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!