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The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1)
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The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  68,892 Ratings  ·  2,953 Reviews
"Another world is colliding with this one," said the toad. "All the monsters are coming back."

"Why?" said Tiffany.

"There's no one to stop them."

There was silence for a moment.

Then Tiffany said, "There's me."

Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk c
Mass Market Paperback, 390 pages
Published 2004 by HarperTrophy (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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 29, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing
I will never be able to write a book as good as this.

I just finished reading it again. This is probably my third or fourth time.

I love all of Pratchett's books. It's easy to do, as the best of them are utterly excellent, while the worst of them is merely great.

This, I think, might be his best. And I love it for so many reasons. It is diamond beyond price among the other brilliant (but perhaps lesser) diamonds.

Part of me wants to quote parts of it to you. But I won't. Out of context you can't f

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
Jun 02, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 28, 2011 j rated it really liked it
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
Feb 09, 2017 Lyn rated it really liked it
Pictsies not Pixies.

While Terry Pratchett’s 2003 Discworld STORY (signifying that it is young adult book) introduces the spunky and likable nine year old protagonist Tiffany Aching (spawning four more books) the true hero(es) of this very enjoyable adventure are the Nac Mac Feegle.

Standing six inches tall, ginger bearded and blue tattooed, the Wee Free Men are fearless, profane (in a YA approved package), and like stealing, drinking and fighting. They are as hilarious as minions, kick ass and ha
Dec 18, 2013 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

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
Sep 02, 2016 Cphe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, fantasy, humour, faith, 2016
This was a book club read. I hadn't read anything by Terry Pratchett before and the novel certainly wasn't a genre that I've read a lot in. I enjoyed the world building that the author introduced and the delivery of the story. It was fast paced. I felt at heart that it was an adventure, a story of the "little guy" taking on the "big bad meanie" and triumphing against overwhelming odds. It's a theme that I often look for in the novels I read. In this case it was a nine year old girl called Tiffan ...more
Aug 16, 2009 Lightreads rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 31, 2015 Gavin rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-books, historical
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
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
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

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
Sep 13, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
How can something be so funny, and at the same time so serious and deep? The whole story and Tiffany herself. She is so earnest, never surprised by the oddest things - wee free men popping up, witches and monsters appearing, the world needing to be saved…she takes all that in her stride. She questions things other people, even adults, take on face value, and she THINKS. About things in general, and also about her own thoughts and reactions.

“Yes! I'm me! I am careful and logical and I look up th
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
Jul 18, 2015 Wastrel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Pratchett's best-written novels so far: very precisely polished for the most part, and beautiful, elegaic flashbacks.
That polish is the novel's flaw as well as its virtue: it felt too controlled, too avuncular, and too simplistic. And for someone re-reading the entire cycle, rather than using this as a starting point, it felt rather too familiar, both in general outline and in terms of the number of recycled jokes.

Having said that, it was good enough to make me want to read the other Tiff
Mar 02, 2008 Beverly rated it really liked it
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;
Nov 04, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Previously a 4 star but upped it on a reread due to realising its true brilliance. Nac Mac feegle are a great concept and so well done. All around great fun .
And Tiffany is just great. A confident and hard working young girl who does difficult things because someone has to. Inspirational and a much better book role model than a lot of the simpering lovelorn idiots peppered throughout YA fiction.
Show Tiffany a glittery vampire she will most likely knock it out cold with her trusty frying pan bef
“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
Closer to 3.5 stars. I really liked the characters. Tiffany is a really likeable character, not too perfect but not stupid either. I could read about the Nac Mac Feegle all day long. They are hilarious and brave and a little mad. The story itself didn't grab me. The two or three chapters towards the end with the Queen just dragged a little. That said, there is more than enough here for me to keep going with the series and find out what else Tiffany gets up to.
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 22, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 30, 2015 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
This review is from my latest "read" of this beloved book, this time by listening to the abridged audio recording narrated by Tony Robinson. I have previously listened to the unabridged audio narrated by Stephen Briggs and I have read the text editions at least twice.

It is, of course, brilliant. In my opinion, the Tiffany Aching books are the pinnacle of a long career. In this one we meet Tiffany at 9 years old as she begins the path of a witch as she deals with that and her deep grief for her g
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2010 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 14, 2009 Qt rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fantasy
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.
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.
Oct 05, 2010 Myles rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2016 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A me Terry Pratchett non piace proprio.
Ho letto "Il colore della magia" trascinandomi fino alla fine. Pensavo che fosse solo questione di romanzo sbagliato al momento sbagliato ma, dopo aver letto la storia dell'intrepida Tiffany, credo che Terry Pratchett non faccia proprio al caso mio. L'autore ha tantissima fantasia, mi pare di capire, e da quello che ho letto si nota eccome, eppure non riesce proprio a colpirmi, e nemmeno a tenere alta la mia attenzione, anche se, di fatto, le sue storie non
Христо Блажев
Dec 16, 2011 Христо Блажев rated it really liked it
Тряс по чутурата с “Волният народец” на Пратчет!

Слушайте сега що ще ви думам, зер е некъв зимен смръз спекъл и требе се четат такива ми ти онакивини. Имаме си, значи, идно моме, дека май ке е вещица, га порасне, ма съга си е само малка фуста с говореща жаба, ужкимска книга с магии (ама хич не е такваз) и много мерак да оди да спасува малкото си братче, дека лошата крилца от магичнио свет е краднала.
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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; Industrial Revolution, #1)

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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.” 1069 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.”
More quotes…