About the Book: This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! “In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch.” Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.
My Two Cents: I remember being delightfully scared when my teacher read this to the class in elementary school, and I had much the same reaction as an adult. (Okay, not quite as scared, but definitely delighted.) Like all of Dahl’s books, this one is funny and a little naughty and unbelievably imaginative.
Grade Level: 2-6
- Visit Roald Dahl’s official website. You might be surprised how many books he wrote!
- Try one of these fun witch crafts (not to be confused with “Try witchcraft!”)
- Some of this story takes place in Norway–learn more about this cool country from National Geographic Kids. Does it seem like a good place for witches to you?
- There are some…unusual mice in this book. Learn more about regular mice in this animal encyclopedia.
- Check out this trailer for the movie based on this book.
More to Read:
- All of Roald Dahl’s fabulous stories (but I think my favorite is Matilda)
- Another very spooky tale for October whose title says it all: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
- Another book about a boy who gets mixed up with spooky, magical creatures: Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer Nielsen
- A fun chapter book series about a younger, slightly nicer witch: Heidi Heckelbeck by Wanda Coven