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A Hat Full of Sky Paperback – 5 May 2005


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A Hat Full of Sky + The Wee Free Men: (Discworld Novel 30) (Discworld Novels) + Wintersmith: (Discworld Novel 35) (Discworld Novels)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; New Ed edition (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552551449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552551441
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Pratchett's third children's novel set in the Discworld, and the second to feature wannabe witch Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men, is so ridiculously well written and consistently funny it makes you wonder how he can keep writing such superlative novels without cheating a bit. It would be reassuring to think that the Carnegie Medal-winning author of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents and The Wee Free Men had his own small army of professional helpers, not unlike like a US sitcom, inventing and deliberating about which are the best jokes and plot lines to use to ensure the best quality quotient. But it's all his own work and that makes each brilliant novel more remarkable because of it.

A Hat Full of Sky continues the adventures of eleven-year-old Tiffany as she endeavours to become a proper witch. She's 'done' magic before, quite spectacularly and to great effect, but now she must be apprenticed to an established practitioner of the craft, the amazing Miss Level, in order to learn exactly how she did it. Unfortunately for her, there's a crazed and malevolent ancient spirit buzzing about, called a Hiver, who is looking for a convenient host to consume. Hiver's are attracted to greatness, and Tiffany hides an enormous talent that seems ripe for domination.

Still grateful for Miss Aching's past help, a crack team of several Wee Free Men, nature's funkiest, drunkest and bluest fairy folk, take it upon themselves to help Tiffany out. Hiver's, however, are unbeatable and it's a definite "sooey-side mission" to save the big wee hag from harm.

It's great to see writing of such quality in a children's novel, and it's further evidence that this sector of the publishing world is having a bit of a golden decade. Long may it continue! (Age 10 and over)--John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Pratchett's ear for dialogue is superb . . . His deep feeling for landscape, animals, kindness and courage make his adventures deeply satisfying as well as clever" (The Times)

"Oodles of dry wit, imagination and shrewdly observed characters" (Independent on Sunday)

"A great Pratchett strength is the sense that if the jokes . . . were dropped there would still be a good, engaging fantasy thriller here" (Independent)

"Fantastically inventive and humorous fantasy adventure. Fans will be sky high" (The Sunday Times)

"Funny, typically humorous . . . A must for any Terry Pratchett fan . . . With its witty and slightly confusing plot-twists and hilarious dialogue, this is, without doubt, another great children's book" (Bristol Evening Post)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 15 April 2006
Format: Paperback
First published in 2004 and set on the Discworld, "A Hat Full of Sky" is the sequel to "The Wee Free Men" and sees Tiffany Aching return as the book's heroine. Tiffany, now eleven years old, has been brought up on a farm in an area on the Chalk. She has six older sisters, one younger brother, wields a mean frying pan, is very good with cheese and has already impressed the Discworld's greatest witch. Granny Aching, who dies when Tiffany was seven, continues to be a big influence on her grand-daughter. Granny was a shepherdess, very fond of Jolly Sailor tobacco and - Tiffany is convinced - a witch. Remembering how Granny said it was important to stand up for those who have no voice, Tiffany has decided she wants to follow in her footsteps.

