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The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  52,109 ratings  ·  2,134 reviews
A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality . . .

Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegle—aka the Wee Free Men—a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men.

ebook, 400 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published 2003)
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Stacia No. But, if you read The Wee Free Men (love it!) first & want to read the other books with Tiffany Aching, those are best read in this order:
No. But, if you read The Wee Free Men (love it!) first & want to read the other books with Tiffany Aching, those are best read in this order:
The Wee Free Men
A Hat Full of Sky
I Shall Wear Midnight(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsVampire Academy by Richelle MeadShadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Smart Heroines for Smart Teens
103rd out of 254 books — 254 voters
Diary of an Early American Boy by Eric SloaneThe Wee Free Men by Terry PratchettKitten's First Full Moon by Kevin HenkesThe Last Duel by Eric JagerFalling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah
Best Books You Found By Browsing
2nd out of 63 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I plan to use this book in the future as a strategic "weapon" for introducing my (future, hypothetical) daughter to the world of Terry Pratchett's imagination. Yes, I see it as a 'gateway drug' to fuel addiction to Sir Terry's writing. And that's the addiction I'm happy to perpetuate.
After all, this book introduces Tiffany Aching whom I love to pieces and want to adopt to be my level-headed and practical little sister.

"Yes! I'm me! I am careful and logical and I look up things I don't understand
I'm a huge fan of dangerous books for boys. I love classic boys literature, whether Dumas's 'Count of Monte Cristo', Kipling's 'Jungle Book', Burroughs 'A Princess of Mars', Tolkien's 'The Hobbit', or Heinlein's juvenile fiction. I love good stories that instruct boys in being adults. I love them for being persistently politically incorrect, not just now but then. I love them because they are stories by people who obviously know boys and know what they need. And, I love them for just being fun a ...more
This was my first Terry Pratchett book. If you a looking for a way into his Discworld series (which is, at last count, 1 million books long), you could do worse. It's a totally separate story arc. It's the first of a shorter sub-series, giving you someplace to go if you like it. It's YA, so it goes down easy. It stars a creative, capable heroine and is in no way about her love of boys, which is always refreshing (still, still this is refreshing). And it's funny.

I mean, funny-ish. Funny is so inc
I really, really wish that I had a younger girl cousin to pass this book onto, because I think it's a perfect antidote for some of the books that are enjoying a vogue right now (*cough* Twilight *cough*). Where the latter feature some downright disturbing gender politics, The Wee Free Men has a heroine who's sensible and smart and capable; a realistic, strong relationship between grandmother and granddaughter; a world where women are bounded by preconceptions and gender roles and fears, but a ...more

Usually, I'm at a loss when it comes to Christmas gifts. I don't like to give articles of clothing and gift cards feel too impersonal. I get by with the occasional bottle of perfume, compilation album or with some silly toy, but this year I think I've stumbled on a real gem: I bought The Wee Free Men because it is by Pratchett and because it says on the back cover the heroine is nine year's old. Turns out is is one of the very best in the whole Discworld catalogue, one of the funniest but also
It is a just a tiny review for this one as sadly I did not enjoy my first try of one of Terry Pratchett's books. I did not gel with the writing style. The style was actually quite similar to that of Neil Gaiman's books and so unsurprisingly I had the same issues. The story itself was too ridiculous to take seriously and I felt like the characters were just inconsequential mouthpieces for the author to crack some jokes and offer a few witty insights on society. Now admittedly I liked the general ...more

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS Y-A list.

I think I’ll always have a soft-spot for imaginative young-adult speculative fiction and as the good people at Locus did such a grand job with picking their Sci-Fi winners, I’ll trust them to single out some special y-a books too.

A toast from
Young sheep farmer's daughter begins training to be the witch of the chalk hills that she loves. She has the help of a lot of six-inch fairies with drinking problems and pointy swords, which is good because there's no school for learning witchery, unless you think of the whole world as the school.

Oh, marvelous. I read the three published books straight through everywhere I went, and I know I disturbed people by standing there beaming in the elevator. There may also have been bouncing.

These books
OK, I’m going to start this review with some maths. No! Wait, don’t go. It’s going to be YA style maths and, well, it’s me… so it’ll be dead easy.
Though before we begin, you can leave your payment in the basket just over there. Not vegetables. I want chocolate. Not got any? No worries…I’ll wait until you come back from the paper shop*.

Hermione Granger + Mildred Hubble + Matilda Wormwood = Tiffany Aching.

