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 have to take in the fifth year OWLs for Harry Potter, Witch Certificate in this book , and so much Again, that s just the first two pages so imagine how much there is And this book was written in 1974, keep that in mind because sadly, a LOT of people accuse the author of ripping off JKR other way around.Also, there are SO many tv spinoffs of this, I m surprised I had never heard of a single one before The Worst Witch 1998 2001 Weirdsister College sequel to the above The Worst Witch 2017 series The Worst Witch 1986 film And here s a great interview with the author where she talks about a lot, including how she s had cancer twice now She is such an inspiration.Okay, brb while I go rip off this book myself and become a billionaire read this book It s pretty short, only 100 pages or so.Review This was a really quick read, and the whole time I was reading, I kept seeing all of the Harry Potter comparisons in my head They sing a school song at the beginning, there s a chief wizard who is very old and has a long white beard, and before the first year is over, Mildred has a broom that gets out of her control exactly like Harry s does in the first book The similarities are just too much I don t know how JKR got away with that.Besides that, this isn t the most memorable book for me I guess it s of a children s book and I couldn t get into the story that much It did have wonderful illustrations throughout And I am glad I have read it I m excited to read classic fantasy novels that influenced Harry Potter. 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 seems to be in constant trouble, but of course there s a very happy ending.I thought the illustrations were lovely and fun My favorite illustration is on page 73 of this edition and shows Mildred snuggling in bed with her very adorable cat, and there are other details in the picture too, but I enjoyed most of the illustrations.I had to purchase this paperback copy I d love to read the rest of this series but only if I can find a way to borrow them My libraries did not have this first one, but now I ll be checking for the other books in the series My thanks go to the Goodreads group A Thrilling Term at Goodreads The Girls School Story group I found this book on their bookshelves It was a delight to read. Miss Cackle S Academy For Witches Has Never Seen A Worse Pupil Than Mildred Hubble Her Spells Always Backfire And Her Broomstick Flights End In A Crash Now One Of Mildred S Spells Has Ruined Things For Ethel Hallow And That Perfect Witch Is Out For Revenge Black And White Illustrations 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 from a bully names Ethel, but also the likes of the ever uncompromising Miss Hardbroom Children in Key Stage 2 can relate to many of the events since it is set in a school and bring with it the many events that accompany school life such as friendships, bullying and encounters with teachers Once you read this book, you definitely want to read the others in the series For me it was a book that I used to read just before falling asleep and I suspect that is what many children still to today and with good reason. 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 Hogwarts with the various houses, flying lessons on the broomstick, potions classes, etc Oh, and every young witch gets a cat poor Mildred gets the only non black one, an adorable tabby cat whom she loves no matter what I think the cat was my favorite part of the book The illustrations are just so darn cute Mildred gets into various scrapes as she isn t exactly Hermione Granger when it comes to success in her lessons or staying out of trouble But, she means well and it s especially unfair when the ostensibly goody goody but deep down meanie Ethel casts a spell on Mildred and makes her take the blame when things go wrong But, Mildred interrupts a wicked plot brewing and has a chance to save the school and her reputation Although I think the story is cute and is definitely great for kids who might be interested in Harry Potter but aren t quite ready for that level of book yet, I personally wasn t too captivated by it Maybe because it did remind me a lot of Harry Potter, which I much preferred Mildred s story wasn t really that surprising interesting to me I would chalk this up to being an early chapter book, but I have read some I Can Read or Step into Reading books that are much shorter simpler and touched me emotionally That said, this was a very pleasant and quick read perfect for a cozy, good witch Halloween read and I absolutely adored the illustrations 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 Academcy, who is always getting her spells wrong, has trouble staying balanced on her broomstick and faces constant criticism and bullying not only from her fellow witch trainees but often also from some if not many of her teachers for Mildred Hubble as a literary character in a school based children s story is seemingly one of the first, one of the earliest instances where a character who is probably afflicted with and by clumsiness producing dyspraxia or non verbal learning disability is portrayed, is actually shown to be the protagonist, the main hero heroine of a novel, and not just a secondary character looking, peering in on the periphery.Now in many ways, Murphy s Mildred Hubble