The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Tiffany Aching book 1, Discworld book 30. Corgi
Childrens, 2017. ISBN 9780552576307
(Age: 10 - Adult) Highly recommended. Fantasy, Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2004), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Childrens Literature (2004) (2016), Parenting Book of the Year Award (2003), WH Smith Teen Choice Award (2003). Terry Pratchett needs no introduction. An award winning author, he has excelled himself in The wee free men, which introduces the spirited Tiffany Aching. First published in 2003, this 2017 edition will delight another group of readers with its feisty young witch-to-be and the horde of wee free men in their kilts who help her chase down the wicked queen who has stolen her baby brother.
The wee free men is an absolute delight to read. Pratchett's unique sense of humour is evident on every page as he manipulates words in the best possible way. Not only does he make the reader laugh aloud at some of his descriptions and dialogue, but he also makes the reader think about the power and use of the written word: "Tiffany thought a lot about words, in the long hours of churning butter. 'Onomatopoeic', shes discovered in the dictionary, meant words that sounded like the noise of the thing that they were describing, like 'cuckoo'." pg. 129.
Tiffany is a brilliant young girl who longs to be a witch. Sensible and practical, she knows that it is the right thing to go and rescue her brother even if he is annoying. Granny Aching is her grandmother, a powerful shepherdess, who looked after all the sheep and lambs on the chalk lands and protecting those who don't have a voice and from her Tiffany has learnt about doing the right thing even if it is hard. As the story progresses the reader will grow in understanding with Tiffany as she works out what is important if you have power, sympathize with her as she sorts out her feelings for her brother and laugh at the antics of the wee free men.
This would be an ideal book to give any reader as an introduction to fantasy and lovers of fantasy who have not tried Terry Pratchett's wonderful books before will be in for a wonderful read.