October 24, 2014 by Heidi
Long ago, before the days of Harry Potter or even Hocus Pocus, there was The Worst Witch. Told through the delighting and fun prose of Jull Murphy, The Worst Witch series chronicles the trials and tribulations of one young Mildred Hubble as she tries (but most often fails) to excel at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches.
Guys, these books are adorable. For every kid (or adult) who has ever struggled at anything and learned to not only laugh about it, but to keep trying, this is a series for them. Mildred Hubble is a terrible witch. She’s a klutz, she’s scatterbrained, in short–a complete misfit built for magical mayhem. Everything always seems to go wrong for her from her tabby cat (it was supposed to be black) to her broom (no longer in one piece). Basically, she’s Neville Longbottom in a skirt (now see if you can get a bogart to try that on for size).
I somehow missed out on reading these charming stories as a child, but I sure enjoyed the amazing(ly 80s) movie version! Who else remembers young Fairuza Balk as more than just the Dorothy in the awesomely freaky Return to Oz? Turns out Wheelers aren’t the only thing this girl had to worry about. She also contended with an amazing 80s fantasy music score, catty girls, pink haired evil twins, and a head wizard who in the book is described like an angry version of this:
But who in the movie version is portrayed as this:
Hubba hubba, amirite?
Yes, yes you probably should go watch the entire movie now (obvs), but you should also pick up the books and revel in the disasters of Mildred Hubble. This series has so much heart and makes for a fun relaxing and quick read for adults, or a good choice for kids. Perfect for those children who are still too young for Harry Potter but want something with the same flavor. And thanks to Candlewick and their lovely new covers, I have a set of books to give away!