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The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,579167451 (4.2)368
Title:The Wee Free Men
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Other authors:Stephen Briggs (Narrator)
Info:HarperChildren's Audio (2005), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (2003)

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» See also 368 mentions

English (160)  German (2)  French (1)  Polish (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Oct 11, 2003

Tiffany Aching is a most unusual kind of witch, and a marvelous kind of hero. I love the way Pratchett writes her thinking. Perhaps the Wee Free Men are a stereotype of Scots, but they enchant me.


How did I forget Ratbag and his encounter with the Nac Mac Feegle? Or the description of him as almost liquid, settling out in a puddle whenever he rests on a horizontal surface? Because that's Calder.

Library copy, because I didn't want to lug about the big illustrated one. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 16, 2016 |
I am currently rereading-again-The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. I have several Young Adult books in my library including those by J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Suzanne Collins, and Philip Pullman, among others. The Wee Free Men tops them all by an order of magnitude in my opinion. I’m reading it again--slowly this time--to try to figure out why. The first thing I’ve noticed is how well the main character, Tiffany Aching, is developed. Pratchett presents an amazing girl, thoughtful, intelligent, strong-willed, and observant and you feel you know her and can’t help but admire her after the first twenty pages. All of the supporting characters are also done well, and have distinct and interesting personalities. I won’t summarize the plot. Other YA books have interesting and exciting plots as well, but what makes this book stand out from those, I think, is how deeply you understand the motivations of the main character and how much you find yourself wishing the real world had more people like her. It also presents many interesting ideas about how people and cultures view the world in very humorous ways but does not try to dumb them down for young readers. It assumes they, like Tiffany, can think and actually want to. Read this book. Give it to your children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. You’ll be doing yourself and them, and possibly the world, a big favor. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Absolutely and utterly fun. The Wee Free Men were the best part. ( )
  Danielle_Kozinski | Oct 7, 2016 |
Listened to about 2/3 of this on the long drive home from Wisconsin, then finished it up with this volume. It's a marvelous example of the bookmaking art. My mental image of the Nac Mac Feegle had them stockier rather than spindly but I have no quarrel with this version. The illustrations and the text layout were marvelous and I particularly loved the foldouts. As to the story and the writing it again brings that wonderful mix of laugh out loud humor with poignancy and emotional truth that I'm starting to associate with Pratchett. ( )
  TSPbham | Aug 14, 2016 |
There's trouble on Aching farm. A strange green monster has appeared in the river. A headless horseman has been seen riding about. Things from nightmares have been spotted in the hills. And now Tiffany's little brother has gone missing and it's up to her to get him back. She grabs her weapon (a frying pan), her magic book (granny's old copy of Diseases of Sheep) and some unlikely allies, the Nac Mac Feegle, the Wee Free Men, the fightin', thievin', tiny blue-skinned pictsies who were thrown out of Fairyland for being Drunk and Disorderly. Feeling as prepared as she'll ever be Tiffany sets off on her quest to find her brother and put a stop to the strange goings on around the farm.

The Wee Free Men is Terry Pratchett's the 30th Discworld book and first in the Tiffany Aching story line. This is designated as a YA book which I found odd because, aside from Tiffany being a 9-year old girl, this book easily stands up with the rest of the Discworld novels. This time around Pratchett takes on classical fairy tales and gives them his own imaginative twist. This is combined with his typical moments of laugh out loud funny situations and a surprising philosophical depth that those familiar with the series have come to expect.

All the new characters are wonderful. Tiffany is a highly capable young lady who thinks she may be a witch like Granny Aching was and has taken it upon herself to rescue her brother when he's abducted by the Fairy Queen. Not because she really likes him exactly, he is sticky and whiny, but because he's hers. Tiffany has the First Sight and Second Thoughts, making her uniquely qualified for her trip into Fairy Land. She also has a frying pan and is not afraid to use it! The Nac Mac Feegle are a group of "pictsies" and are a mad, drunken, fightin' family of wee free men that have decided to help Tiffany on her quest. They a decidedly Scottish feel to them by speaking with brogue and wearing kilts and I found them absolutely charming. They have a full history and a surprising amount of depth and nuance to their characters and motivations.

If you are a Discworld fan and have not picked up the Tiffany Aching books due to the YA classification, put those fears aside. This is an absolutely delightful entry to the series. ( )
  Narilka | Aug 13, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartocci, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandhorst, AndreasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Some things start before other things.
No wonder we dream our way through our lives. To be awake, and see it all as it really is ... no one could stand that for long.
Now ... if you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.
“Yes! I'm me! I am careful and logical and I look up things I don't understand! When I hear people use the wrong words, I get edgy! I am good with cheese. I read books fast! I think! And I always have a piece of string! That's the kind of person I am!”
“Zoology, eh? That's a big word, isn't it."

"No, actually it isn't," said Tiffany. "Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short.”
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060012382, Mass Market Paperback)

Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching needs magic--fast! Her sticky little brother Wentworth has been spirited away by the evil Queen of faerie, and it’s up to her to get him back safely. Having already decided to grow up to be a witch, now all Tiffany has to do is find her power. But she quickly learns that it’s not all black cats and broomsticks. According to her witchy mentor Miss Tick, "Witches don’t use magic unless they really have to...We do other things. A witch pays attention to everything that’s going on...A witch uses her head...A witch always has a piece of string!" Luckily, besides her trusty string, Tiffany’s also got the Nac Mac Feegles, or the Wee Free Men on her side. Small, blue, and heavily tattooed, the Feegles love nothing more than a good fight except maybe a drop of strong drink! Tiffany, heavily armed with an iron skillet, the feisty Feegles, and a talking toad on loan from Miss Tick, is a formidable adversary. But the Queen has a few tricks of her own, most of them deadly. Tiffany and the Feegles might get more than they bargained for on the flip side of Faerie! Prolific fantasy author Terry Pratchett has served up another delicious helping of his famed Discworld fare. The not-quite-teen set will delight in the Feegles’ spicy, irreverent dialogue and Tiffany’s salty determination. Novices to Pratchett’s prose will find much to like here, and quickly go back to devour the rest of his Discworld offerings. Scrumptiously recommended. (Ages 10 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A young witch-to-be named Tiffany teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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