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A Hat Full of Sky: The Continuing Adventures of Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men Mass Market Paperback – June 14, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews
Book 32 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Incipient witch Tiffany Aching, who confronted danger in The Wee Free Men (2003), faces even greater peril in this equally quirky sequel. She is taken on as an apprentice witch by Miss Level, who is one person with two bodies--an oddity to say the least. Also, Tiffany is stalked and taken over by a hiver, an invisible, brainless entity that commands and distorts the mind of its host, which eventually dies. Luckily Tiffany is strong enough to hide a section of her mind within herself, but she is otherwise completely under the control of the hiver. It's the cantankerous Wee Free Men (or the Nac Mac Feegle) to the rescue, with the help of Miss Level and the wisest, most respected witch of all. The chase is part slapstick, part terror, and in the end, Tiffany herself sets things straight. Pratchett maintains the momentum of the first book, and fans will relish the further adventures of the "big wee hag," as Tiffany is known to the Feegles. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“By turns hilarious and achingly beautiful, this be just right.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Readers will curl up to read with a sigh of contentment.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Trophy (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060586621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060586621
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Perhaps a lot of adult fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series have come to take for granted his ability to combine fantasy, riotous humor, and a touch of "why are we here and what are we for?" metaphysics. In "Hat Full of Sky," a sequel to his kids? hit "Wee Free Men," he manages all these plus more from a pre-teen perspective. However, you?ll really want to read the first volume ("Wee Free"), first, or the plot of "Hat" won't make as much sense to you.

In the previous volume, Tiffany Aching, a young independent farmgirl with witch-like powers, overcomes an evil queen to rescue her brother with the help of a clan of drunken, riotous "Pictsies," six-inch kilt-wearing men painted blue and swearing like truckers. In "Hat Full of Sky," Tiffany goes off for formal witch training, only to be taken over by a "hiver," an evil being who stirs up all one's worst urges. Under the hiver's temporary influence, Tiffany becomes a kind of "mean girl," pushy, self-interested, inconsiderate, and obsessed with clothes.

It strikes me as remarkable that Pratchett (a middle-aged man, after all) could get the internal struggle of the pre-teen so exactly right: wanting to be popular and able to satisfy every urge, but with a wee small voice inside, fighting those urges in favor of a better self.

As in "Wee Free Men," the Pictsies are terrifically funny; the best bit is when the Pictsies climb over each other like acrobats and throw on human clothes to disguise themselves (as a single human) for a journey: they confound their fellow-travelers when the stomach complains out loud to the head, and the gloved hands walk off in opposite directions.

Both full- and pint-sized readers will laugh and enjoy this book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Terry Pratchett is my favorite author.

Most of the authors on my Top 10 list got there on the basis of a few good books; Robin McKinnley's "The Blue Sword" and "The Hero and the Crown"; Tolkein's "The Hobbit"; Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarion Trilogy; David Webber's "Mutineer's Moon" Trilogy...

With Pratchett, it's easier to list those of his books that I don't like. There's only one ("Eric!"), and even it has its moments.

I suppose that now I have to explain why I like him so much. The reason is simple. He is wise. He is ALSO funny, which allows him to present his wisdom in a way that is readily accessible.

As a case in point, I am a soldier. I know the nature of my peers. Pratchett's books about CDR Vimes, which I collectively refer to as The Watch Trilogy (although there's now more than three volumes) is a masterpiece of insight into the nature of wearing a uniform. There is nothing at all heroic about CPL Nobbs or SGT Colon, and I've known many individuals very like both of them. Yet, when the time comes, and society needs someone to stand in the gap, they're there. Flaws and all. And beside them are people like CPT Carrot, who is virtue personified. CDR Vimes may not be virtuous, and he'd be horribly offended at being called noble, but he is good. And he does what he does because he loves his people. (I recall the comic scene where he states that the city is a woman, and he loved her even when she kicked him in his teeth.) The armed forces have the same mix of personalities that intermingle with complex interaction. We're not heros. We're people. Pratchett is one of the few authors who understands that enough to write it believably.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tiffany Aching, the heroine of WEE FREE MEN is back for a second adventure where she heads off to learn the ways of being a witch. And folks, let me warn you now that Terry Pratchett isn't about to send her off to a mysterious school of magic where you get wands with stars on them and learn how to do spells that go twing. Learning to be a witch on the Discworld is another kind adventure entirely! At its heart, this is a coming of age story for Tiffany, who must face down a deadly threat called a hiver, and come to terms with her own self.
There's plenty of Terry's whimsical humor and wry satire to keep readers smiling and chuckling. Especially when the Nac Mac Feegle make their appearance in the story, of course! These little blue-tattooed Pictsies are delightfully irreverent and contentious, causing havoc and hilarity wherever they go. Along with the humor, however is a good solid dose of heart. I do believe Mr. Pratchett has done an exemplary job of making us care about the characters and creating believable, fallible and lovable. I was surprised at how much I came to care about the Mac Feegles new kelda, Jeanie as she struggles to take on the role she's been born for. Jeanie isn't a main character in the story, but her presence and other little touches like her, fill Pratchett's story with echoes of meaning and magic.
If I have one complaint about this book, it's that it felt too short. Events happened so quickly that before I knew it I was at the last page of the story. I did feel as though there were places where the narrative could have been expanded upon, characters who were not as fully fleshed out as they could have otherwise been.
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