I’m almost tempted to just leave this review at that because, honestly, if you’re
Steven Harbin
I’m presently about half way through reading this marvelous little book. People have been recommending Mr. Pratchett’s work to me for years, and I must say that I’m sorry I took so long to finally start one of his books. I did read Good Omens The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch a while back, which he co-authored with Neil Gaiman, and that book was excellent, but I was going through my NG phase at the time, and moved on to several of Gaiman’s books after reading GO. In retrosp ...more
I will start this post with another Old School Wednesdays’ confession: I only ever read one Terry Pratchett novel, Good Omens ages ago and that was only because he wrote that in collaboration with Neil Gaiman.

I know what you’re thinking right now: “CRIVENS! I can’t believe you haven’t read any Terry Pratchett till now, Ana.”

I KNOW, right? Anyway, the real problem with this course of action was of course, WHERE to start, given as how Pratchett has over 40 novels in the Discworld series alone. I h
Mar 02, 2008 Beverly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beverly by: Kim
From the review on my blog:
Pratchett takes all sorts of fairy tales and children's stories--including one of my faves, Peter Pan--and mashes them into his own tale about Tiffany, a nine-year-old witch in training. Tiffany is gutsy, smart (she's got First Sight and Second Thoughts; I need to develop both myself!), and ethical. In the same way I wanted to be Jo March when I first read Little Women, I can imagine any girl selecting Tiffany as a role model.

Pratchett never writes down to his reader;
Brilliant! Or, should I say, Crivens! I love Terry Pratchett's work, and his latest endeavors into Takes-Place-On-Discworld-But-Isn't-A-Discworld-Novels are, if possible, even better than just your standard Discworld novels. If you could ever have a 'standard' Discworld novel...

Premise: A 9 year old proto-witch's little brother gets stolen by the evil Queen (or quin) of the Faeries. (what is with all the books with evil fae in them lately!). She has the makings of a powerful witch someday, but r
That was such a great story! So full of unexpected characters and happenings. I loved the Wee Free Men!

Even better than reading it, was listening to Stephen Briggs. Fantastic.
Other Discworld books grabbed my attention a little sooner, but I still enjoyed this one. The parts on life and philosophy are always thought-provoking.
There are a lot of books for young readers that claim to encourage "girl power" and provide girls with a heroine that they can really be proud of. But Harriets and Matildas and Pippis are rarer today then they were 30 years ago, a trend that is disturbing the more one thinks about it. Most of these 'empowering' books end up perpetuating the old archetypes and rarely can these heroines accomplish anything alone.

Terry Pratchett with Tiffany Aching spins the headology he coined for Esme Weatherwax
“Yes,” said a voice, and Tiffany realized that it was hers again. The anger rose up, joyfully. “Yes! I’m me! I am careful and logical and I look up things I don’t understand! When I hear people use the wrong words, I get edgy! I am good with cheese. I read books fast! I think! And I always have a piece of string! That’s the kind of person I am!”

Tiffany Aching is flipping awesome. The witches are awesome. Terry Pratchett is awesome. And cheese is awesome.

I have to say, with a world as vast as Dis
If you haven't read Terry Pratchett, you're missing out--he's one of the most humorous, creative, and profound fantasy writers I've come across. This book is a nice, self-contained story about a young girl, Tiffany Aching, who lives out in the countryside in Pratchett's fantasy world, the Discworld. The story itself is about faeries, but not exactly twinkly sparkly happy faeries.
Tiffany Aching is intensely curious and loves to both think and question everything around her, including the simple
Mar 26, 2011 Callista rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: julia Andersen, Werner, all Harry Potter fans, & fantasy readers with daughters
A truly delightful book. Funny and wise, irreverent and touching, philosophical and lovely. In other words, classic Terry Pratchett.
Definitely NOT exclusively a kids' book just because the main character is 9 years old. But it would be lots of fun to read this aloud to a child of any age.
Tiffany is a worthy addition to the Discworld cast of witches, another of Pratchett's wonderfully 3-dimensional female characters. I look forward to reading about her further adventures.
I'd seen the Wee Free
As usual, Pratchett manages to explore meaty questions (the nature of reality, family love, the relationship between knowledge and magic and common sense) in the midst of very involved silliness, and the silliness is of a high order, indeed. this is one of the most cohesively plotted of the Disc World books--not that I am generally very picky about my Disc world books.
Mary Catelli
The first book in the Tiffany Aching trilogy, the Discworld YA books. (Helps a bit if you've read some of the Witch books first.) I was at first wary because his first venture in YA did not impress me. This is much better.

