The Worst Witch- Summary

Summary of The Worst Witch

Plot Summary

The Worst Witch is the first novel in a beloved children's book series written by Jill Murphy, and first published in 1974. The story follows the adventures of Mildred Hubble, a young witch, who is in her first year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. At the Academy, Mildred struggles with her magical abilities and often finds herself in.

The first book introduces us to Mildred Hubble, who is not a typical witch. She comes from a non-magical family and has always dreamed of becoming a witch herself. When she finally gets her chance and is accepted into Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, she is thrilled.

However, Mildred quickly discovers that she is not as talented as her fellow students and often struggles to cast spells correctly. Her classmates, especially Ethel Hallow, are quick to mock her for her mistakes and make her feel like an outsider.

Despite her difficulties, Mildred finds a few friends at the academy. Maud Spellbody, a sweet and kind girl, becomes her closest friend, while Enid Nightshade, a mischievous troublemaker, leads her into some questionable adventures.

Book Summary

The novel begins with Mildred Hubble talking to her best friend Maud about the upcoming ceremony where all of the first-year witches are given the black kittens that they will teach to ride on their broomsticks along with them. Miss Hardbroom, an extremely strict former mistress and the deputy headmistress, catches the girls talking and sends Maud back to her room. Unlike the other girls, who receive black kittens, Mildred, who is standing last in the queue, receives a tabby cat, which she simply names Tabby. The kitten is unable to sit on a broomstick and keeps falling, so after many failed attempts, Mildred carries Tabby in her bag. Miss Hardbroom disapproves of it, and Mildred has to discontinue. Afterward, another pompous witch called Ethel Hallow makes fun of Mildred about it and challenges her to turn her into a frog. Mildred loses her cool and accidentally turns Ethel into a pig. However, she manages to find a way to make things right. Mildred quickly takes Ethel (transformed into a pig) to the library and restores her to her human self.

As the school year progresses, Mildred struggles with magic. At one time, Mildred and Maud were to make a laughing potion in their class test. However, the girls inadvertently make an invisibility potion instead as they add pondweed to the spell mistaking it for one of the ingredients. 

In the following chapter, a grand witch's inspection is announced. The young witches are practicing a broomstick display for inspection during Halloween. But Miss Hardbroom, the stern headmistress, fears that Mildred's mistakes will ruin the academy's reputation. To make matters worse, Ethel is determined to make sure that Mildred fails the inspection and is kicked out of the school.

Miss Hardbroom notices that Mildred’s broom is broken, so Ethel agrees to lend Mildred her extra broomstick, on which she has put a spell to get revenge for the pig transformation. During the Halloween festival, because of the spell, Mildred's broom starts bucking, causing havoc. All the girls, except Ethel, fall from their broomsticks. The Chief Magician denounces the academy, whereas Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom accuse Mildred of ruining the display. Mildred is summoned to an interview with Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom the next morning. Mildred, fearing expulsion at the interview, decides to run away with Tabby.

While walking through the forests near the academy, Mildred hears voices through the trees and comes across a group of witches, headed by a leader, who looks exactly like Miss Cackle. After hearing their plan to turn every teacher and student witch in the academy into frogs, Mildred turns all of them into snails, packs them into cardboard boxes, and takes them back to the academy. At first, Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom refuse to believe her, but when Mildred describes the leader, Miss Cackle realizes she sounds a lot like her identical twin sister, Agatha Cackle. She turns Agatha and the rest of the witches back into humans. And Mildred's interview is canceled for doing her best to save the school. Later that day, Ethel also gets exposed as the reason for Mildred's broomstick misadventure. In the end, Mildred is cleared of all the accusations and applauded as a savior to the rest of the academy.

The Worst Witch is a heartwarming story about perseverance and the power of friendship. Mildred may not be the most talented witch at the academy, but she never gives up and always manages to come out on top. Her bond with Maud and Enid shows that even the most unlikely friendships can be the strongest.

The book also has a strong message about the importance of being yourself and not letting others bring you down. Despite being mocked by her classmates, Mildred stays true to herself and never gives up on her dreams of becoming a witch.

Overall, 'The Worst Witch' is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of children for generations. Its relatable characters, charming storyline, and uplifting message make it a must-read for children of all ages.