Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Worst Witch

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
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Dec 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, fiction, novel, speculative-fiction, school-story, reviewed
Recommended for: girls 5-8 years old – for early (but not just starting) readers and for read aloud
Read in December, 2009

Oh too bad. I just realized I forgot to read this with an English accent. It would have been ever so much fun.

This book would have received 5 stars from my 7 & 8 & possibly 9 year old self. I would have also really, really enjoyed it if it had been read to me when I was 5 and 6, helping to read it of course.

The story is funny and sweet. It’s about a witch in her first year of boarding school for witches. The plot is predictable but I had no problem with that. Mildred is a clumsy student who seems to be in constant trouble, but of course there’s a very happy ending.

I thought the illustrations were lovely and fun. My favorite illustration is on page 73 of this edition and shows Mildred snuggling in bed with her very adorable cat, and there are other details in the picture too, but I enjoyed most of the illustrations.

I had to purchase this paperback copy. I’d love to read the rest of this series but only if I can find a way to borrow them. My libraries did not have this first one, but now I’ll be checking for the other books in the series. My thanks go to the Goodreads group A Thrilling Term at Goodreads: The Girls’ School-Story group; I found this book on their bookshelves. It was a delight to read.
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Reading Progress

12/17/2009 page 1
0.93%

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Kathryn I checked this out over Halloween but didn't get around to it, alas. Hope you enjoy!


Lisa Vegan It looks as though it will be a really quick read. I'll get to it sometime this month. It looks cute.


Lisa Vegan A friend told me last night there might have been a movie too. I'll have to check. I have everyone in my head so clearly, that until I see whether or not I can read the rest of the series, I might pass on the video versions.


message 4: by Abby (new)

Abby There is a movie, for sure, starring Fairuza Balk as a young child (Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life and Tim Curry also made cameo appearances). I never read the books, but I watched this movie like it was crack as a child. I believe I taped it off of the Disney Channel or HBO. My mom still reminds me to this day of how awful the theme song was, and how, to her seething frustration, she remembers every word of it.


Lisa Vegan Thanks, Abby. I'll have to check my library and then Netflix. This first book was a lot of fun!


Lisa Vegan Oh, and I just checked my library and they have 4 of the other books, even though they don't have this first one. I've already got my maximum of 15 reserves (oh, I so wish it was more!!!) so they'll have to wait. I do plan to read them eventually. They're incredibly fast reads, at least for adults they are.


Lisa Vegan Abigail, Was the tv series any good?


Lisa Vegan Abigail wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Abigail, Was the tv series any good?"

Would it make any sense if I said, "No, but I really enjoyed it?" Honestly, I was so strung out, from studying and lack of sleep, that I'm not en..."


Makes perfect sense. I've loved all sorts of mediocre tv shows and some that I can't remember because I should have been studying. Mostly i read instead of studying, but I've done my time with DVDs, tv, etc. too.




Kathryn YAY! I'm glad it is good and I will have to read it for sure! :-)


message 10: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Kathryn, I loved it, but keep in mind it's for younger children than most school stories. It's very cute though and I loved many of the drawings.


Kathryn Thanks, Lisa. I'll just pick this when I'm in the right mood for a younger/easier read ;-)


message 12: by rivka (new)

rivka Netflix seems to have the 1986 movie and a selection of the TV episodes.


message 13: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Thanks, Rivka. A friend told me our library has the movie; I might borrow it at sone point. I have the 2 a month plan from Netflix so I try to remember to check the library first.

Rivka, Do you know the tv show, movie, book?


Kathryn Lisa wrote: "Kathryn, I loved it, but keep in mind it's for younger children than most school stories. It's very cute though and I loved many of the drawings."

I'm so glad you told me about this, Lisa! I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as you did, but I still found it a very pleasant read and it's definitely great for the beginning chapter book audience. And I, too, loved the illustrations! :-) The cat is so cute!!!


message 15: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Kathryn wrote: "The cat is so cute!!! "

The cat is adorable!

Yes, I liked it better than you did. I think what helped is that I saw it for a younger audience than Harry Potter or any other books of which it reminded me and I could see liking it so much in early elementary school, a time before I was ready for full length novels for older children.


Kathryn I probably would have rated it much higher if I'd read it as a child--and especially before being exposed to HP.


message 17: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Kathryn, I can certainly understand that. But, I think this was geared to younger children, so I made fewer comparisons with Harry Potter than would be expected.


Manybooks Lisa wrote: "Kathryn, I can certainly understand that. But, I think this was geared to younger children, so I made fewer comparisons with Harry Potter than would be expected."

I think I would have liked the story to be a bit longer and a bit more fleshed out, but that would likely have made it too complex for beginning, younger readers. It's also a bit problematic comparing the story to HP because HP is definitely for older children and was also published more than twenty years after.


Manybooks If this story were being written now, Mildred would not simply be seen as clumsy, she would probably be considered to have had a learning disability, like dyspraxia (which interestingly enough, the young actor who plays Harry Potter in the movie series has).


message 20: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan I know. I love how Daniel is so open about himself.

I love Mildred being simply clumsy.


Manybooks Lisa wrote: "I know. I love how Daniel is so open about himself.

I love Mildred being simply clumsy."


I would love to read the rest of the series.


Manybooks Lisa wrote: "I know. I love how Daniel is so open about himself.

I love Mildred being simply clumsy."


Actually, it was when I read about Daniel's dyspraxia, I wondered wether that might be my problem. In Great Britain, dyspraxia etc. is taken much mire seriously than in North America, it seems and you can get all sorts of services and help.


message 23: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan That's great that Daniel helped you figure things out. Are you sure care is inferior in North America? Sometimes we just need to find the right people/places. If you're right, Gundula, I hope things change for the better.


message 24: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate Cool - thanks for the review, I'm going to read it with my daughter :)


message 25: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Kate wrote: "Cool - thanks for the review, I'm going to read it with my daughter :)"

Kate, I hope that you both enjoy it.


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