The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30)
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The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  45,626 ratings  ·  1,909 reviews
Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching - a wise shepherd - might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it's up to Tiffany to work it all out when strange things begin happening: a fairy-tale monster in the stream, a headless horseman and, strangest of all, the tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free Men, who have come looking for the new 'hag'.


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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 29th 2004 by Corgi Childrens (first published 2003)
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Nataliya

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
...more
Matt
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
Joel
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...more
Siria
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
Algernon

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...more
Anna
There is something about The Wee Fee Men that makes you want to read it over and over again. Perhaps it's how Tiffany actually acts like a nine year old child. Most authors under estimate the intelligence that a child can hold. Terry Pratchett has captured the very being of a child perfectly. Confident, curious, and intelligent Tiffany is so real that you can feel like she's sitting right next to you or that you've known her for your entire life. Like she's actually real. The thing the makes her...more
Clouds

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...more
Lightreads
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...more
Jo
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*.
Back?
Right:

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

I’m almost tempted to just leave this review at that because, honestly, if you’re...more
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
TheBookSmugglers
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...more
Beverly
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;...more
Jessica
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...more
Qt
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.
Minli
“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...more
Carly
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...more
Callista
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...more
Devon
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.
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...more
Marcia
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...more
Meghan
Ugh. I really wanted to like this book--Terry Pratchett is (allegedly) hilarious, Tiffany was a charmingly progressive heroine--but it just never quite worked for me. I'd go to read, and then think, 'Oh, I'm reading...that. Right.'

The plot felt tired--sending the heroine into the [Other]world to rescue her brother is hardly new, and there's nothing that makes this stand apart from, say, Labyrinth. Actually, there's this line from TV Tropes: Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) in Labyrinth won't give up he...more
Steve
There are instances in "The Wee Free Men" where the setup-to-payoff time is simply too short, such that it comes across just shy of deus ex machina: If you supply the setup of the solution to a problem too close to when the problem actually crops up... it feels a little "less than," a little cheap. Tiffany, the main character, also comes across as "bratty and demanding" too often when the author intends for "strong and clever." But it hardly matters. The book consistently made me smile, and on s...more
Aurora
I absolutely loved this book! It is so funny. There are these little men who have blue skin, bright red hair, dress in kilts, and shout in Scottish accents who call themselves the Wee Free Men. The Wee Free Men try and help Tiffany, the main character, in rather unconventional ways. They are always given away by one of them shouting CRIVENS!!!!!! their famous catchphrase.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh. It is a little bit difficult to read, because it is written like they are...more
Skip
Tiffany Aching is an observant and fearless young girl. Off she goes to rescue her kidnapped brother armed with only a frying pan and her common sense. Luckily, she is assisted by the Nac Mac Feegle (the Wee Free Men), a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men. Fighting the wicked witch and her nightmarish crew, Tiffany outwits all, and impresses the local witches. Stephen Player's illustrations are a treat.
Elina Zalkalne
THIS WAS AMAZING. Now I have to wait for 4 whole days before my friend can supply me the next one. *Cue despair, head banging against walls, wailing and hair pulling*

Pratchett, you wondrous writer, you... How are these books not as famous as, say, the Chronicles of Narnia is beyond me. This one was just so funny yet serious, incredible yet realistic, unf I can't even describe it properly!!!
Miriam
This Discworld spin-off series about eleven-year-old Tiffany and a load of obstreperous blue manikins will appeal to both adults and children. While younger readers may miss some of the subtler humor, there are plenty of more obvious jokes and a very sympathetic set of characters.
MB
7/20/13 Re-read. I feel like I should be purring. Another wonderful re-read. Tiffany is such a great character, and the Nac Mac Feegle are hilarious.
Anastasia Tuckness
Love, love love this book. It's a great adventure story about a young girl (Tiffany) who is reckoning with who she is and how she fits in. For her, this happens to be as the emerging witch of her area, the Chalk (full of sheep and shepherds), which requires her to go rescue her brother and the baron's son from the Queen of Fairyland. She gets some help from the Wee Free Men along the way, who are little blue pictsies (NOT pixies!), and meets some of her future witch colleagues. It's got a lot of...more
Bayla
Aug 17, 2012 Bayla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Terry Pratchett fans, people who love words, intellectuals with a streak of humor...
Four reasons this book is awesome:

1. It's by Terry Pratchett, people. He's a genius, and hilarious.

2. It has Tiffany Aching, one of my new all time favorite people. Yes, I know she's not real, but I'm not happy about it. Don't remind me. Here's some selections from the book so you can have a hint of her awesomeness:
-- "'I would like a question answered today,' said Tiffany.
'Provided it's not the one about how you get baby hedgehogs,' said the man.
'No,' said Tiffany patiently, 'It's about zoolog...more
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1654
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
More about Terry Pratchett...
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1) Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29)

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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.” 546 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...”
“Yes?”
“...and believe in your dreams...”
“Yes?”
“...and follow your star...” Miss Tick went on.
“Yes?”
“...you’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Goodbye.”
333 likes
More quotes…