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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Worst Witch Series by Jill Murphy

I'm super thrilled to be reviewing, spotlighting, and giving away Jill Murphy's beloved Worst Witch Series today! I want to thank Candlewick Press for copies of the new, reissued editions, with fab new covers, of this series and for providing the set of books for the giveaway...

Catch up on Mildred Hubble’s magical adventures at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches with these reissued editions featuring energetic new covers.

The Worst Witch #1
Candlewick Press

Mildred Hubble is starting her first year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches — and making a mess of it! She can’t ride her broomstick without crashing, she’s always getting her spells mixed up, and worst of all, the teacher’s pet, Ethel, has just become her sworn enemy.

The Worst Witch Strikes Again (#2)
Candlewick Press

Mildred is back in trouble thanks to the new girl, Enid Nightshade, who isn’t as well behaved as she appears. The more Mildred tries to stay out of trouble, the more she finds herself in horrible situations. What can the disaster-prone worst witch do?

A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch #3
Candlewick Press

Mildred gets off to a good start in her second year at Miss Cackle’s Academy, but her sworn enemy, Ethel Hallow, is plotting misfortune, setting Mildred up for a very bad spell, indeed.

The Worst Witch All at Sea #4
Candlewick Press

Mildred Hubble is distraught. On her first day back at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, her beloved but useless cat, Tabby, is banished to the kitchen to catch the mice. Mildred's class is going to spend a week by the sea. She can't possibly go without Tabby So she hides him away--but trying to keep him hidden from Miss Hardbroom leads Mildred from one disaster to another, and soon she really is all at sea.

The Worst Witch Saves the Day #5
Candlewick Press

Mildred is starting her third year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches with high hopes of improving her klutzy record. But that’s before a curling-iron catastrophe leads her to experiment with a hair-growing potion with hair-raising results. And it’s before she raises the ire of Miss Granite, the odd new teacher who doesn’t seem to act like a teacher at all. Could she be an imposter? And is there anything in Mildred’s bag of tricks that can save the school if her hunch is right?

The Worst Witch to the Rescue #6
Candlewick Press

Lovable but accident-prone Mildred Hubble is possibly the worst witch ever to go to Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She always tries her best, but her spells never seem to go right. In her latest adventure, Mildred is set up for disaster by her arch-nemesis, Ethel Hallow. Ethel steals Mildred’s summer project and her enchanted tortoise, Einstein, and Mildred must brave a broomstick flight through a violent thunderstorm to rescue him. But will she ever get back into Miss Hardbroom’s good graces? Since 1974, millions of readers have enjoyed Mildred’s exploits, and now she’s back to cast her spell on a new generation of readers.

It has been a very long time since I’ve read Jill Murphy’s beloved middle-grade Worst Witch series, so when given the opportunity to do a re-read I jumped at the chance. And I’m so glad I did! I devoured these little books one right after the other and had a splendid few hours full of magical mischief, mayhem, and mirth!

Books one through six in the Worst Witch series, follow Mildred Hubble from her first to third year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Sweet, well-meaning Mildred tries to be a good witch, but chaos and trouble follow her wherever she goes. Quite frankly, she’s the worst witch in the school. But, luckily for readers, with chaos and trouble comes a lot of thrills, chills, and fun fun fun!

Jill Murphy’s series is well-beloved for a reason: it’s splendiferious in so many ways! Full of captivating magic, colorful imagination, laugh-out-loud premises, fantastical whimsy, fun world-building, and unforgettable characters, the Worst Witch books are middle-grade perfection. Jill Murphy’s storytelling simply sparkles and she creates a wonderful, pitch-perfect voice throughout the series.

