Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Delightfully Bookwormish: A Review of "The Witches" by Roald Dahl (SLJ's Top 100 Children's Novels)

School Library Journal's Top 100 Children's Novels #81

Title: The Witches
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

The Recipe: A young boy and his spunky grandmother go on vacation and discover that all the witches in England are attending a convention at their hotel. Craziness ensues when the boy comes face to face with the real-life witches.
The Frosting and the Sprinkles: It's hard not to love Roald Dahl. He was one of my favorite authors growing up. He is witty and tells a fun story. The Witches is no exception. Dahl has a clever imagination and children love him because he is endears children and elderly people, who are often looked over members of society. The Witches is an amusing and fun read. It also contains a sweet story of love between grandson and his grandmother.

The Hair That Fell Into the Batter: Roald Dahl may be pro-children and elderly, but he is somewhat anti-adult. Other than the grandmother, adults in The Witches are portrayed as evil, fat and stupid, ridiculous or dead. There are also some pretty graphic ideas presented- e.g. witches killing children by turning them into creatures and smashing them. I don't remember this greatly affecting me as a child, but I found it a little disturbing now. 
My Rating:
out of 5 Cupcakes!


  1. I wasn't the fan of Roald Dahl you were as a child. I read most of his books as an adult and pretty much the only ones I like are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.

    And he is not always pro-elderly. In George's Marvelous Medicine there is a really mean old grandmother. George decides to remove her from his life by poisoning her. I kid you not. The whole book is George plotting the premeditated murder of his grandmother.

  2. I loved this book, well, all of his books. Yesterday we saw it in my classroom and my 4th graders had some extra time at the end of class so they wanted me to read some of it aloud because I was so excited when I saw it. I totally thought the same thing about some parts being a bit more gruesome and violent than I remembered! I guess it didn't bother me as a kid. My students thought it was all really funny...but they were concerned that I was a witch since I wasn't wearing pointy shoes and had Birks on...but were quickly relieved when they realized I wasn't wearing gloves. :)


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