Witch Week (Chrestomanci, #3)
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Witch Week (Chrestomanci #3)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  7,106 ratings  ·  262 reviews
SOMEONE IN THIS CLASS IS A WITCH.

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...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

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mark monday
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...more
Myles
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.

A...more
Melissa Proffitt
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...more
Micha
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...more
Sara
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Olga Godim
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.
Stephanie
This review originally appeared at Read in a Single Sitting.

All I can say is that I would have found it rather more interesting if when I was in high school my peers hadn’t passed notes about their crushes and packed lunches, but rather notes that said things like ‘someone in 2Y is a witch’.

Of course, in my school, this probably would’ve just resulted in a bit of reprimanding or a snide remark about not being of the proper character to study law or medicine (the horror!). But at gloomy and oppre...more
Joan
Aug 20, 2012 Joan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
...more
Darkmoonfire
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
S.
This one was great.
I enjoyed the multiple worlds aspect: The children keep finding out that though everything is actually possible, whatever occurs next is still subject to their own choices and how much responsibility they are willing to take for their actions.
And it was a very humorous take on witchcraft and spells going awry.

She doesn't lay it on too thick, but deals with all the usual suspects like bullying, flawed and spiteful adults, superstition, blind herd-behaviour efficiently and witt...more
Amanda Coppedge
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
Heather
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
Kiri
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.
Kayla
I read the majority of this book in a day (over 200 pages). I loved Diana's characters, especially since she includes so many female characters (many books do not have a lot of female characters, so this was refreshing). I can see why Neil Gaiman and Hayao Miyazaki enjoyed the worlds that Diana creates, they are absolutely magical.
Sharon
This was the audio book I listened to at work today.

I think I would have enjoyed it more, had I read the first two books in the series, I didn't realize it was a series.

The Narrator did a good job defining the characters but unless there was strong emotion to read into the dialogue he was rather monotone. He has a very pleasant voice for poetry I think, but not necessarily this style of writing.

The story was fun, a little predictable. I think my favorite part of the entire book is when the Kid...more
Adam
Witch Week is a bit of a change of pace for the Chrestomanci series. Rather than focusing on one or a pair of young protagonists, the book takes place in a school and features that setting's traditional ensemble cast. I tend to prefer ensemble casts, since they usually focus more on characters and less on plots that are unrealistically resolved by one person. Unfortunately, that's not really the case here – like so many of the Chrestomanci books, this one uses its ensemble cast to create an even...more
Chrissi Burnett
I was about 10 when i read this book for the first time and I loved it. I still have the battered paperback copy 18 years later, and I read it about once a year. A great slice of British boarding school fantasy.
June
Nov 08, 2012 June rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: diehard Jones fans
This is the weakest Jones book I have read. All of the children have problems and are not really likeable. A treatise against boarding schools? May be a 3, but I was quite disappointed. I expect better from Jones.
Jessica Donaghy
This was one of my favorite books as a kid, but I never had any idea it was part of a series, let alone the third in a series. Marketing fail!
Andrea
Watch out - if you haven't read any of her other works, it's going to be difficult to understand. It's a Chrestomanci novel, so right away you're dealing with her idea of multiple universes and a man who wanders through all of them as a sort of policeman and has a funny name with great power (hmm, sounds a lot like a certain TV series...) Plus, the rules of magic, which I've never been able to fully figure out in her books, are all over the place.
So to sum up, it's okay but do yourself a favor...more
Kate
I wish I'd discovered Diana Wynne-Jones earlier in life -- I feel like I'd have really, really loved her books in junior high. They're enjoyable now that I'm an adult too, of course, but I wish I'd had them as friends years ago and wasn't just meeting them for the first time. I like her style. Though written long before JK Rowling came on the scene, Witch Week draws inevitable comparisons to her work and is, in some ways, the anti-Harry Potter -- there is magic happening at this boarding school,...more
Young-Kyung
I remember not wanting to read this one even though it was physically attached to the witches of caprona (is that what the other one is called?) and I don't remember why because it's really good, the characters! they were surprisingly realistic and i liked the concise writing style, which captured the essence of the characters really well. also the head hopping kind of confused me at one point but i liked how i could pop into the thoughts of everyone in each situation - which had a lot of twists...more
Lydia
I'm devouring the Chrestomanci books, thanks to Oyster (Netflix for ebooks). This one is set in a boarding school in a world where witchcraft is forbidden yet common. I think it's weaker than the other Chrestomanci episodes; Jones juggles several characters here, so we get a far less developed view of them all, which may be why it wasn't my favorite. I did like the humor she inserted into classic schoolroom situations and the alternate history. Though not as dazzling as _Charmed Life_ and co., _...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here

Witch Week takes place in a world that is a part of series 12. There is magic in this world, a lot of it. It is, however, illegal and witches are still burned at the stake. At a boarding school for children who are mostly witch orphans an anonymous note is found among the composition books of 6B stating "Someone in this class is a witch." This worries some of the students including Charles Morgan who has just discovered he has magical powers and Nan Pilgrim who is named aft...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janelle Dazzlepants
I know it looks like I took FOREVER to read this book, butI just put the book down for a couple of weeks when I got busy with uni, and then only now just got around to finishing it off XD

This book was super adorable, though I have to admit it was my least favourite of the Chrestomanci books so far. I suppose another factor in my leaving it for so long, was that it tended to drag on in parts - it's funny how such a short book can seem so long >_> I would grow tired everytime I tried to res...more
An Odd1
Witch Week starts with Hallowe'en in a world where witches are illegal, and burnt. Grade 2Y of boarding school houses witch-orphans and other rejects. Through spectacles, thoroughly angry Charles Morgan's stare of intense curiosity is seen as a glare of malevolence. He casts spell on teachers' pet bully Simon like game "Simon Says", that whatever Simon says comes true.

When persistently beat-up smallest, Brian Wentworth, son of Deputy Head, runs away and blames a witch in his class. Accused fat...more
Sally
What a great book to read in the week before Halloween! The witches in this story are not the ugly, demonic hags of MacBeth or even the Wicked Witch of the West of Oz, but there is certainly a great deal concerning the idea of historical witch-hunts. Even the British holiday of Guy Fawkes Day, which is "celebrated" on November 5th, soon after Halloween in England, is closely tied in to this story. Witches in the worlds of Chrestomanci are merely one level of the many types of magically gifted ty...more
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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 http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/aut...
More about Diana Wynne Jones...
Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1) Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2) The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci, #4) Charmed Life (Chrestomanci, #1) House of Many Ways (Howl's Moving Castle, #3)

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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.” 29 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.” 24 likes
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