In The Worst Witch (Worst Witch #1), readers are introduced to young Mildred Hubble and Miss Cackle’s Academy. In this first book, readers will find mean girls turned into pigs, cursed broomsticks, literal scaredy cats, and evil witches. In the Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch #2), Mildred finds herself in charge of a new amusing student who may just be more trouble than Mildred, chasing a monkey, and the surprising star of Miss Cackle’s birthday celebration. In A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch (Worst Witch #3), Mildred’s worst enemy turns her into a frog and Mildred finds herself on a desperate journey to save not only herself, but an enchanted wizard as well. In the Worst Witch All At Sea (Worst Witch #4), Mildred finds herself on a dismal week-long holiday with a furry little secret. In The Worst Witch Saves the Day (Worst Witch #5), Mildred has a very odd new teacher and a bad potion makes Mildred’s hair grow grow grow. In the Worst Witch to the Rescue (Worst Witch #6), Mildred’s best ever holiday project is stolen by her worst enemy and she finds herself on a dangerous rescue mission.

Whether Mildred is turning her enemy into a pig or being turned into a frog herself, crashing her broomstick or pulling off a death-defying rescue mission, accidentally turning invisible or creating one of kind spells, she does it all with style and amusing flair! The magical and fantastical elements in this series will dazzle, the humor will induce giggles, the silly fun will entertain, and the bigger than big heart will put a smile on readers’ faces. Mildred Hubble is an absolutely endearing and charming young character that will stay with readers for a lifetime. Jill Murphy fills Mildred’s world with a wonderfully quirky and eclectic cast of characters, from Mildred’s fun BFF’s Maude and Enid, to mean girl Ethel, frightening Ms. Hardbroom, cheery Miss Cackle, and Mildred’s fraidy cat Tabby.

And once you or the young readers in your life finish reading about Mildred's witchy adventures, I highly recommend checking out the television series based on the series (and from which all these gifs came from). It is A LOT of fun to watch!

My Final Thoughts: The Worst Witch series has a little bit of something for every reader, whether you’re looking for silly antics, imaginative fantasy, laugh-out-loud funnies, or magical excitement, and are especially great for younger middle-grade readers not quite ready to tackle the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson books. And these re-issued editions, with bright updated covers and charming illustrations, are perfect for introducing a whole new generation to this beloved series!


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."

Win a Worst Witch Series Set 
(books 1-6)
Candlewick Press has awesomely offered up one set of paperback copies of the new editions of books 1-6 in this series, for one winner.
-US/CAN only
-ends 10/31/14
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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Molly Mortensen said...

I haven't read these books since fourth grade! (Which was a little while ago) I remember really liking them and all the troubles Mildred got up to. I remember the tv show more, but the books are always better. Thanks! :)

jennifer.essad said...

I'm a newbie and looking forward to reading what started it all

Unknown said...

I'm new to the series. I'm excited to check them out!

Jax's Book Magic said...

I'd be a newbie and I think the series looks like I'd really enjoy it.

Jax's Book Magic said...

I'd be a newbie and I think the series looks like I'd really enjoy it.

Jax's Book Magic said...

I'd be a newbie and I think the series looks like I'd really enjoy it.

Jax's Book Magic said...

I'd be a newbie and I think the series looks like I'd really enjoy it.

Aspiring Knitting Goddess said...

I used to watch the series when I was younger but at the time I was not aware that it was a book adaptation. It was also over ten years ago so I don't really remember a lot. The scene that really lived with me was the Halloween episode with Tim Curry in it.

I just looked up the scene on youtube. Oh my goodness, it was worse than I remembered.

anne s. said...

I am a newbie and know my daughter would love to read a great witch story!

La La in the Library said...

I read this series with my son. We borrowed the books from the library, so it would be wonderful if I had the entire set for my someday grandchildren (and to re-read myself right now). We also watched the original television show in reruns on HBO. I love Mildred's story because she is on the inept side, and seems to be given the short end of the stick a lot, but she pushes on through her troubles, and has good friends because she is a good friend. There are many excellent lessons in this book for youngsters, and oldsters, alike. Thank-you for this stellar giveaway contest. :)

Britt said...

I think my son would really enjoy these

Unknown said...

I have not read any of the books, but I absolutely loved the movie when I was little and recently discovered the goodness that is the tv show. I love books with magic and schools, so one that combines both is perfect for me.

Nikki in Niagara said...

I read the first book way back when and would just love to read them all and those covers are wonderful!

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I'm a newbie, but I am excited to read it because my kids love these kinds of books and I know they would love them.
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