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By age 17, only about 1 in 17 seventeen year olds can read and gain information from specialized text, for example the... More

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Author: Terry Pratchett

Illustrator: Stephen Player

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Tiffany Aching wants to become a witch, and she gets a chance to test her skills when her little brother Wentworth is kidnapped and taken to the Evil Fair Queen's world. Tiffany discovers strange little blue men with kilts who love to steal, called the Wee Free Men. They help her fight off numerous fairy tale monsters, get through dreams controlled by the Queen, and find her brother. In the climax, she defends the queen with the help of her imagination and the vision of her long-gone Granny, who was the most important person in her life. She learns to appreciate her brother and starts on her way to becoming a witch. This illustrated fantasy is a high interest / low readability option for readers who like adventures but struggle with text-dense books.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, illustrated chapter

Recommended Age: read together: 9 and Up; read yourself: 11 and up

Interest Level: 9 to 14

Reading Level: 4.7

Age of Child: Reviewed by students at North Junior High School, St. Cloud, MN, as part of the Use Your ABCs program.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book because it looked pretty entertaining. I liked the book because of its twists on classic fables. This is a funny book for older readers. I thought it might be for younger readers at first, but the vocabulary got more advanced later on.

Adult Reader Reaction: I really struggled with this book. I loved the illustrations and the wordplay is great, but it also bogged me down.

Pros: This is a funny, light-heartd fairy tale for older kids. The illustrations are great.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I liked the book, but not enough to spend my money on it.


Educational Themes: There are themes you can pull out - perseverence, trust/faith, good v. evil, and others - but it is largely a book for just stretching your imagination and reading enjoyment.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fairy tale, fantasy, humor, young adult

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009

Other Reviews:


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