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The Wee Free Men
Book
2003
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Tiffany Aching is a witchy nine-year-old whose brother has been kidnapped by the Elf Queen. To bring him home, she accepts the aid of a band of fiercely funny fairies-the Wee Free Men-whose propensity for drinkin', fightin', and stealin' earned them a one-way ticket out of Fairyland. Listen Up: Briggs is Pratchett's chosen reader for good reason: he gets the joke. The mock brogue of the Wee Free Men makes for frustrating reading on the page, but Briggs's joyful rendition brings each wee criminal to life. Luckily, there are two more books in the series, A Hat Full of Sky (2004) and Wintersmith (2006), in which to enjoy his delivery.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-10. Pratchett turns the bogeymen of fairy tales and nightmares into reality in the latest book in his popular, comedic Discworld series. Young Tiffany Aching, incipient witch armed with a large iron frying pan, goes after the Elf Queen, who has taken Tiffany's little brother into Fairyland and who plans to use humans' dreams to conquer their world. Tiffany's companions on her quest are a talking toad, who used to be a human, and a band of fierce Wee Free Men, who are six inches tall, talk with a Scottish brogue, and are famous for "stealin' an' drinkin' an' fightin'!" The action is both manic and a little scary as the queen confronts her pursuers with a headless horseman, dreams that trap dreamers inside them, and more. In the end, Tiffany must face the Queen alone while attempting to sort out reality from nightmare. Both the humor and the danger will appeal to fans of Discworld; they will also draw readers who like J. K. Rowling's Harry, Hermione, and Ron. --Sally Estes

  Kirkus Review

There will be upheavals in the human and fantasy worlds of elves and witches, with drastic consequences, and Tiffany, with only a frying pan for a weapon, is caught in the middle. In an effort to rescue her spoiled, candy-loving baby brother whom the Elf Queen has stolen with the temptation of endless sweets, Tiffany enlists the aid of the Wee Free Men. The baby's rescue is accomplished with unrelenting drama, large servings of Pratchett's ironic humor, and a unique cast of characters. This includes an imperfect heroine who has inherited "First Sight and Second Thoughts" and who feels guilty because she did not truly love her whiney brother. The Wee Free Men are six-inch-tall blue men with a robust enthusiasm for stealing, fighting, and drinking. Set in a chillingly unrecognizable "fairyland," this ingenious mÉlange of fantasy, action, humor, and sly bits of social commentary contains complex underlying themes of the nature of love, reality, and dreams. The Carnegie Medal-winner's fans will not be disappointed. (Fantasy. 12+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p>The first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.</p> <p>A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality. . . .</p> <p>Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegle--aka the Wee Free Men--a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men.</p> <p>Together they must face headless horsemen, ferocious grimhounds, terrifying dreams come true, and ultimately the sinister Queen of the Elves herself. . . .</p>
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