Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Witches (RDRM #4)

The Witches is the fourth book I have completed for the Roald Dahl Reading Marathon (RDRM). I took it to church with me this morning and read it during breakfast until the service began.

The Witches
By Roald Dahl (Author's Website)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: 2007
ISBN-13: 9780141322643
224 pages

Page 67: 'Children smell!' she screamed. 'They stink out the vurld! Vee do not vont these children around here!'

"She" is the Grand High Witch, and along with many other witches they are having an annual meeting at the same hotel where Boy (we do not know his name) and his grandmother is having a holiday. Boy stumbles into this meeting by accident when he is looking for a quiet spot to train his two pet mice. The meeting room was vacant at first, but soon the participants (a group of ladies) enter. Slowly he realizes that these women are, in fact, witches! His grandmother has taught him enough about witches and how to identify one, which is difficult to do because they look just like any of us.

Cowering in fear, he sits through the entire proceeding and even witnesses one of the witches evaporated into thin air, thanks to the vile Grand High Witch. There, he overhears the witches' plan and the secret recipe that would turn little children into mice. Just when he thinks he could get away when the meeting ended, he is sniffed out by one of them. That is when the problem begins. He is turned into a mouse but quickly escapes before they could harm him further.

Boy returns to his grandmother who apparently takes it quite well. You see, she is a retired witch hunter. Boy, in his mouse form, still has ability to talk and think normally. He tells her about the witches' plan and together they form a great partnership to overturn the evil plan, getting rid of them for good.

Boy--like all the protagonists in the earlier books I have read in James and the Giant Peach and The BFG--is an orphan. He is a quick thinker and does not give up easily. I like the adventure and humor in this story. Dahl's imagination is wonderful and according to him, he always try to make his readers laugh, squirm, become enthralled, tense, and excited. I am happy to say he succeeded.

I am going to finish off the reading marathon with my last book for today: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

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