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The Worst Witch

(The Worst Witch #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  19,677 ratings  ·  723 reviews
Mildred Hubble is a trainee witch at Miss Cackle's Academy, and she's making an awful mess of it. She's always getting her spells wrong and she can't even ride a broomstick without crashing it. Will she ever make a real witch? ...more
Paperback, 107 pages
Published November 25th 2004 by Puffin Bks (first published October 1st 1974)
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Holly Trewick because Mildred Hubble is the worst witch in the academy unlike Ethel hallow her arch enemy.

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  19,677 ratings  ·  723 reviews

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Although I personally have found Jill Murphy's 1974 The Worst Witch a bit too much like the outline of a novel, with not nearly enough descriptiveness and presented details (as well as an ending that feels rather rushed and even a bit of a deus ex machina that leaves me as an older adult reader a bit annoyed and unsatisfied), I also do in fact and indeed much admire the author for having introduced and having featured as main protagonist Mildred Hubble, a young witch in training at Miss Cackle's ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic children’s book and this sumptuous, colour, hardback edition only makes it more special. Of course, the book features our heroine Mildred Hubble at Miss Cackle’s Academy – high up at the top of a mountain. Mildred really wants to be a great witch, but instead she is unsuccessful at her spells and is always in trouble. In many ways, this is a typical school story, just with a more unusual setting. There is Ethel, the teacher’s pet, Mildred’s friends Maud and Enid, lots of fun sp ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Watching ‘The Worst Witch’ on TV (1998-2001) after school with my little sister was one of my favourite things to do as a kid, so when I saw this was on sale nostalgia had me purchasing it.

Overall the story was cute, perfect for young kids not yet ready for Harry Potter, but honestly, I wasn’t captivated by the story (and I really wanted to be). It’s a nice easy read, but for me the author cultivated was a tad too simplistic in its depiction and the writing didn’t weave an intricate spell over m
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Dec 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: girls 5-8 years old – for early (but not just starting) readers and for read aloud
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 see
Alice (Married To Books)
Listened to on audiobook via Listening Books!

Listening Books is a UK based charity, offering an audiobook service to listeners in the UK with a long-term illness, disability or mental health issues.

The Worst Witch is one of my childhood favourites. It follows a girl given the title of the worst witch in the school by the headmistress Miss Cackle. Mildred Hubble is in the first year and always ending up with the wrong potions or falling off her broomstick. After landing in severe trouble during
Razaak Ahmed
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For those like myself who went to primary school in the 1990s, The Worst Witch books were probably the closest thing we ever got to Harry Potter. Not that we should feel deprived in any way, as The Worst Witch books were and still are enjoyable reads.

The Worst Witch is the first book in the series and details the troubles of Mildred Hubble, a pupil at Cackle's Academy and one who always seems to encounter misfortune, but somehow manages to save the day and in the process save herself, not just
Dec 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a charming little story, perfect for children just embarking on chapter books. The chapters are all short (each can be read in about five to seven minutes) and while some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced (I wouldn't call this a beginning/easy reader), it's perfect for read-aloud (especially if you can muster a British accent, haha!)

In this first book in the "Worst Witch" series, Mildred Hubble is in her first term at Miss Cackle's Academy. It's a bit like a (simplified and all-girls)
Jenna Vahue
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, children
I'll only say this once: JK Rowling ripped off Worst Witch. Magical academy with main character from non-magical world raising chaos in the school, stern Potions professor, mean blonde ninny, odd headmistress, color-coded houses, and general atmosphere. Why haven't I heard this before? Mrs. Cackle is a static character who wishes she had an eighth of Dumbledore's charm. Dumbledore > Cackle

The Worst Witch is a sweet delightful children's series from the 70's where delightful and artistic British
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A simple and charming story of a student witch, with fun illustrations by the author. I've never read these, and thought we'd give it a try as a read-aloud. The kids loved it, and so did I, but it was very short! ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids
Recommended to Jason by: Movie
"Beat on it, Delilah!"

