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The Worst Witch at School
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book comprises two titles in the Worst Witch series: The Worst Witch and The Worst Witch Strikes Again. It's a great precursor for readers not ready for the Harry Potter series mixing friendship, adventures, and fantasy. The accident-prone but likeable Mildred Hubble experiences a series of mishaps in witch school causing her humiliation, fear (not much), and frustration. Children fall from broomsticks, are turned into animals by the wrong spells, and are threatened by a band of misfit witches.
What's the story?
Mildred Hubble is excited about her first year of witch school, but soon discovers the lessons to be more challenging than expected -- making mistakes and getting into trouble seem to come easier to her than making the grade. But when she find out that rogue witches are plotting against the school, Mildred may just manage to save the day.
Is it any good?
This makes a great read-alone or read-aloud for pre-Potter kids; the author's great characters and worthwhile lessons are ideal for this age group.
Mildred Hubble is your average, awkward, school-age kid who has adventures with her friends, but also faces challenges. Kids will find her a relatable character right away (with the added fun that she's a witch), and will enjoy her unique friends Maud and Enid. Maud wears glasses, is short and stocky, and tends to play it safe. Enid is tall and big-boned, also awkward, and likes mischief.
First published in 1974 when the author was just 18 years old, it's since been adapted as a movie and TV series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Mildred's challenges. Can readers relate to her awkwardness physically, as well as in social and academic situations? What about Mildred is so likeable? Does she bring this trouble on herself, and if so, how? Is she a problem-solver and, if not, what skills does she need to work on?
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