Mildred Hubble is a pupil at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches – a boarding school that looks more like a prison, with grey turrets and pupils clad in black uniforms with hob-nailed boots. Mildred is well-intentioned but clumsy, constantly getting into scrapes and quickly earning a reputation as the worst witch in the school. Whilst Miss Cackle the headmistress tolerates Mildred’s madcap behaviour, her form teacher Miss Hardbroom is less impressed. Her spells go wrong, her broomstick crashes and she even turns teacher’s pet Ethel Hallow into a pig. Mildred and her best friends, sensible Maud and jokey Enid, are always in trouble, but their good-natured loyalty means that they (mostly) manage to save the day.
The Worst Witch books were written by much-loved British author Jill Murphy when she was just sixteen years old, inspired by her own experiences at boarding school. The first book came out in 1974 but Murphy’s fabulous illustrations and funny stories of boarding school life continue to delight millions of readers today.
Over the years, the books have inspired many TV adaptations, including the current series on CBBC and Netflix as well as the touring stage play The Worst Witch Live. Whether it is on the TV, the stage or in the pages of the books the worst witch Mildred is an irresistible heroine with her zest for adventure, disastrous mishaps and occasionally fiery temper.
The short chapters and illustrations make it an ideal series for emerging readers aged 7 and over, although parents will also enjoy reading the books aloud. You can read the books in any order, but we recommend starting with book 1 when Mildred arrives as a new girl at the Academy.
Fans of the Worst Witch will find even more fun on the CBBC website including games and clips. Mildred is one of the most popular characters to dress up as at World Book Day – watch the tutorial from CBBC’s Sybil Hallow on how to make the perfect Worst Witch costume including making your own Worst Witch badge.
Get stuck in to the series and we guarantee you will be spellbound.
All the Worst Witch books in order:
The Worst Witch (1974)
The Worst Witch Strikes Again (1980)
A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch (1982)
The Worst Witch All At Sea (1993)
The Worst Witch Saves the Day (2005)
The Worst Witch to the Rescue (2007)
The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star (2013)
First Prize for the Worst Witch (2018)
World Book Day Special: Fun With the Worst Witch (2014)