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The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  49,277 ratings  ·  2,012 reviews

Up on the Wold, there's a monster in the river and a headless horseman in the drive. And now Granny Aching has gone, there's only young Tiffany Aching left to guard the boundaries. To stop . . . things getting through.

It's her land. Her duty.

But it's amazing how useful a horde of unruly pictsies can be - as long as they are pointed in
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Corgi Childrens (first published 2003)
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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

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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Христо Блажев
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.
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.
The Wee Free Men, the first in the Tiffany Aching series, is a wonderful coming of age story with empowering messages and dry humor that leaves the reader laughing. The story begins in a European 15th 16th century village where nine year old Tiffany Aching lives. Her family raise sheep and recently her grandmother who is a very important character has died. Throughout the book and the whole series mentions of her grandma and stories are essential to Tiffany's character development. Tiffany notic ...more
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!!!
This has rapidly become one of my favorite books and I shall have to read it again next year perhaps and the next and so forth. It really couldn't have come at a better time for me because it made me realize that all this panic and anxiety about the future is nonsense and if I want to be a witch I just have to look around me and see things for what they really are and not what I wish them to be and use my head to get through this life. It doesn't do to dwell on dreams but you can't forget them e ...more
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.
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  • The Dark Lord of Derkholm
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  • Flora's Dare (Flora Trilogy, #2)
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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)
  • The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2)
  • Equal Rites (Discworld, #3)
  • Mort (Discworld, #4)
  • Sourcery (Discworld, #5)
  • Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6)
  • Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
  • Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8)
  • Eric (Discworld, #9)
  • Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10)
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.” 610 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…