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Witch Week (Chrestomanci #3)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,713 Ratings  ·  346 Reviews

When the note, written in ordinary blue ballpoint, appears between two of the homework books Mr Crossley is marking, he is very upset. For this is Larwood House, a school for witch-orphans, where witchcraft is utterly forbidden. And yet, suddenly magic is breaking out all over the place - like measles!

The last thing anybody needs is a visit
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1982)
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Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesCharmed Life by Diana Wynne JonesThe Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne JonesCastle in the Air by Diana Wynne JonesHouse of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
Favourite Diana Wynne Jones
10th out of 39 books — 354 voters
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Hidden Gems: YA-Fantasy Novels
29th out of 1,570 books — 3,618 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Apr 06, 2014 mark monday rated it liked it
Jones continues her delightfully nonchalant Chrestomanci series with Witch Week, set in a boarding school in a dimension very much like our own - except one with magic galore. magic that can get you burned alive. hide, little witches, hide! no one wants to see a child on a pyre.

for a children's book, this is surprisingly grim and tense. the tone is still light, dry, and rather deadpan, but the potential outcome for many of the young characters - and the flashbacks to a particular witch dying by
First Second Books
This is the book that made me suspect that English boarding schools are secretly terrible and horrible! Even if they don’t (always) have people doing malicious magic in them. But then Year of the Griffin always dissuades me of this opinion.
Apr 03, 2011 Myles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-stuff, fantasy
DWJ Book Toast, #3

Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them.

Melissa McShane
Witch Week, while not my favorite Chrestomanci novel (I think I've said before that I don't like them as much as other books by Diana Wynne Jones), still charms me in its depiction of a boarding school in alternate-universe England, an England in which witchcraft is illegal and punished by being burned at the stake.

DWJ's fourteenth published novel begins with a typical classroom and a note to the teacher that reads "Someone in this class is a witch." Somewhat atypically, DWJ introduces many cha
This was my first DWJ book. I read it because I really liked Harry Potter and was searching for something in a similar vein. I had to be younger than ten at the time. My sister Erin pointed it out to me in the library because the cover of this book had kids riding brooms (or mops, etc.) and I immediately became invested in it. This one is compared to the Potter series the most, because hey, witches in boarding school? But there are a few notable differences.

1) All the kids hate each other. There
Jul 24, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
Clever, but boring: an odd combination.
Jan 05, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Witch Week is perhaps my least favorite book in the Chronicles of Chrestomanci. That being said, I love Chrestomanci’s appearance in this book. His reprimands to the students who sought him out, and in fact, his entire dealings with them were spot-on and satisfying, if only because here, at last, is someone who can handle them. I love this passage: “[Chrestomanci] seemed astounded, and not vague at all. The room seemed to go very quiet and sinister and unloving” (Jones 480). When Chrestomanci is ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
It all started when I tried to read a book about Palestine and it was entirely too dry for the exhausted state I'm in (I teach - nuff said) so I pulled this from my shelf. Diana Wynne Jones is 'that' author for me. She's the one I crawl to whenever I need a comfort read and Witch Week was no different. She throws you right into the action in class 6B where someone is accused of being a witch.. a dangerous accusation in a world where they burn witches and those suspected of being a witch. All the ...more
Ayu Palar
Feb 17, 2010 Ayu Palar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dini Yulianti
Recommended to Ayu by: Tyas Palar
Shelves: children-books
Dunia dalam ‘Witch Week’ adalah salah satu dari beberapa dunia yang muncul dalam serial Chrestomanci. Namun, berbeda dari buku-buku sebelumnya, di dalam ‘Witch Week’ menjadi penyihir adalah sebuah aib. Menjadi penyihir adalah menjadi liyan, maka identitas tersebut harus disembunyikan. Siapa pun yang ketahuan sebagai penyihir bisa jadi akan dihukum mati dengan cara dibakar. Maka, ketika secarik kertas memberitahu bahwa salah satu anak di kelas 2Y adalah seorang penyihir, kepanikan muncul. Siapa y ...more
This book was quite an adventure, in the most positive sense of the word. It had quite a number of moments that had me outright giggling, and an eclectic cast of characters that you alternated between rooting for one moment and cursing the next. Which I greatly appreciated. Also, I found Chrestomanci to be at his absolute best. So, really liked this one.
Olga Godim
Feb 06, 2014 Olga Godim rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
I think it is too harsh for its intended readers - middle grade. And too didactic for the adults. The usual author's charm is missing from this book as well. Definitely not my favorite.
Jul 13, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
Tense, engaging, like a mystery novel! I couldn't put it down. Jones excellently portrays diverse personalities and motivations among the narrating characters with seamless transitions between them. I love how much they all learn and are humbled or inspired, as each one needs it, throughout the story.
Who really is the witch? With each step closer to finding the answer, danger draws nearer. And even the most powerful enchanter in the world(s) can't solve all their problems for them. The class of
Luciana Darce
Oct 30, 2014 Luciana Darce rated it really liked it
Eu acredito que li quando era mais nova um ou outro volume da série Crestomanci, mas confesso que não lembro de nada. Sei que o conheci à mesma época em que estava folheando meus primeiros Pratchett na Nobel, e que um pouco depois disso descobri o brilhante O Castelo Animado, que é da mesma autora.

