Book Review: The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star by Jill Murphy

Mildred Hubble is determined to not be the worst witch this year and everything seems to start well for Miss Cackle‘s Academy’s misfit student. The school even has the chance to get a fancy new swimming pool to go with the glass in their bedroom windows. But when she makes a wish upon a shooting star, everything predictable goes wrong!

This new book in the much-loved series is a great addition, featuring what readers have come to expect from the series but at the same time switching it up a little. The book has been written with its target audience in mind, seven and above, and yet manages to entertain older fans of the series.

As with the earlier books, it does survive some modernisation to fit the book being read in 2013 and expands the world of the Worst Witch slightly, within realms of the story. Arguably, there could be one or two parallels to be made between this book and the Goblet of Fire from the Harry Potter series.

Mildred, Enid, Maud and their classmates are all older (if not necessarily wiser) and yet are the same memorable characters we have come to love (or hate in the case of Ethel). The characters have been aged up but it is within reason doesn’t detract from the book. In fact, it makes it even more enjoyable and enchanting and, by ageing them up, helps develop the characters.

The same can be said of the teachers (who do talk about age in this book). The change in Miss Drill is good however I couldn’t shake the feeling that she seemed a little out of character. This complaint is even more notable in Miss Hardbroom I feel. There is talk of her background which makes the character more likeable but even so, she felt quite out of character to me.

Sadly, this did make the experience of reading this book seem a bit different and not in a good way.

This book is a great addition to the series which has been much-loved by many generations. The book can be read by young learner readers as well as together with a friend or a family member. Mildred might be the worst witch in the school but she is possibly the greatest friend in the world.



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