First Prize For The Worst Witch
By Jill Murphy
Rated: 5 stars *****
What a delight to be able to review First Prize for The Worst Witch. It’s a great series set in a boarding school for witches – Cackles Academy, with its sometimes eccentric teachers, spells and the mishaps of the worst witch of them all – Mildred Hubble, each one is full of action, humour and friendship. It’s been televised many times and even most recently on the CBBC channel and also on Netflix. It’s a series that continues to entertain children and is well-worth reading.
I thank Candlewick Press for allowing me to review this latest book of The Worst Witch series.
See below for my blurb and review.
Mildred the accident-prone witch sets her sights on winning the school’s top honor (and helping circus animals in need) in the charming finale of the popular series. As seen on Netflix!
Mildred Hubble returns to Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches with a big dream: to be chosen as Head Girl! But with Mildred’s history of mistakes and mishaps, even her best friends are skeptical. Besides, Mildred’s rival, Ethel Hallow, is sure to win. Still, the new term is going well until Ethel finds out that Mildred’s beloved stray dog, Star, actually comes from a traveling circus, and Mildred is forced to return him. When Mildred realizes just how unhappy Star and the other circus animals are, she’s determined to get Star back and give his companions a better life, even if it means the headmistress won’t pick her for Head Girl. Little does she know that friendship, compassion, and loyalty might be justthe qualities Miss Cackle is looking for! With the series complete and a show on Netflix, it’s the perfect time to introduce a new generation of readers to Jill Murphy’s delightful Worst Witch series.
A missing circus dog, a chance of an important prize and the usual cast of Miss Cackle, Miss Bat, Miss Hardbroom, Mildred, Maud, Enid, Ethel and Druisilla make up another fun story at Cackles Academy. It’s as well and reliably written as they always have been for primary school/middle grade children with themes of school life, magic, friendship and teamwork, mixed in with humour, this series always entertains and is perfect for reading for pleasure. Whether you’re new to this series or an established reader to them, this is a book you can dive right into.
Mildred Hubble, the most haphazard witch in Cackles Academy is back for the summer term, as are her fellow witchy class mates. She still has her trusty cat – Tabby, plus a tortoise – Einstein and another addition from last term – a dog – Star.
There’s fun with trying to get a Fourth Year Firsts prize and what Mildred really wants is to be picked as Head Girl. That gets Maud giggling so much! Readers of this series will know that Mildred’s reputation isn’t exactly favourable in Cackles Academy and her witch skills leave a lot to be desired. Ethel Hallow is also bemused by her even reaching fourth year!
There’s also the addition to the school – a swimming pool with all manner of pond life in it, which causes excitement and ideas, which leads to creating spells that go wrong, leaving Miss Hardbroom (HB) to fix things out with a Selkie.
Druisilla and Ethel discovered a poster that shows Star to actually be a missing dog from a circus and Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom are left to deal with it, a situation, Mildred only goes and makes worse for those involved, including the Brilliantines at the circus.
Ethel and Druisilla are still up to their tricks on poor Mildred, to sabotage anything she wants to try and acheive. Maud and Enid are never too far behind, trying to keep her spirits up.
It’s another joyous addition to the Worst Witch series. I’ve read from this series since I was a child and more recently, to school children and it still never fails to entertain.