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The Worst Witch

(The Worst Witch #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  15,981 ratings  ·  530 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?
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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3.96  · 
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 ·  15,981 ratings  ·  530 reviews

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This is the perfect book for young reluctant readers.

It’s engaging, fun, fast-paced and actually a really great story. There’s a magic school, great friendship, antiheroes and a series of unfortunate events.

And let’s not forget the lovely illustrations. This is no Harry Potter for sure—sure, sure, sure—but no one asked it to be, especially since it was first published before that series. It’s light and the kind of book you don’t plan on finishing right the moment you start it but can’t help you
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
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
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
Lisa 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
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
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)
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!
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
Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue)
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 Briti
☽•☾ Emilia-The-Witch-Lover ☽•☾
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
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.
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.
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.
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 to
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.
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
Katy Who
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.
Keriann Davey
This is such a lovely little book! it made me feel happy the moment I picked it up! never mind it being a good book for children this 30 something loved it!!
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was getting into a reading slump so I wanted to pick up something that would help. This book loked fun and easy to read and it had cool illustrations. Even though it's very childish it definitely helped against the reading slump.
Author/Illustrator: Jill Murphy
First Published: 1974
Series: Book 1 of 7

I love it when it's my turn to choose a book. Being older and so much wiser I obviously have a better judgement on what makes A Good Book than the 7yo.


Okay, in all reality I am more likely to choose a classic or book that has stood The Test of Time and is age appropriate. The 7yo chooses books-her-friends-like or books-her-sister-likes; so either contemporary just released books or books that are too old (her sister is
Alex (not a dude) 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 worst
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-uni
Mildred Hubble attends Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches and is probably the worst student the school has ever seen. Mildred seems to be always getting into trouble. Whether it’s potions, spells or broomstick riding, she can’t seem to do anything right. When Mildred’s class does a display for this years Halloween celebrations, Mildred finds herself at blame when their presentations turns into a disaster. How will Mildred ever earn her Witches Higher Certificate when she is the worst witch to eve ...more
Ben Phillips
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A classic tale made into a feature film, which I actually watched first before reading the book (as I never read the book as a child). The book tells the story of Mildred Hubble, who to say the least is nearly always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mildred is in her first year of at the Witch Academy with her best friend Maud. Mildred can not seem to get any of her spells right and even ends up turning her worst enemy into a pig instead of the intended toad. Will Mildred survive the her fi ...more
Eloise baker
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I bought this book because I remember my own children reading it when they were younger. My daughters would read it over and over again and so i decided to read it now with a view to reading it to my year 3 class.

This is a book which features a rather clumsy witch called Mildred. Although she tries hard, Mildred usually manages to mix up her spells and generally cause trouble. When she turns Ethel (who happens to be a very bright but rather unkind witch)into a pig her troubles really do begin.
yesterday my friend and i went to booksale (she doesn't like reading but miraculously this time she initiated buying a few books) and imagine my surprise when i saw this as i was browsing through piles and piles of books. i mean, come on. childhood! and i cannot believe i forgot about this book when i'm sure this was one of the books that got me into reading. safjlksajflkadsjflawhyhowcouldiever. so when i was in sixth grade our classroom was in front of the library. *sighs. nostalgia* okay i'm d ...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