Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Witches

The Witches
By: Roald Dahl, Illustrations By: Quentin Blake
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 1983
Ages: 8-12

This book is about a young boy who has to live with his Norwegian Grandmother after his parents are killed in a tragic accident. Luke's grandmother is completely obessessed with Witches and is convinved that they exist, that they look like ordinary women and they can do and have done unspeakable acts of horror against children. When Luke and his grandmother go on holiday to the english seaside, the grandmother teaches him how to recognise a witch and Luke is horrified to learn that not only is the Grand High Witch (the most evil witch of all) is staying at their same hotel, but a whole convention of witches, all of the witches in Europe are there too and they have a plan to turn all of the children in England into mice. In the book, Luke is turned into a mouse with another young boy named Bruno and together, with the help of the grandma go on a set of different adventures, trying to figure out how to stop the witches.
Who would benefit from reading this book?
Anyone who is familiar with Roald Dahl's unique sense of humor and writing style will love reading "The Witches." If someone is not familair with Roald Dahl's writing, reading "The Witches" is a good place to start to get introduced to his brilliance.
What problems could this book potentially cause?
The Witches in this book absolutely ABHOR children and their main goal in life is to annihalate every single one of them and they will stop at nothing to do so. The main point is that they talk of murdering thousands, even millions of children and this fact might be disturbing to some young readers.
What was your reaction?
Roald Dahl was one of my favorite authors when I was young and his book, Matilda, was my absolute FAVORITE. The Witches was immediately added to my favorites list. It is unique in it's literary genre because the hero of the story is an ordinary young boy that has to save the day.

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