Summary of A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch

 A Bad Spell for the Worst Witch- Book Summary

The book opens with Mildred Hubble’s first day of her second year at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. After a catastrophic first year (where she managed to ruin some peaceful event), Mildred is determined to lose her humiliating reputation as the worst witch in the Academy. After her best friend Maud arrives, the girls notice two lost and shy first-years (one of whom reminds Mildred very strongly of someone, but she can’t seem to remember who). Mildred decides to cheer them up but manages to make the matter worse. The one who seems familiar (Sybil) bursts into roaring sobs and clings onto Mildred when she hears that the school is not that bad and many of the teachers (including Miss Hardbroom) are strict. The name of the other girl is Clarice. Mildred also accidentally slips a made-up story about Miss Hardbroom turning a student into a frog as the girl was just two seconds late for a lesson. To the girls' horror, they also learn that Miss Hardbroom will take their classes in the first term. Hearing this, Sybil again starts crying, which makes Mildred and Maud scurry away. 

Soon their new (from last term) friend, Enid Nightshade, joined them. The girls are happy knowing that they haven’t got Miss Hardbroom for their second year, however, their happiness is cut short. At the assembly, the first announcement made by Miss Cackle was that Miss Hardbroom had switched places with Miss Gimlett and would now be joining her old pupils into their second year.

The next morning, Mildred was woken up by a fire bell rings. She grabs into her clothes but notices outside her window that Miss Hardbroom is standing still, surrounded by hazy smoke, as if in some kind of trance. Thinking she is in shock, Mildred plans to splash Miss Hardbroom with ice-cold water. However, the water bucket slips from her grasp and lands over Miss Hardbroom's head. Mildred apologizes to Miss Hardbroom as she realizes the smoke was actually part of a fire drill and there was no need to panic. 

After witnessing the bucket incident, Ethel Hallow confronts Mildred at lunchtime and reveals that the girl she told the frog story to was her younger sister Sybil. After many provocations, Mildred loses her temper and insults Ethel's family. 

After a miserable flying lesson, during which Tabby makes another frightened attempt not to sit on the broom, Miss Hardbroom sends Mildred to her room to calm herself down. However, while sitting in her bed, Mildred accidentally falls asleep and doesn't hear Ethel as she sneaks into her room. 

 Mildred wakes up to her bedroom door slamming only to notice everything seems gigantic, including Tabby. When she looks in the mirror, she discovers that someone has turned her into a frog. As she hops into her bed, she finds a handful of weeds on her pillow, undoubtedly pointed out by Ethel as a reference to the family's insult and why she turned her into the frog. 

Panicking, Mildred crawls under the gap under her bedroom door and jumps into a Potions class where everyone has noticed her disappearance. However, Miss Hardbroom finds her and puts her in a jar. However, during the class, Mildred manages to escape and jump onto Ethel's desk, where she drinks an invisibility potion. Taking advantage of her invisibility, Frog Mildred vaults out of the academy and visits the lily pond on the castle grounds. 

There, Mildred meets another frog named Algernon Rowan-Webb, who is in reality a human (although he's been turned into a frog for so long that he can barely remember his last name). Algernon reveals that just like Mildred, he was transformed into a frog by another wizard following an argument, and only another wizard can now turn him back into a human. Algernon also reveals that all he's craving a tea, along with some buttered toast and honey biscuits. 

Mildred vows to return for him and returns to the Academy. Meanwhile, Maud and Enid, who have been worried about their friend, suddenly realize what has happened when Tabby shows affection to the frog Mildred. They take her to Ethel, who reluctantly turns her back to a human. Soon, Miss Hardbroom arrives, and Ethel tells her that she caught Maud, Enid, and Mildred hanging out of the school. Mildred, who is fuming with anger tries to tell the truth as Miss Hardbroom is about to punish her. However, she stops after realizing that Mildred's feet are still invisible. Assuming that this can back her story, Mildred tells Miss Hardbroom about what happened in the Potions lab. Following this, Miss Hardbroom asks Mildred and Ethel to come to her office the next day.

In the morning, Miss Hardbroom lectures Mildred and Ethel for their ongoing fight, and both are punished with lines - Ethel for turning Mildred into a frog, while Mildred for upsetting Ethel's sister and insulting Hallow’s family. The two girls aren't even allowed to participate in the Halloween rituals - the only chance Mildred has is to find a wizard who can turn Algernon back into a human. Desperate to get the work done, Mildred feels compelled to kidnap anyone going to the Halloween festival. She tricks Griselda Blackwood, a third-year witch into checking under her bed for imaginary bugs, then ties her up and takes her cat.

Later, Ethel found Griselda imprisoned in Mildred's room, and the two flew to the Halloween festival to report Mildred. Once she is exposed, Mildred takes the plunge and approaches the chief sorceress, Mr. Helibore, and gives him Algernon's box. Luckily, Mr. Helibore was one of his fellow casters at the time Algernon was turned into a frog. He instantly restores Algernon to human form.

As a last request from Mildred, Mr. Helibore came up with a pot of tea and a plate of toast, crumpets, and butter. Algernon himself then conjures up a pot of honey for the crumpets and the three leaves to enjoy dinner.