Aliás, curiosidade: a Jones foi aluna de Tolkien e Lewis em Oxford e professora da Rowling. Mundinho pequeno, não?

Minha edição é uma que vem com os quatro volumes juntos, mas aqui no Brasil elas foram
Aug 20, 2012 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jones' fans
I'm reading these in the order Goodreads suggested Jones wanted them to be read which is neither by pub date nor by strict interior chronology. So, for me, this is actually #4. A bunch of kids in a boarding school each do actions that can get them burned as witches in their world. Eventually one of these kids discovers someone who gives them Chrestomanci's name and he arrives to eventually help set things right. Jones was trying perhaps too hard to show that unkind behavior is much more serious ...more
Julie Davis
Mar 01, 2011 Julie Davis rated it it was ok
Someone in 6B is a witch. And, in the alternate reality described in Diana Wynne Jones's Witch Week, that's not at all a good thing to be. Jones plunks her readers directly into the life of Larwood House, a school in a present-day England that's a lot like the world we know, except for one major difference: witches are everywhere, and they are ruthlessly hunted by inquisitors. With witty, erudite writing, Jones tells of the adventures of the class of 6B as they set about to discover who among th
Feb 01, 2013 Darkmoonfire rated it it was amazing
I've often seen people compare Witch Week to Harry Potter, and put Witch Week on lists of recommended books for people that like Harry Potter. After all, they both star kids with magical powers attending a boarding school. However, I don't really think that it's the best comparison. They may both be fantasy novels that have some similarities in setting, but they really aren't the same type of fantasy novel. Harry Potter is more of an epic fantasy with the main conflict focusing on good vs evil. ...more
G.L. Jackson
Jan 09, 2016 G.L. Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Diana Wynne Jones has an uncanny ability to make me feel as uncomfortable as the unloved kids in the classrooms in her books. This book is no different. I spent the first 2/3 kind of writhing in agony on behalf of all the kids suspected of being witches, and the last third laughing at how clever it was once the story came together. Although this is #3 in the Chrestomanci series, you can read it without knowing anything at all about the first two books.

DWJ is my writing hero. This is who I want
Persephone Hazard
I don't know if this can be said to be one of her best, but I still love it. The characters are complex and nuanced, and Chrestomanci is on top form. I also love any exploration of infinite worlds of course, and in many ways DWJ's theory hangs together better than mine does. It's certainly easier to digest! My one sadness at this book is that they all have to lose their magic at the end. It seems a great shame; I have some sympathy for Charles's reaction, awful as though he is.
Sheila Beaumont
I had a wonderful time rereading this old favorite. This tale is set in one of Diana Wynne Jones' alternate worlds, an anomalous modern-day one in which witchcraft is real and witches are burned at the stake, though the world is otherwise civilized. It seems that at least one of the children in a government boarding school for the orphans of witches is secretly a witch. It will be up to the enchanter Chrestomanci, with the help of some of the students, to put things to rights. Great fun, like al ...more
Nov 11, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
I tend to like Witch Week more every time I read it, which I guess I've done four times now? Had so much fun doing this for the first iteration of my Diana Wynne Jones Book Club!!
Amanda Coppedge
Apr 07, 2007 Amanda Coppedge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2007, mg
Witch Week is set in a land where witchcraft is illegal and all witches are burned. At a boarding school for orphaned children of witches, a note appears on a teacher's desk: "Someone in room 6B is a witch." Crazy things start to happen: all the shoes in the entire school migrate to the music room, students are able to fly on brooms and mops, and ... to say more about the story would be giving too much away. DWJ is funnier and more clever than 99% of the population. If you like Harry Potter you ...more
Oct 26, 2015 Tawny rated it really liked it
One of my favorite childhood books. :-)
Feb 29, 2016 Aelvana rated it liked it
The anonymous note said: "Someone in this class is a witch." 6B is nervous. Being a witch is a crime punishable by burning at the stake. No one wants to be accused of being a witch---even if several of them would be quite interested in having some kind of special power. Like Nan, the butt of all the girls' jokes, or Charles Morgan, who hates nearly everything and can change almost nothing. And when no one confesses, speculation as well as spells start flying.