Tiffany Aching is the youngest daughter of seven, with a younger brother, on a sheepfarm on the Chalk. The witch Miss Tick is watching when she is warned by a Nac Mac Feegle (a small but extremely fierce group of the -- ehem -- Fair Folk) and, using a frying pan, deals with a J
I finally know why readers praise the works of Terry Pratchett! I don't consider myself a science fiction or fantasy reader but with a gifted writer you forget the genre and become the cheering section for the good guys. In this case, it is a sensible young girl, Tiffany Aching, who has always wanted to be a witch. Since Wee Free Men is one of the many books in Pratchett's Discworld series, her dreams can come true. And they do, with nightmares as well as magic!

The most important lesson for a wi
Where have you been all my life, Terry Pratchett? How could you have written so many books, and I am just now discovering you? The bad news is, I have missed out on so much good reading, here. The good news is, I still have it all ahead of me, and I’m excited to have all these stories waiting for my reading pleasure! I can’t wait to delve into each and every one of the 39 books (so far) in this series!

The Wee Free Men is actually the 30th book in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. It had the fe
*Granny Aching, and her relationship with Tiffany. Not many books portray older characters as full-fledged people, and Tiffany's closeness to her grandmother struck a chord with me.
*The Nac Mac Feegles. I kept catching myself reading their salty dialogue aloud, in my best (very bad) approximation of a Scottish accent.
*The first sight v. second sight dichotomy. Not sure how to describe this without spoiling a bit, but it was great.
*Tiffany's attitude toward magic a
Just as good this third time around:)
Sophie Brookover
I first read this book in 2005 or 2006, and loved it. I read it again after attending the Margaret A. Edwards Award luncheon in Sir Terry's honor, and I read it a third time, as an audiobook, last week, finishing it the day before his death, and thinking hopefully to myself as I returned the e-audiobook to my library, "boy, I hope SIr Terry can pull off another one of these before he retires from writing altogether!" Weep.

The Wee Free Men is an excellent entree into The Discworld - you don't ha
Althea Ann
This was marketed as a Discworld novel for 'younger readers,' but I
found the story and style to be no more (or less) juvenile than that
of any of Pratchett's other books. It's the 30th Discworld book, and
the first to feature the character Tiffany Aching (although i was
already familiar with her from reading 'Wintersmith' - I've never
tried to read Pratchett in order.)
Nine-year-old Tiffany's baby brother is kidnapped by the Queen of the
Elves - an antagonist who spreads winter where ever she goes. Th
Tiffany is an interesting heroine. Heroes/heroines in YA books always seem to be under prepared. To me, Tiffany seemed especially unprepared. She’s having to rescue her brother with little more than a frying pan and a book on sheep diseases? Errr… good luck with that. She definitely wasn’t a ‘normal’ heroine. It may have accidentally, kind of been her fault that her brother was kidnapped/taken. Despite that, she still goes to save him. Not because it’s the right thing to do. Not because she has ...more
I’ll always remember that German friend of mine for his good taste in books and introducing me to the works of Peter Høeg and Terry Pratchett. :)

I haven’t read one of Terry Pratchett’s books in quite a while, and in preparation for my Goodreads giveaway win—Pratchett’s latest novel and 4th book in the Tiffany Aching series—I wanted to read the three earlier books to the series. After reading The Wee Free Men, I must say that I’d completely forgotten how much fun these books are!

What I really li
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jan 07, 2011 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers looking for another Harry Potter
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Veronica Belmont
I have avoided Pratchett and Discworld for so long. I'd read Good Omens and discovered that type of humor that I just don't like, the Douglas Adams way of pointing out how clever and funny it is, without it being actually funny. That drives me crazy. Give me sarcasm or actual humor over clever.

But I kept hearing about the Tiffany Aching set of books, a young adult subset of the Discworld books intended for younger readers (or at least marketed that way) about a young witch who is just discoverin
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Discworld (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches #1)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind #4)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10)
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind #1) Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1) Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch #6)

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“If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.” 744 likes
“Witches are naturally nosy,” said Miss Tick, standing up. “Well, I must go. I hope we shall meet again. I will give you some free advice, though.”
“Will it cost me anything?”
“What? I just said it was free!” said Miss Tick.
“Yes, but my father said that free advice often turns out to be expensive,” said Tiffany.
Miss Tick sniffed. “You could say this advice is priceless,” she said, “Are you listening?”
“Yes,” said Tiffany.
“Good. Now...if you trust in yourself...”
“...and believe in your dreams...”
“...and follow your star...” Miss Tick went on.
“’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Goodbye.”
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