adventure, book review, children's books, creative, danger, Discworld #30, duty, Fairyworld, family, Granny Aching, honor, imagination, love of the land, magic, Nac Mac Feegle, Scottish brogue, Terry Pratchett, the Chalk, The Wee Free Men, Tiffany Aching
Book Review: The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett
Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching lives on the Chalk, a warm, hilly, green grassland in an alternate world that reminds me of the lowlands of Scotland. Tiffany thinks of herself as normal: she’s part of a typical, loving family with daily chores to do, like making cheese and tending sheep. She fiercely misses her Granny Aching, who was buried up on the hills not too long ago. But Tiffany can see and do things that no one else can. When her annoying little brother is kidnapped and taken to Fairyland, she arms herself with an iron frying pan and enlists the help of the Nac Mac Feegle, six-inch-tall blue men who speak with a Scottish brogue and love to fight. Together they will face monsters and danger as Tiffany sets out to find her brother and begins to learn about her powers.
This ‘Discworld’ that Terry Pratchett created is so vivid, beautiful, and complex. The Wee Free men are funny and endearing, with plenty of bad habits, yet with the hearts of lions. Tiffany is a real heroine: she’s smart, curious, and capable, and she has a lot of common sense. But she second-guesses herself, and she knows in her heart that she is selfish too. In other words, she’s a lot like any other child her age. Granny Aching is a powerful force for good, always in the background of Tiffany’s thoughts and heart as she tries to figure out what to do and gains the courage to attempt the impossible.
I loved this book. I wanted to walk on the hills with Tiffany, soak in the sun, and listen to the sheep calling. Although the heroine is nine years old, this is not just a book for children. This is the kind of story that gets into your bones and makes you see the magic of everyday things. Every age group will enjoy this story and its sequels.