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The Witches Paperback – August 16, 2007


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The Witches + Matilda + The BFG
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014241011X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142410110
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches." So begins one of Roald Dahl's best books ever, and, ironically, it is such a great story because the premise is perfectly plausible from the outset. When the narrator's parents die in a car crash on page two (contrast this terribly real demise with that of James's parents who are devoured by an escaped rhinoceros in James and the Giant Peach), he is taken in by his cigar-smoking Norwegian grandmother, who has learned a storyteller's respect for witches and is wise to their ways.

The bond between the boy and his grandmother becomes the centerpiece of the tale--a partnership of love and understanding that survives even the boy's unfortunate transformation into a mouse. And once the two have teamed up to outwitch the witches, the boy's declaration that he's glad he's a mouse because he will now live only as long as his grandmother is far more poignant than eerie.

Of course, there's adventure here along with Dahl's trademark cleverness and sense of the grotesque. Dahl also communicates some essential truths to children: if they smoke cigars, they'll never catch cold, and, most importantly, they should never bathe, because a clean child is far, far easier for a witch to smell than a dirty one. (Ages 7 to 10, or read aloud to younger children) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Roald Dahl at his best" School Librarian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

For kids who like scary and weird stories this book is great.
S. Power
I fell in love with this book in 3rd grade when our teacher read it to us.... Now I am reading it to my kids and they love it too!
Mommy Squad
The book had a good plot - it kept you interested from the first page to the last.
Eric Crooker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Matha on March 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for the purpose of reading it allowed to my daughter who is 5. Boy did we BOTH enjoy it. I found myself laughing out loud to many parts in this book, what a fun sense of humor! It read very quickly. It is interesting he (the author) uses his heritage of Norwegian parents and living in Wales. The book takes place between Norway and England. Even though I am not completely for making witches the vile things as he presented, his sense of humor made it a very worth while read. We really really enjoyed this book and will be looking for his other works.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By April Knapp on October 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
A young boy and his spunky grandmother go on vacation and discover that all the witches in England are attending a convention at their hotel. Craziness ensues when the boy comes face to face with the real-life witches.

It's hard not to love Roald Dahl. He was one of my favorite authors growing up. He is witty and tells a fun story. The Witches is no exception. Dahl has a clever imagination and children love him because he is endears children and elderly people, who are often looked over members of society. The Witches is an amusing and fun read. It also contains a sweet story of love between grandson and his grandmother.

Roald Dahl may be pro-children and elderly, but he is somewhat anti-adult. Other than the grandmother, adults in The Witches are portrayed as evil, fat and stupid, ridiculous or dead. There are also some pretty graphic ideas presented- e.g. witches killing children by turning them into creatures and smashing them. I don't remember this greatly affecting me as a child, but I found it a little disturbing now.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Witches is a fantasy story by Roald Dahl where this average boy gets turned into a mouse at the annual witch meeting being held at a hotel in England. After the boy's parents died, he travels from Norway to England with his grandmother. The boy meets up with a gang of witches that aren't scary, but they do have a big secret and a very special formula to turn children into mice. The repugnant witches' plan is to buy a candy store to entice children. Children are not the witches' favorite type of people.

The boy and his grandmother want revenge on these witches. This involves some drastic measures that include the hotel kitchen, a humongous pot of soup and some formula. The metamorphosis of the witches will make you want to cheer for the boy and his magnificently brave plan.

I would recommend this book to many other people because it is a great adventure and you won't want to stop reading it. This is a wonderful book to read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rzaster on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Witches by Roald Dahl was a true treat for me. One day while bored I came across this book and voila, I read it. It has a truly funny story that any child or adult alike would love. The book is about "a boy,"(the boy is not named) and his grandmother who encounter The Witches. The boy accidentaly gets into a top secret meeting of the witches and learns their new plan. He must stop them immediatly. With the help from his grandmother and food loving bruno(who was turned into a mouse by the witches with the secret formula) fight all the witches and bring the highest witch down. They finally succeed and the witches get a taste of their own medicine. This book is a really funny book that all people will enjoy!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Katie T. on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the third Roald Dahl book I have read. The first was called Matilda, and I think it is his most famous. I have also read George's Marvelous Medicine. The Witches is a funny book and has wonderful drawings.
The witches in this book wore wigs and pointed shoes to hide their bald heads and square feet with no toes! The witches in this book had eyes that changed colours, and were mean and mischivious. The witches in this book where cruel to children and turned them into mice. They live in a castle in Norway. The other characters in this story are a grandmother, her 7-year-old grandson, and the grandson's friend, Bruno. The witches were having a meeting in the hotel where the others where staying. The witches turned the children into mice, but in the end the children get even.
I really enjoyed this book. Roald Dahl is a wonderful children's writer. I would recommend all his books!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
While I was reading this book I was so amazed about all the info that the book gave about witches. It actualy seemed real. As if they were right in front of me. I love this book. I think this book i not just for people 9-12. I think this book is for all ages. I LOVE THIS BOOK. It is one of my FAVORITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pranav Tadiparthy on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Witches
By: Roald Dahl
Reviewed by: P. Tadiparthy
Period: 5
In the beginning of this book there is a little boy who loses his parents in a car accident when he is about 7 years old. Then he gets sent to his Grandma to live with her. After a couple of days his grandma receives a letter that is actually the little boy's dad's will paper. When she says that they have to move back to his old house he gets mad. He knows his grandma doesn't like to leave her house, but he still goes because he has no other choice. When they get to their new house the grandma tells the little boy all about witches. She tells him how to recognize them and what they are like. Then the little boy goes wandering in their hotel and he finds a room where a meeting is going on. When he looks in the room their are a whole bunch of women standing there. He seems interested so he crawls in and hides behind a wall. When the women come and lock the door the boy gets a little scared. He is afraid that they will find him. The ladies take of all of their things and to the little boy's surprise, all the women are witches. They are having their yearly meeting about how to get rid of nasty little children. Witches think kids smell like dog droppings and their main mission in life is to kill all kids. This year the grand kid made a potion to change all the kids into mice. The little boy gets found and the witches change him into a mouse. When he finally escapes, as a mouse, he goes to his grandma and tells her all about it. He can still talk because his body was only changed. His grandma gets all scared, but he calms her down. Then the little boy comes up with a plan to turn all the witches into mice. He goes in the witches room and gets a bottle of the potion. Then, he and his grandma go to the dining area.
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