Worst Witch Aggie Delilah photo Worst Witch Aggie Delilah.png

I'm glad I finally read the book, but I think the movie was better. Perhaps I'm biased. I've seen it a million times in the past 30... 30? Damn... Yeah, 30 years. Anyway, I still watch it every Halloween because there is just too much awesomeness in it to let a year go by without at least one viewing. Back when I had a VHS copy we recorded off HBO, it was prefaced with the best opening in the history of television. (Don't argue with me here; you won't win. I slam dance
Today is my 25th Birthday and I couldn't think of anything Id rather be doing than reading a book which meant so much to me when I was a kid. I loved The Worst Witch and I really believed in Mildred Hubble as a person, not just a character. I strongly associated and empathised with her through all she goes through. Being seen as awkward and clumsy, being bullied by a smarter student and being a bit of an outcast through no real fault of her own. Besides all this, Mildred remains kind and a good ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Worst Witch follows the adventures of Mildred Hubble, a witch studying at Miss Cackle's Academy. Mildred is a complete scatterbrain and keeps doing the wrong thing, though not by mistake. Of course, she is punished by the teachers all the time. There is also a wicked witch rival, who is a rival for no reason. Once, after the rivalry went terribly wrong, Mildred was blamed. Upset, she tries to go home, and ends up stumbling over a plot to harm the school. She foils it, and becomes a heroine a ...more
The Story Girl
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, classic, fantasy
Heard of this book for the first time today on a podcast, and apparently it's one of the books that might have influenced JK Rowling's writing. Just from reading a couple of pages as a Kindle sample I can already see how much of HP (possibly) came from this: from the school for witches that sits amidst a forest, to the flying classes taught the first day of school, the black school uniforms, the pets that are allowed just because they are tradition (cats and owls), the witch/wizarding exam they ...more
Jan 08, 2012 marked it as to-read
One of the many Easter eggs in Kraken. Most recruits at the magical police squad's training center refer to it as "Hogwarts". But a few call it "Miss Cackle's" and look superior when the others don't get the reference. ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
I would have loved this as a kid (I am very much the age of the kids for whom it was originally written), but never heard of it, probably a result of the old "British book not crossing the Atlantic" syndrome. (My mother had great trouble finding the much better known Famous Five books.) I read, instead, the probable American equivalent, Eleanor Estes' The Witch Family.

However, as I am no longer 7 or 8, I can't really give this one more than 3 stars. Charming illustrations.
Ivonne Rovira
Like most Americans, I came to The Worst Witch through the television series. Mildred Hubble and Maud are just as charming as on the show, and I loved this first book in a series.
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book as a kid in the good old days before Harry Potter turned up. I never seemed to do well at school and I always felt for Mildred, kindred spirits and both of us pretty. How she deals with the nasty Ethel is brilliant, recently read this to my daughter and Ethel's comeuppance still made me laugh. ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea why I haven't read this as a kid but better late than never, right? :)

I really enjoyed it but I definitely think it would be more appreciated by a younger audience.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Readers Not Yet Ready for Harry Potter / Those Seeking Magical Boarding School Stories
Originally published in 1974, this story of a young girl away at a witch's academy has, together with its sequels, spawned both a television film and a television series, and is also often cited (much to Jill Murphy's chagrin, apparently) as an influence on the subsequent Harry Potter series. Mildred Hubble is the eponymous "worst witch," a first-year student at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, who is always getting into trouble of one kind or another. Clumsy in her flying lessons, forgetf ...more
Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
3.5 Stars

The Worst Witch still holds the spot as being one of my favorite middle grade novels. I first read this series when I was seven years old and now 13 years later I decided to re read.

I loved it just as much as the first time, though maybe less just for the fact that I’m not a child obsessed with all things witches anymore( kinda) but it was still a fun read.

