30 August 2010

Book of the Week (70): "I Shall Wear Midnight" by Terry Pratchett

I Shall Wear Midnight is the latest outing for Tiffany Aching, the witch, and her allies, the Nac Mac Feegles, the small blue psychopaths with Scottish accents whom we first met in The Wee Free Men. This is officially one of Pratchett’s book for young readers, but some of the themes are definitely adult. When we first met Tiffany she was nine and deciding whether there was a future for her in witchcraft. In her latest outing she is 16 and the storylines have grown with her. Early on in the book, for example, she is having to decide what to do about a father who has beaten up his pregnant 13-year-old daughter, killing the baby. It’s a coming-of-age story, following her growing understanding of prejudice, how communities work and the hysteria of crowd mentality. Despite the gravity of some issues covered, the book is great fun, as you would expect from Pratchett, and there are welcome cameos from some of the senior witches and other entertaining characters we have met in the ‘grown-up’ Discworld novels. It’s another excellent read with plenty of humour.

Recommended by Anthony Reuben

11 August 2010


Apologies for the summer pause in the Books of the Week series. Normal service will resume shortly.

But in the meantime...

The Edinburgh Book Festival starts this weekend! And there's a packed children's programme - and schools' programme - with loads of lovely things to see...

I'm going up for a few days, and I'm delighted to have been asked to chair twelve (!) events - some for the public programme and some in the schools' programme. I get to do events with a lot of my favourite writers, so should be great fun - do come along if you can.

I'll be doing...

Saturday 21st - 2pm - Babette Cole

Sunday 22nd - 4:30pm - Patrick Ness

Monday 23rd - 10:30am -
John Boyne
Monday 23rd - 1:30pm - Keith Gray & Patrick Ness ("Losing It")

Tuesday 24th - 1pm -
Gregory Hughes
Tuesday 24th - 6pm - Sharon Dogar

Wednesday 25th - 12pm -
Mal Peet
Wednesday 25th - 4:30pm - Gareth P. Jones
Wednesday 25th - 6:30pm - William Nicholson

Thursday 26th - 10am -
Marcus Sedgwick
Thursday 26th - 12pm - Philip Reeve
Thursday 26th - 4:30pm - Roddy Doyle

... and rest. Phew.

Sound fun?