Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review: The Witches

Summary: Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories -- but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself! -- Puffin Books

I admit that I wouldn't have ever picked up THE WITCHES by Roald Dahl if our mother-daughter book club wasn't reading it this month. Even when I read the description, it just didn't appeal to me. I didn't really go into reading THE WITCHES with an open mind, but I actually found that I enjoyed it. I didn't love it, but it was an entertaining, quick read.

I haven't read a Roald Dahl book since I was a kid, but I can most definitely see the appeal in his writing and his stories. He is so good at creating a fantasy world and bringing it to life. There were simple illustrations by Quentin Blake in this novel, but I think I could picture everything about the witches even without the pictures.

I likeed that this novel was written in first person voice by the young boy who encounters the witches. He was such an adorable little kid, and I really appreciated his attitude and resourcefulness. I also adored his spunky grandmother - Grandmamma. I loved the way she told stories about the witches -- building the drama and tension; and I could totally see her smoking her black cigar while telling them to her grandson.

THE WITCHES is a charming story filled with wonderful characters and an exciting adventure. I not only appreciated the story and all Dahl's descriptions, but I loved all of the humor that was woven into the story. I think young readers will enjoy THE WITCHES, and I think even the most reluctant ones will want to read this book. It definitely has a very unique premise and I'm pretty sure it will keep the reader's attention.

I was curious to see if Booking Daughter would like it. Right now, she's not really into fantasy books and especially ones with boys as main characters -- it's all girly, girl pre-teen chick lit for her. I was pleasantly surprised when she said she liked it. Later today, we will meet with our book club to discuss THE WITCHES, and I am very curious to hear the girls' (and moms') reactions. I can imagine that most of the girls will enjoy it, but I already know of one who didn't like the book at all!

10 comments:

brizmus said...

ROALD DAHL is the awesomest EVER! I am so glad that your book club was reading this so that you picked it up!!!!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love the idea of a mother/daughter book club. I try to read some of the books my daughter reads, so we can discuss them. We also listen to audios together. I'll have to keep my ears open for something like this in my area!

bermudaonion said...

I don't think I've ever read this one of Roald Dahl's books. I think Booking Daughter is perfectly normal with her reading tastes - Vance only wanted to read books about boys at that age.

Jess - A Book Hoarder said...

I loved this book when I was growing up. It is actually on my TBR list for 2010. The movie (with Anjelica Houston) which I also loved was on TV and I decided I had to read the book again.

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

I love pretty much all Roald Dahl children's books, but "The Witches" is one I read over and over. Glad you two enjoyed it!

Unknown said...

I LOVE reading Roald Dahl... I have read so many of his books with my students- they always get a kick out him. They also love to compare his writing to the movies.

Anna said...

My daughter just snagged this one at a library sale. She's not really into the girly stuff, so I'm sure she'll enjoy it. We've read a couple other Roald Dahl books and enjoyed them.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Peaceful Reader said...

I love Roald Dahl-Matilda is the favorite at our house. The book, then the movie-give it a try!

S. Krishna said...

I remember loving this book when I was a kid! Your review brings back so many memories!

Cindy Hudson said...

We are a Roald Dahl family, and we've read a lot of his books. Two of our favorites are actually his memoirs called Boy and Going Solo. Boy especially is great for kids. It's funny, it shows a glimpse of life in England and English boarding schools in the early 1900s and it references pranks Roald played as a boy. You even get to see how some of the people he met in real life inspired the oddball characters in his novels.