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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 September 2006
I am currently reading this book to my children at bedtime, and it must be the most gripping book they have had so far! Unusually for them, they sit silently, listening and hanging on every word. I read just a few chapters a night and every night so far they have cried, "NOOOO! Not yet!! one more chapter...PLEASE just ONE more chapter!!".

The style in which the book is written is the key to it's success I believe. The book has been written as though it is a true story.

We have previously finished reading James & the giant peach, and although they enjoyed it, The Witches is most definitely more popular.

A truly great read. Well done Mr Dahl!
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on 14 April 2008
This book is about a boy and his grandma. Unfortunately his parents died
so he went to live with his Nan in England. In the 6 weeks holiday he was going to Norway but his Nan had pneumonia so he could not. He went to Bournemouth instead. In the hotel there were roughly 99 witches (including the grand high witch). He went to train his mice and he got caught in the room with them .....
I like the book because the characters were amazing.
It was just the words I wanted to read, I could not wait to read on to the other chapters. It is my all time favourite book.
I would give this novel a rating of a wicked 5.
Faran Cox Herbert Thompson Primary School

I love the book `The Witches' because the witch characters are really well described. They do not clean their toe nails. They wear long black hats. I like the boy because he his brave. It was funny because the witch was saying a funky saying.
Soraya Chamani and Jessica Kingsley Herbert Thompson Primary School
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on 27 February 2006
This is enchanting book, which I read to my 8 year old son at bedtime. A truly gripping story that holds no punches when appealing to a childs intrigue for ghoulish scariness. He couldn't even wait for the next installment and secreted the book into his school bag as a replacement for his class reading book the next day!
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on 11 July 2006
Are you at home right now? I hope so. Oh, you're not. You're in one of those internet cafes. Oh dear. Then - and I don't want to scare you - you're not safe. Not at all safe. Put down that sticky slab of chocolate cake and sneak a look at the person sitting beside you. Is it a lady? Oh it is.

Is she a witch?

Well you wouldnt know would you. I didn't before I read this book. And you MUST read this book: not just so that you're able to tell the difference between a witch and a regular kind old lady but because this is deliciously good fiction.

The Witches is a classic Dahl recipe in every sense: a simple and plausible premise, mixed with oodles of imagination, some super-scary baddies, a sprinkling of poignancy and morality, and a big dollop of dark-edged humor. This is Roald Dahl writing at his very best, at his haughtiest and naughtiest; and the effect is spellbinding.
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VINE VOICEon 24 September 2014
My wife remembers this book from her childhood as being her favourite book so she bought it for our 7-year-old daughter and we read it over several nights. My daughter also liked it and said it was "really fun".

The story starts with the unnamed boy narrator (at the beginning where the main characters are introduced he is simply called "boy") being told about witches by his grandmama. But "this is not a fairy-tale" she is telling. "This is about REAL WITCHES" and "real witches hate children." They disguise themselves as women and make children disappear.

The grandmother is funny because she is so un-grandma-like as she puffs away on her black cigar.

After that bout of story-telling the book sees the boy come into contact with real witches. Not just one witch though as he gets stuck in a room with about 200 of them. He has to hide but witches can smell children out, and do just that. This is where the real witching begins and the dastardly things they do comes to the fore.

All-in-all a classic Roald Dahl tale with the scary enemy potentially being anywhere, hence a child's imagination running wild.
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on 7 April 2016
An absolutely fantastic seller. Lovely personal touches within the book. We bought this for our daughter and when she opened the envelope not only did she have the book that she really wanted that was in perfect condition at a bargain price but they had also enclosed sweets. Just wish all sellers paid so much attention to details. Thank you we have one very happy little girl :)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 February 2014
I have just read this in instalments to my six-year-old daughter, and though it has scared the socks off her, it delighted her too. She plans to dress as the Grand High Witch at her next school costume day.

It is very dark. It is a horror story. The world is infiltrated with witches who spend all their time and energy planning ways of murdering children in imaginative scenarios. ("Mummy, what does "murder" mean?") The heroes, a brave young boy and his tough Norwegian grandmother, are having a pleasant summer holiday in a hotel by the sea when they discover that all the witches of England are staying there too, for their annual meeting. And their plans are how to commit mass infanticide in one day. What can our heroes do?

There is a lot more comedy in the second half, when the boy has been turned into a mouse and is creating havoc in the hotel kitchen, and there is a happy ending to resolve it all. But just be careful if your child is prone to nightmares. I had forgotten how atmospheric it was until this re-read.

8+ years, if the child is reading for themselves.
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on 2 March 2016
My daughter loves Roald Dahl and this book was no exception. She's now 9 and has read this in a couple of weeks, just by taking it to school and reading first thing in the morning before lessons.

Easy to read and the usual 'unusual' style animations makes this a great book for the junior school age group.
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on 7 May 2014
This book has been read and reviews thousands of times but how can you not love Roald Dahls book? This is fantastic and I won't go into it because there are very few people who don't know the story already but if you don't get too it!!!

The Paperback - It has seen many different covers and this one is just a good as any of the others, Quentin Blake still attracts children who seem to be able to reckoning his work anywhere. The print is of good side and well looks good on the shelf!

The Audio Book - Have listened to many different versions over the years the most recent being Miranda Richardson but no one did this as well as Simon Callow. With his you just loose yourself in the story and his take on the Witches song 'Oh where have all the children gone' is hilarious! The only downside it's abridged where the newer Miranda Richardson version is unabridged but I would still pick Callow's version ever time.

Kindle - The same as the paperback just quicker to download it if you children are demanding to read it as mine were. illustrations are just as great, a couple of typos but nothing the drastic. Maybe being an older book now it could be a little cheaper for the ebook but worth every penny none the less.
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Admittedly some smaller children may find this a bit frightening, but hey this is Roald Dahl and giving a dark edge to his stories is part of the fun. Anyway children are like the rest of us and enjoy a bit of a spine tingle.

Narrated in the first person we read of a boy and his grandmother, and their fights and troubles with witches. Growing up the Gran has already explained all about witches to the child, as she does indeed know a lot about them, their annual meetings, the grand witch in charge of them all and what they get up to. But little does our narrator know how close he will come to witches.

As our narrator tells us he has evaded one witch but now as he and his Gran are in Bournemouth after she has recovered from pneumonia so they stumble upon the British witches’ annual meeting, with the world’s top witch present. With a cunning plan to destroy every child in the UK can our narrator and his Gran thwart the dastardly scheme?

Entertaining and fun to read there is action and adventure here, plus wonderful illustrations throughout by Quentin Blake. This usually goes down well with children and I must admit that personally I think this is probably one of his finest children’s tales.
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