The book also features an exceptionally rowdy, and thoroughly entertaining, bunch of fairies. The Wee Free Men, we also known as the Nac Mac Feegle, are a Pictsie race who were thrown out of Fairyland for being drunk, disorderly and rebellious. They are covered in tattoos, have red hair and blue skin and wear little other thank kilts and swords. An extremely fast and strong race, they are fond of fighting, stealing and drinking - Granny Aching's Special Sheep Liniment is a particular favorite. There have been a few changes since "The Wee Free Men", however. The clan now has a new gonnagle, Awf'ly Wee Billy Bigchin Mac Feegle, and a new Kelda, Jeannie of the Long Lake. Jeannie, as tradition demands, has married the Big Man o' the Clan, Rob Anybody Feegle. She is also responsible for possibly the biggest change of them all. The Nac Mac Feegle had once been afraid of reading and writing, believing it to be a dangerous type of magic. Jeannie now wants the clan, beginning with Rob Anybody, to learn how to read and write.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on 19 May 2005
Format: Paperback
Noble values sewn into a captivating story.
This is the second book in the Tiffany Aching series (after The Wee Free Men and before at least a couple more with the tentative titles of Wintersmith and When I Am Old I Shall Wear Midnight).
Tiffany is now eleven, two years have passed since the events of The Wee Free Men and the incident with the Fairy Queen. She's learnt a few tricks since then, like the ability to step out of her own body, which is actually very handy when your only mirror is too small and you want to check if your hair is well combed at the back of your head. Although she likes wearing that invisible hat Mistress Weatherwax gave her.
Now Miss Tick the witch is bringing her to the mountains, to Miss Level's cottage to be more precise, an old witch with two bodies, where she shall begin her apprenticeship.
Her news friends, the other witches' apprentices, and especially Annagramma Hawkin, mock her because she's only good at sheep and cheese, and Miss Level only helps old people or acts as a midwife and she's not even doing proper magic, and of course Tiffany's not even wearing proper witch clothes with stars and sequins, let alone a real witch hat. In the end, Tiffany's apprenticeship turns out to be not exactly what she expected, but much, much more.
And all that time, the little blue fairy men, the Nac Mac Feegle, are watching over her. And what they find out is that an evil spirit, a Hiver, is pursuing Tiffany, waiting to take up her body the next time she steps out of it. Rob Anybody and his mates set out to help her.
I really really love the Tiffany Aching books.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Alec Cawley on 18 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of Terry Pratchett's best. It is described as a children's, or young adult's, book - which, undoubtedly, it is. But while it is eminently readable from about eight years upwards, it needs no apologies for adults. This is the first of Terry's juveniles which can stand as an equal of his adult books.
That said, it won't please everybody. It is far more about people interacting and the conflicts between their individual characters than it is about magical people and strange monsters. Yes, there is magic in the book, and some magical creatures (one of which, Oswald, is the most original magical creation I have come across for a long time). But they are the background against which Tiffany Aching solves her problems and continues to learn how to be a witch. There a few classic Pratchettian laughs, bur mostly you turn the pages wanting to know how Tiffany will solve the problem before her. Fans of Rincewind won't like it, fans of Granny Weatherwas will.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe on 14 Dec 2004
Format: Hardcover
One can only admire what must be going on in an author's mind to create stories like A HAT FULL OF SKY! Tiffany Aching, young heroine of The WEE FREE MEN, is back capturing the attention of young and older readers alike. Terry Pratchett has woven a new thread into the Discworld, adding a refreshing, new dimension to the already rich collection of characters, landscapes and goings-on. The Chalk, home of the Achings, is a remote rural region, far away from the bustle of Ank Morpork. The soft rolling hills, evolved in ancient times from the seas of the ages, are part of an area where reality meets magic...
While Tiffany, now 11, has been cautiously applying her special skills, inherited from her much-loved granny, she does not really understand what they mean and how to apply them. It is time to *learn * the witching business properly. With the help of Miss Tick, the headhunter for young witches, she leaves her beloved Chalk to take up "service" with an experienced witch, the complex Miss Level. Contrary to common assumptions that young witches might learn to fly on a broomstick or concoct magical potions, Tiffany's new life can only be described as tiresome and tedious... Her chores have more in common with a nurse's training as she follows Miss Level to attend to the old, sick and lonely. While she is much appreciated by their charges, Tiffany has a more challenging time to fit in with her fellow witches' apprentices. The trials and tribulations of the witches' teenage years are no different from those of "normal" girls: vanity, jealousy, peer pressure. Pratchett has a wonderful, sensitive touch when characterizing this motley group. Tiffany's search and acceptance of her own, real *hat * and the hat itself are wonderful metaphors for her coming of witch-age.
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