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The Worst Witch Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Worst Witch Books

The Worst Witch (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Worst Witch Strikes Again (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Worst Witch All at Sea / The Worst Witch at Sea (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Worst Witch Saves the Day (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Worst Witch to the Rescue (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fun With the Worst Witch (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Prize for the Worst Witch (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Worst Witch” series is a set of novels by London born children’s author Jill Murphy. She is best known for writing the “Large Family” picture books and “The Worst Witch” series. Reviewers have called Murphy one of the most charming illustrators and children’s authors of modern times.

Jill Murphy grew up in London and went to the Wimbledon based Ursuline Convent where she attended the boarding school. At the school, she loved reading and observing people and this provided much of the inspiration for The Worst Witch Academy’s “Miss Cackle Academy” setting and characters. She was only fifteen years old when she began writing the manuscript for the series. The lead character Mildred Hubble is pretty much who she was when she was at Ursuline. A few years later, she graduated and writing took a back seat while she attended the Croydon and Chelsea Art Schools. She then moved to Togo and picked up writing while living in a West African village. She continued writing when she came back to the UK and took a job working part time as a nanny. By the time she was twenty four, she had published her debut and it was very well received. Once she saw that she could write a great novel, she decided to become a full time author. The “Worst Witch” series of novels are now some of the most successful children’s paperback series with more than 3 million copies in print. The series has also been made into a series on the ITV network.

The lead in the “Worst Witch” series of novels is Mildred Hubble who happens to be a student at the Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She is a well meaning student but is often impulsive and this often gets her in trouble. Miss Cackle is the benevolent headmistress who most of the time is understanding even if Miss Hardbroom is harsh on Mildred. Mildred is always interested in her studies but often gets her spells wrong, does not know how to balance on her broomstick and has to deal with constant bullying from the teachers and fellow witch trainees. Other characters in the series of novels include Mildred’s friends Enid Nightshade, Maud Moonshine and Ethel Hallow. Maud is on the heavier side though she is more sensible than her friend but still manages to get caught up when Mildred inevitably gets into trouble. Enid loves practical jokes and often gets the three friends into a lot of trouble. The three girls are great rivals with the vindictive, snobbish high born Ethel Hallow.

Jill Murphy published “The Worst Witch,” the first of the series in 1974. Nonetheless, the funny stories and fabulous illustrations continue to fascinate millions of children today. Over the years, the novels have been made into TV adaptations and ran on Netflix and on CBBC. It has also been made into “The Worst Witch Live,” a touring stage play. Whether it be on the pages of the books of the “Worst Witch” series, on stage or on TV, Mildred Hubble has always been an fascinating hero with her occasionally fiery temper, disastrous mishaps, and zest for adventure. Murphy has written the novel with illustrations and short chapters that make it ideal for any child seven years or older. Parents will also love reading theses stories aloud to their children. While they can be read in any order, it is best to start with the first in which Mildred makes her first appearance at the academy.

In “The Worst Witch” we are introduced to Mildred Hubble who is just embarking on her first term at the Miss Cackle Academy. It is an all girl’s witch school that comes with the potions classes, lessons on how to fly on a broom stick, and Hogwarts on the many buildings on campus. Every young witch in school has been given a black complimentary cat except for Mildred who has a multi colored tabby cat. Nonetheless, Mildred loves her cat and would do anything for her. Over the course of the term, Mildred gets into several scrapes as she cannot stay out of trouble or succeed in her lessons like Hermione Granger. However, she always means well and it is so unfair when Ethel her snobbish highborn rival casts a spell on her forcing her to take blame if he does anything wrong. But Mildred stumbles upon a wicked conspiracy and finally has a chance to redeem her reputation and save the school.

In “The Worst Witch Strikes Again,” Mildred Hubble has been asked to chaperone and befriend Enid Nightshade, a new pupil at the academy. But Enid is the worst pupil anyone could ever wish to be paired up with. Miss Hardbroom the class teacher is not impressed when the new student casts a spell to help Mildred succeed during sports day. However, she does not know that Enid was involved in casting the spell and lays the blame on Mildred who was not even aware of the spell. Mildred is also blamed when her newest friend makes a monkey out of her witch’s cat. When Enid forces her to skip a celebration to honor the headmistress, it seems certain that things will turn out very badly for her until fate unexpectedly and suddenly intervenes. The story comes with several lessons about friendship and peer pressure that are very relevant to the situations and experiences of many school children today.

“A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch,” the third of the series sees Mildred determined to not get into trouble and be better in the new year. But trouble always finds her and it is not long before she is in a sticky situation that will require a bit of imagination and some determination to get out of. Her friends Maud and Enid are beginning their sophomore year at the Mrs. Cackle’s Academy but suddenly her biggest rival the snobbish Ethel Hallow does the unthinkable. He turns Mildred into a frog going against the witches’ code. It took quite a while but Mildred and her friends finally realized that a spell had been cast and decided to work their own magic. Luckily for Mildred, while she is being a frog, she meets a magician who had also been turned into an amphibian and together they work to return back to human form. Will, she finally redeem herself in front of the school guests and the head teacher?

Book Series In Order » Characters » The Worst Witch

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