This starts a bit slowly, despite the
I thought this book had a fair number of good things to say about bullying and social hierarchies and the way people lash out to mask their own insecurities, but also not every snotrag gets their redemption (deservedly so). The discovery of witchy powers as puberty analogy was strong with this one and well played. I was pretty genuinely delighted when Nan began teasing her broomstick back and joyously coming into her own. Overall, I enjoyed the story arc and the cooperation and the useful skepti ...more
Jul 03, 2015 SFReader rated it it was amazing
After reading Mars Evacuees, Frankie asked for 'another of your awesome books, Granny,' so I had to oblige with something special after a request like that. And came up with this...

Here is a world where witchcraft is utterly forbidden, yet where magic still seems to break out like measles -- all over the place! When a note, written in ordinary blue ballpoint, appears between two of the homework books Mr Crossley is marking, he is very upset.


Anyone could
Dec 21, 2014 Charli rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, for-review, audio
SLJ review:

Gr 5-8-Witch Week (Greenwillow, 1982) is the third book in Diana Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci Chronicles series. An anonymous note to the teacher of class 6B announces, "Someone in this class is a witch." With those words the tale is off and flying. Set at Larwood House, a cliquish boarding school in England, the students in 6B are very nervous, since witches are hunted and burned. Plump Nan Pilgrim quickly becomes the chief suspect because, not only is her name the same as the Archwitc
Mar 22, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Witch Week was published in 1982 and is therefore the third, in publication order, of the Chrestomanci books, but it's the fourth one presented in the two volume set of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, and that set determined my reading order of the books. Actually, you could read Witch Week on its own, but it worked for me as the fourth book: Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant both feature Christopher Chant and Chrestomanci Castle; The Magicians of Caprona is set in the same world b ...more
Missy Ansell
Aug 19, 2016 Missy Ansell rated it liked it
This book takes place in a world where witchcraft is banned and if you are a witch you will be sentenced to be burned. In a boarding school for witch orphans, someone has placed a note saying that someone in the classroom is a witch. The teacher first takes this as a joke, but then strange things start to happen all around the school. The students and teachers begin to fear that the inquisitors (witch police) will come. Only with the help of Chrestomanci will they be able to make everything righ ...more
Elizabeth Sullivan
Jan 03, 2016 Elizabeth Sullivan rated it it was amazing
There is a reason Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite authors and her Chrestomanci series really shows that the best. Set in a highly imaginative world with complex plots, interesting characters, and a dash of humor the Chrestomanci series continues to be a universe I always want to come back to. "Witch Week" did not disappoint, starting of with a simple note that could have deadly consequences for any of the students of 6B. The note states "SOMEONE IN THIS CLASS IS A WITCH." In a world iden ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Kiri rated it really liked it
Another utterly enjoyable book by Jones! I thought this one was a bit darker in tone than the first couple of Chrestomanci books; the insights into the personalities of the various schoolchildren were great. I particularly love the way in which these kids are not "good" or "bad"; each of them is a complex little human being. She's brilliant at capturing the way in which people have different worldviews which necessarily affect the choices they make.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian
  • Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2)
  • Drina Dances in Paris (Drina, #7)
  • The Grand Tour (Cecilia and Kate, #2)
  • Which Witch?
  • The Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch, #2)
  • Ordinary Jack (The Bagthorpe Saga, #1)
  • The Hounds of the Mórrígan
  • A College of Magics (A College of Magics, #1)
  • Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2)
  • Salem on Trial (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, #8)
Diana Wynne Jones was the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed fantasy stories, including the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.

For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see
More about Diana Wynne Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Chrestomanci (6 books)
  • Charmed Life (Chrestomanci, #1)
  • The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci, #2)
  • The Magicians of Caprona (Chrestomanci, #4)
  • Conrad's Fate (Chrestomanci, #5)
  • The Pinhoe Egg  (Chrestomanci, #6)

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“What makes you a real girl or boy is that no one laughs at you. If you are imitation or unreal, the rules give you a right to exist provided you do what the real ones or brutes say. What makes you into me or Charles Morgan is that the rules allow all the girls to be better than me and all the boys better than Charles Morgan.” 31 likes
“He started every entry with I got up. It meant, I hate this school. When he wrote I do not like porridge, that was actually true, but porridge was his code-word for Simon Silverson. Simon was porridge at breakfast, potatoes at lunch, and bread at tea. All the other other he hated had code-words too. Dan Smith was cornflakes, cabbage, and butter. Theresa was milk.” 27 likes
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