I loved Mildred, the school and of course Tabby( who I named my cat after) she is a tabby cat aswell. Seven year old me thought s
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is another book series where I was introduced to it through the TV show adaptation. Seems to be a trend with me.

I like to call this series the female Harry Potter and yes, I am aware that this came out a good 2- 3 decades before JKR's smash hit.

However this is still a delightfully charming, albeit predictable series about She I mean Mildred Hubble as she traverses through her years at Hogwarts...........I mean Cackle's Academy, as she learns to control her magical pow
Mildred is a witch but she is not very good at it. In the end however she's able to save the whole school from the evil witches' attack.
The book is a nice quick read but also very predictable. It's a bit of a Harry Potter version for younger kids, but mothing I enjoyed immensely.
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
This children's book review was originally shared on Lazy Day Literature.

Mildred Hubble is an unlucky girl that always seems to mess things up and finds herself at the center of every calamity at Miss Cackle's Academy. She's the worst at all her witch's classes and nothing seems to go her way even when she's trying her hardest to get things right. Mildred soon questions whether she belongs there at all, but then she makes a discovery that changes everything.

This is a cute little story about a yo
This was so sweet and so much fun. I'm glad to have finally discovered this series as an adult. (If I'd found them when I was 9 or 10, I would have loved them SO, SO HARD - it would have been 5 stars all the way!) And I'm really glad to be sharing these books with my kids as we read them together. ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The original magic school! I really enjoyed re-reading this and will be digging out the rest of the ones I own and finding any I've missed in the past. ...more
Alex  Baugh
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
Mildred Hubble, 12, is a first year student at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Though well-meaning and well liked by most of the other girls, Mildred always seems to be in trouble for something: "You could rely on Mildred to have her hat on back-to-front, or her bootlaces trailing along the floor. She couldn't walk from one end of the corridor to the other without someone yelling at her, and nearly every night, she was writing lines or being kept in…(pg 3) Mildred does have a best friend, Mau ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

The Worst Witch is a children's chapter book originally published in the UK in 1974. I first learned of it from the BBC television mini-series called Picture Book, which spotlighted various children's books that have built the foundation for present-day children's literature. The show pointed out that this book was unique because it put a fantastical twist on the typical school story.
The main character is Mildred Hubbell, and she is the wors
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
My wife picked the book from bookshop because she thought that she read the name somewhere. I heard it somewhere too, but forgot it anyway. But when I started to read the book with my 6 year old son, I thanked her that she picked it. At first I thought it’s like Harry Potter, but then I remembered the publication year (1974) which was way before Potter. So you can say that Harry Potter is a much darker version of the worst witch. This is funny, innocent and adorable, so a lot more suitable for t ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all my favourite children's literature, this book is squarely on the side of the outcast. Disorganised, accident-prone witch Mildred and her plump, bespectacled friend Maud are smart, kind and generally awesome. My own mild dyspraxia, which vanished when I was about 14, made Mildred an especially helpful role model, and whenever I broke something or failed to achieve the expected result in a science practical I thought of her. I teach science these days so Murphy's message must have done it ...more
Katherine Livesey
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this as the first of many children's books for research for a future project. I read this series many times as a child and it's just as charming as I remember - Mildred is such a loveable character. ...more
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Jill Murphy is a London-born English children's author, best known for The Worst Witch series and the Large Family picture books. She has been described as "one of the most engaging writers and illustrators for children in the land."

Jill Murphy was born in London and attended the Ursuline Convent in Wimbledon which, together with the boarding school stories she enjoyed reading, provided much of th

Other books in the series

The Worst Witch (8 books)
  • The Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch, #2)
  • A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch (Worst Witch, #3)
  • The Worst Witch All at Sea (Worst Witch, #4)
  • The Worst Witch Saves the Day (Worst Witch, #5)
  • The Worst Witch to the Rescue (Worst Witch, #6)
  • The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star (Worst Witch, #7)
  • First Prize for the Worst Witch (Worst Witch, #8)

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