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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth purgatory for.., 5 July 2000
By A Customer
I stole this book from my school library when I was ten (sorry St Bernadettes) because I couldn't bear not to have it (I didn't have money then). I've read it so many times I know it by heart..I love the way Jones can create scenes and characters so evocative you can practically smell the stench of the school changing rooms, feel the disgust of school dinners and feel pride when her heroes triumph (and wish you knew them). She introduces ideas that seem so plausible you find yourself convinced that you too are a witch and cast spells on people who deserve a comeuppance...Yeah, so I'm 22 years old but I still believe that Crestomanci exists somewhere, in one of the alternative worlds than run parallel to this, and why shouldn't he? Jones helped take my imagination beyond the grey corners of my life in Manchester, and for that I'll always be grateful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hilarious!, 24 April 2012
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I read this book first when I was eight - now, 25 years later, I still read it with immense pleasure. Diana Wynne Jones was such a wonderful writer because she could blend the supernatural with reality brilliantly. 'Witch Week' is both a glorious depiction of the horrors of boarding school, and a very funny story about the use of magic, and how it can go horribly wrong very quickly. Wynne Jones takes us to another world, like ours but subtly different (an ongoing theme of many of her books) in which witchcraft is acknowledged but witches are regarded as criminals and burnt. When a master at Larwood House, a boarding school for orphans and 'difficult' children, receives an anonymous letter telling him that someone in the class is a witch, a veritable hunt begins - meanwhile Charles, Nirupam and Nan, all three unhappy bullied pupils, begin to discover their own magical powers, with strange results! As the situation becomes more chaotic, Nan and her friend Estelle are forced to call on powerful help, summoning the magician Chrestomanci (a character who features in several of Jones's novels). And what he has to tell them comes as a considerable surprise...

The best thing about this wonderful book are the characters, who Jones brings to life brilliantly. I once worked with someone exactly like the smug and self-satisfied Simon Silverson, and so read the 'Simon Says' spell section with considerable pleasure. Other great characters include Brian Wentworth the small, perky, bright and annoying deputy head's son, Daniel Smith the slow-thinking bully, Theresa the self-righteous 'class leader' with her gaggle of friends, the chatty but actually very intelligent Estelle, Charles the outcast (who begins a diary every day with the words 'I got up' meaning 'I hate this school' - on his bad days he writes things like I got up I got up I GOT UP!), the thoughtful and silent Nirupam and Nan, the orphan girl who finds that witchcraft gives her a whole new identity. The teachers are wonderfully observed too, from the harrowed Mr Wentworth to the smug, ultra-polite headmistress (I had a headmistress just like this at school!), the rather weak geography teacher and the manipulative drama teacher. I've rarely laughed so much as in some of the school scenes. Around this wonderful cast Jones weaves a very convincing and very exciting plot - by the end, you're turning pages frantically to find out what will happen. The end requires careful reading, and I guess might not convince everyone, but I felt it worked very well.

A superb read - Diana Wynne Jones on top form!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, spirited, perfect., 3 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
From the moment I opened it magic fell upon me! Whenever I found out about someone being a witch I was usually astonished at who it was! I couldn't put it down because I had been captured by the way Diana Wynne Jones wound all these miraculous words into a sentence. I locked away my cares and my fears and enjoyed the magic spinning around. I wanted to go on reading it forever and ever. I would recommend it to children of the age of 9 or over. It is a book that I think everyone would enjoy reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for a sequence, 8 July 2001
This is a fascinating fantasy story about a boarding school with a few witch's in. They only start discovering their magic powers around a certain age. Strange things happen as they develop into enchanters but how do they solve these mysteries
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great page turner, 10 July 2000
By A Customer
What if they still burnt witches and you just found out you were a witch? A great book that is hard to put down! I finished it in about 4 days. The ending was kind of confusing, but funny!
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic - classic Diana Wynne Jones, 27 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
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my 8 year old daughter adores Diana Wynne Jones, but finds the books a bit tough going to read on her own. This production is top notch - the narrator's voice is crystal clear and she is adept at adopting different voices. The book is very funny and scary too and this is conveyed to gret effect. The music ( which accompanies the series) is also good - my daughter has been trying to copy it on her piano - she loves it. She finds Harry Potter boring and has been desperately telling all her friends to forget harry Potter and try Chrestomanci - I agree!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!, 3 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
this was the first book I read of the chrestomanci series. within a week I went out to buy more, and was disappointed to only find one of hte other books from the series available in my local shop. does that tell you how good it is? I found it easy to identify with the children who were very unhappy at their school, and the theme of people being hated because of something that is a natural part of them... that teaches us a lesson for reality too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great children's book- one of the Chrestomanci series, 9 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
I'm not sure why this is under the "horror" category - the book I read by this name is a childrens fantasy by Diana Wynne Jones. It's a very good read for a those who have enjoyed titles such as "Charmed Life" and "The Ogre Downstairs", and it is set in an alternate Earth where witchcraft is a reality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another DWJ Classic., 19 Oct. 1999
By 
turfrey@yahoo.com (Aberystwyth, Wales) - See all my reviews
Although I still find Howl's Moving Castle the best, this book set in another world where magic is feared and banned is still a classic DWJ book. The story is set in a school and all the usual character assasinations are there. The final set-up is brilliant and the executed idea to finish the book must rank as a superb ploy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 9 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Witch Week (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
This was the very first Diana Wynne Jones book I ever read, and since reading it she has been one of my very favourite authors.
Although this is not the first book in the Chrestomanci series, I would recommend it whether you have read the others or not, as the story works just as well as a stand alone as part of the series. (Although I certainly recommend the rest of the series too! They are all brilliant.)
Although this is a children's book, I think it can be enjoyed by all ages. Charming and believable characters, fantastic witchcraft - what more does a good book need! The style of writing, the manner or the witchcraft and the realistic characters made it all very believable and absorbing. Couldn't put it down!
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