The Witches

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Would you know a real witch if you saw one?They don't ride on broomsticks. They don't wear black capes or pointy hats. In fact, they don't look like witches at all. But one thing is certain: A real witch is the most dangerous of all living creatures. So you'd better learn to know one when you see one! The young hero of this award-winning story learns that lesson in a hurry when he encouters a whole gruesome gang of them. He'll need all his wits about him to foil their wicked scheme—a dastardly plot to rid ...
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The Witches

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Overview

Would you know a real witch if you saw one?They don't ride on broomsticks. They don't wear black capes or pointy hats. In fact, they don't look like witches at all. But one thing is certain: A real witch is the most dangerous of all living creatures. So you'd better learn to know one when you see one! The young hero of this award-winning story learns that lesson in a hurry when he encouters a whole gruesome gang of them. He'll need all his wits about him to foil their wicked scheme—a dastardly plot to rid the world of children forever! Jean Marsh is best known for the role of Rose in Upstairs/Downstairs, the popular television series she co-created. "A real witch is easily the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth." But, if real witches disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies rather than flying around on broomsticks in pointy hats, how can you tell when you're face to face with one? Listen to this story and you'll find out all you need to know. You'll also meet a real hero, a wise old grandmother, and the most gruesome, grotesque gang of witches imaginable!

Author Biography: Roald Dahl's wonderful and outrageous tales continue to delight children the world over. Some of his most beloved stories include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and The Witches.

A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by turning them into mice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An orphan boy...discovers the true nature of witches and then has the misfortune to be transformed into a mouse by The Grand High Witch of All the World...A curious but honest tale which deals with matters of crucial importance to children: smallness, the existence of evil in the world, mourning, separation, death." —The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788742149
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/16/2001
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Quentin Blake is a well-known artist whose work has made him popular on both sides of the Atlantic. He has illustrated most of Roald Dahl’s children’s books as well as many others. He lives in London, where he teaches illustration at the Royal College of Art.

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 156 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(102)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 156 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Frighteningly Exciting War Against Witches

    The witches are smart, but Robert's grandmother is smarter. She's had first hand experience with the evil brood of children hating witches and teaches Robert all about protecting himself from their evil schemes. Little did Robert know that very soon he'd be needing grandma's advice in order to save not only himself from the witches but all the children of the world. You'll have a hard time putting this book down and you'll listen to your own grandma's crazy stories a lot differently too.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Book

    I read The Witches in class and my crazy teacher read it to us. he scared us out of our skin and now I can't sleep at night. I wish that he would go back to Rhode Island. He is insane. I need summer.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Fun

    When I first heard this story I was in first grade. When the little boy was running and fighting the witches I remember thinking, that is smart or I would have done this instead. I think that many children enjoy this book so much because the main character is a normal child like them, not some Super Hero. It in a sense allows them to feel they can do great things too. I am going to buy this book and read it with my children. I hope they enjoy it as much as I have. Oh and I watched the movie too, I thought it was great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a sixth grade student in Arizona

    This book is all about what REAL WITCHES are, what they do, and how they really dress. The main character is an interesting boy. He has two mice named William and Mary I think.When his english parents die he goes to live with his grandma in another country. His grandmother smokes cigars and tells stories about REAL WITCHES. You see REAL WITCHES do not wear silly black cloaks or black pointy hats. They dress like normal women and look normal. So how can you tell them apart from us simple, they have distunctions about them. They have unusually big nose holes,always wear gloves,wear wigs, have no toes(they limp),and always wear wigs. I rate it five stars

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One word describing this book: F U N N Y ! ! !

    Don't you sometimes feel like you don't want to watch TV anymore and you just have nothing to do. What if your a student or a kid and have nothing to read, what if your a teacher and you have to share a book with the class and you can't decide whitch one. Read " T H E W I TC H E S " !!!!! Why ? It is funny educational you will enjoy it all the way! What more can you ask for in this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2009

    I love this book!