really does rather remind me of a female version of J.K Rowling s Neville Longbottom However, and this is a heavy duty however, for those of you thankfully not many, but this has unfortunately happened in a select few online reviews I have read who seek to claim that Jill Murphy has somehow plagiarised her The Worst Witch series from Rowling s Harry Potter series, well, UNLESS Murphy was able to perform a Hermione Grainger like trick of travelling forward in time, the latter is patently and utterly impossible, seeing that The Worst Witch was published in 1974 and the novels about Harry Potter only started being published in the 1990s Yes, in many ways, both the format and many of the themes of the two series appear to be linked and a bit similar in scope, but they are still independent entities, independent novels in and of themselves and of course, while J.K Rowling might also and indeed have been influenced by Jill Murphy s The Worst Witch and its sequels, and had perhaps and even likely read these books as a child, I also in NO way even remotely consider her Harry Potter series as being too close, too similar to the former, except that both series happen to be modern British school story variants and take place in magic and witchery academies.Now while I must admit that as an adult reader and as an older adult reader who has perused much classical literature for both pleasure and academics Jill Murphy s The Worst Witch has generally and a bit frustratingly felt a bit lacking in details and description, and also often seems narratively and textually choppy and unfinished, I do still very much realise that for reluctant and recently independent younger readers who are not yet quite ready for the intricately depicted and yes, also considerably darker and ominous worlds of Harry Potter, his friends and enemies, Mildred Hubble, Miss Cackle et al provide a suitable, engagingly entertaining and above all easily read, digested and understood romp and subsequent preparation for involved and potentially increasingly dystopian fantasy novel models two and a half stars, rounded up to a solid three stars, as I do enjoy and have appreciated young Mildred Hubble as a literary character, primarily due to the fact that she reminds me so much of myself at her age, and the troubles I experienced at school, not a witch academy of course, but simply Middle School, where being clumsy, being different, putting one s foot into one s mouth, having social connection issues all played a painful and annoyingly important role. 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 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 CackleThe Worst Witch is a sweet delightful children s series from the 70 s where delightful and artistic British girl Mildred Hubble finds herself at a magical academy for witches She knows nothing about being a witch and is trying to find her life around Miss Cackle s Academy with the help of her new friends Maud Spellbody Enid Nightshade.I ve seen half of the first season on Netflix and I could not handle how adorable and wonderful this show was to watch I hadn t realized I needed a sweet, girl power, witchy academy in my life I wish the books were longer and the writing wasn t as choppy but I loved it Major kudos to the casting director of the Netflix shows because the characters look exactly like illustrations in the book Way to go.Character ShoutoutHecate Hardbroom is the deputy headmistress at Mrs Cackle and she s essentially half Filch half Snape She is supposed to be quite strict and is always catching Mildred in trouble You re not quite supposed to like her, but the actress in the show is so clever and dryly funny She s quietly hilarious and that even comes across well in the books She is strict because she cares about the school and she even has a kind word for Mildred when she saves the day Headbroom is the real MVP Worst Witch was a wonderful surprise for me in August and I can t wait to read the rest of the series if it has the tie in covers The show is wonderful and I m looking forward to all the mischief Millie will inevitably be responsible Perhaps she may even meet the Boy Who Lived This is a classic children s book and this sumptuous, colour, hardback edition only makes it 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 unusual setting There is Ethel, the teacher s pet, Mildred s friends Maud and Enid, lots of fun spells and a Halloween festival in which Midred and her classmates have to put on a broomstick display, with predictably disastrous consequences This version of the book is larger than usual, with full colour illustrations The book itself is not particularly long about 112 pages and has short chapters and lots of fun illustrations The first in a series, this is a beautiful gift version and is perfect for any child s bookshelf either to read alone depending on reading age, once children are confident with chapter books or to share alone as a perfect Halloween read. 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 a performance, she decides to run away and accidentally stumbles onto an evil plan to destroy the school The story is fast paced and lots of fun The audiobook was clearly narrated, with lots of humorous moments.
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
- 112 pages
- The Worst Witch
- Jill Murphy
- 15 May 2018 Jill Murphy