers.
Apr 13, 2012 Franziska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually it was by chance that I bought this book. I saw it on ebay and thought "what a nice cover"...well I am kind of bibliophilic, so books have to look good in order to get on one of my shelves, not to mention they have to be hardcover...But, I went to amazon and looked up what ratings the book had and bought it. New and unharmed I got it just for 2.

And it was really luck that I got it so cheap, because it was such a sweet book! Of course it is children's literature, but it was fun to read,
Frances Andrews
Aug 19, 2016 Frances Andrews rated it it was amazing
Read this book to my daughters and we loved it X we loved the story and twiggy and joe unraveled the mystery
Magical, Christmassy and such a fun read X normally I read a chapter or so a night but this book kept us wanting more X
Apr 07, 2015 Laura added it
One of the children's books I found while combing through my collection. I'd say it was written to the pre teen age. Enjoyed it. Easy reading with a well developed plot. Twists and turns that all came smoothly together at the end.
Aug 03, 2014 Urooj rated it it was amazing
I usually think that single books are annoying or "unfinished",for I read mostly full series,but this book,well,it just got me.I loved every moment of it.It's an excellent book and I wish there were more like this.
Feb 21, 2014 Denise rated it liked it
It's a cute book. As an adult reading this I found it full of moments that gave me a child~like curiosity as to how things will resolve themselves.
I understand how this would be a fun story for kids to read.
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Jan 03, 2015 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Molto carino e per nulla banale o scontato! Peccato non abbia avuto successo, secondo me è simpaticissimo!!
Sicuramente è pensato per un pubblico molto giovane, eppure non risente di ciò e pure alla mia (veneranda :D) età è godibilissimo!!
Tanta magia, amicizia e coraggio.. Un cattivo degno di questo nome e tanti pasticci!
Matthew Randell
Mar 12, 2015 Matthew Randell rated it really liked it
I remember loving this book, learning the spells and stuff. My copy still has post it notes on the pages where they use magic
May 26, 2014 Ellie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone aged 8-12
5 stars
I read this quite a while ago and I remember loving it! I'd like to read it again and see what I think now.


I can definitely see what I liked so much, it's lovely!

I am changing my rating to four stars, not because I have anything negative to say (certainly not) but just because now that I'm older, the very simplistic plot is less enthralling than it was when I was 9.

All the same, I'd definitely recommend it to younger readers regardless of whether or not they love fantasy. I th
Oct 20, 2015 Merisa rated it liked it
novelita de fantasía y algo de suspenso ligera y de fácil lectura, para chicos, con un final inesperado
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