    I have read a lot of books by Roald Dahl, but so far this is my favorite!My favorite character is Robert.He goes through alot just to change back from a mouse to a human.His old grandmother was unaware of him becoming a mouse and tries to kill him!I love that the book surprises you and you never know what the next page or sentence is going to bring you.My favorite part is when they sneek into the conference room for the old women and it turns out to be a witch conference!I just couldn't put it down for anything!I read it in three days.You should read this book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Tarrantules

    Terrific!!!!... not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Thus book

    Thus book is very funny. I would do anything to get to this book and read it .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I read this book this year with my class and saw the movie tey were both great
    READ all Ronald Dahl 's Books!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Really enjoyable.

    We are in the middle of this book and really like it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    We read this as a read aloud in third grade. The book is about a

    We read this as a read aloud in third grade. The book is about a little boy and his grandmother and their interesting encounter with a bunch of children hating witches. The boy learns how to identify witches and their characteristics. Then on his summer break, he sees all the witches including the grand high witch (ick, she's ugly!). You'll never guess what happens next! It was a great book to read and very exciting. It was pretty humorous too! We would recommend to third graders and older to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    it is the best book i have ever read i want to read more of his

    it is the best book i have ever read i want to read more of his books :)

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    it is the best book i have ever read i want to read more of his

    it is the best book i have ever read i want to read more of his work lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Great book - terrible service

    This book is fantastic!

    The service from B&N is another thing.
    My first copy arrived without a sleeve on it; bar code on hardback. When I called customer service, they said I could keep it as is with 10% off (seriously?) or mail it back to them (and pay for shipping) and they would inquire whether they would mail me another - again, seriously? I asked about returning it to a store and they said that wasn't possible.
    I took it to a store (have done this before) and didn't have issues other than waiting for another store to mail me another book. Yes, I took a chance of whether a sleeve would accompany the hardback again. So no win for me - still had to wait on a shipped order.

    As a long term member, this is very frustrating. B&N shipping in general is getting worse. When quoted 1-3 business days, I'll be lucky to receive the order on the 3rd day - usually after hours. Normally, the orders are arriving on day 4 or 5. They are also using USPS more often than not, which just adds to the confusion and wait time.

    It's really sad to see B&N service and shipping going down the drain. Maybe we should start shopping at local book stores?!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2011

    i am a 5th grade student

    The Witches


    If you like humor and witches you will like Roald Dahls The Witches. I like it because the tons and tons of humor and all the suspense and surprises. For me the best part is when the main character is stuck behind a curtain with all the witches having a meeting. Then one of the witches smells him out and finds him. The witches think a clean kid smells like dogs droppings. When they find him they turn him into a mouse. Another interesting is that the witches are trying to turn all of the children into mice. The most suspenseful part was when the main character and his grandma stop the witches from their task. This was a good part for me because there was a lot of suspense and action. I like Roald Dhals books because of this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    Highly Recommened- you must check it out

    I like this book because, it gets you going.This book is about this boy and his grandmother. His grandmother, tells him stories about this mythical creature called "witches". So oneday the boy and his grandmother went to this hotel, there was this grand high meeting.The boy was so shocked, everything and every women were.......... sorry but you are going to have to read the book to find out what happened with the boy and the women.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    A great book for kids who love adventurous stories!

    This book has alot of cool adventure for kids that has many unexpected parts. It also has a moral about you must love your family no matter what happens to them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Creative!!!

    This book is very interesting and unpredictable. In the book the grandson and his grandma go on a trip to England and find a convention of witches. The withes plan to get rid of all the Children in England with a potion. Then everything changes and the grandson tries to stop them. I would recommend this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the Best books Ever!

    Roald Dahl is my favorite author of all time, and this has got to be one of my favorite books. It's a little easy for me now, but I still love it. I have read the book at least five times, and it never gets old. Check it out!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2010

    I REALLY enjoyed this book!

    The Witches was an extremely good book. The quest to defeat the witches couldn't have been any harder. But nonetheless, the characters never give up, and in the end get what they want. It is an extremely thrilling book, and, like all of the Roald Dahl books, a classic that you will enjoy till the end of time. Would I recommend it? Oh, yeah!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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