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The Witches

The Witches

This story is about real witches - who dress in ordinary clothes, look like ordinary women, but loathe all children. The seven-year-old hero and his grandmother are pitted against them at a witches convention, at which the witches are plotting to exterminate every child in Englan... read full description below.

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Quick Reference

ISBN 9780141311395
Barcode 9780141311395
Published 5 April 2001 by Penguin
Format Paperback, New edition
Alternate Format(s) View All (17 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Dahl, Roald
Illustrated by Blake, Quentin
Series Puffin Books
Availability Not currently available

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780141311395
ISBN-10 0141311398
Stock Out of stock
Status Not currently available
Publisher Penguin
Imprint Puffin
Publication Date 5 April 2001
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Paperback, New edition
Edition New edition
Author(s) By Dahl, Roald
Illustrated by Blake, Quentin
Series Puffin Books
Category Fiction (Child / Teen)
Award Winning
Number of Pages 208
Dimensions Width: 128mm
Height: 196mm
Spine: 13mm
Weight 160g
Interest Age 9-11 years
Reading Age 9-11 years
Library of Congress Witches - Fiction, Grandmothers - Fiction
NBS Text Children's Fiction
ONIX Text Children/juvenile
Dewey Code 823.914
Catalogue Code 10747

Description of this Book

This story is about real witches - who dress in ordinary clothes, look like ordinary women, but loathe all children. The seven-year-old hero and his grandmother are pitted against them at a witches convention, at which the witches are plotting to exterminate every child in England.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

Awards Winner of Whitbread Book Awards: Children's Book Category 1983
US Review By a talky, roundabout route, Dahl slyly (if deterringly) takes the narrator - ostensibly himself at seven - into the delicious, ambiguous situation of being a mouse-boy. . . who turns the tables on his tormentors. We first hear about witches: they spend their time plotting to get rid of children, they all look like nice ladies, they are difficult but not impossible to spot. Then, we hear about Dahl's cigar-smoking Norwegian grandmother, who told him about witches and how to spot them: they all wear wigs to cover their bald heads, for one thing, and have itchy scalps. So, when Dahl and his grandmother are at a Bournemouth hotel, and the lady-delegates to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children conference start scratching away (p. 57), Dahl is wary. Then the pretty head lady takes off her mask: the Grand High Witch incarnate! To demonstrate her Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker, she's already fed some to greedy, obnoxious little Bruno Jenkins - who turns into a mouse on schedule. Will Dahl be detected, hiding behind a screen? He hasn't washed in days, but some of that tell-tale child-scent, anathema to witches, escapes. Forcefed the potion, he joins Bruno scampering about the floor - but they still have their own voices, and his wonderful witchophile grandmother will know what to do. Actually, Dahl's wits have if anything sharpened. With his grandmother as a confederate, he steals a bottle of the potion; pours it into the witch-delegates' soup tureen; and has the exquisite pleasure of seeing them turned into mice, to be wiped out on the spot. (Bruno meanwhile is contentedly munching away - to the horror of his mouse-hating parents.) When last seen, DaM and his grandmother are quietly resettled in Norway - where he wonders if she'll live out Ms short mouse-life span, and she's plotting to get rid of the world's remaining witches. A (quicker-acting) sequel is to be eagerly expected. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author's Bio

Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER. Quentin Blake has illustrated more than three hundred books and was Roald Dahl's favourite illustrator. In 1980 he won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. In 1999 he became the first ever Children's Laureate and in 2013 he was knighted for services to illustration.

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