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Lit Circles - Primary: Witches

About the book

undefinedThe Witches by Roald Dahl

“She might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment. Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don't let that put you off. It could be part of cleverness.
I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But—here comes the big "but"—not impossible.”


The Witches tells the story of a brave young boy and his Norwegian grandmother as they battle against England's child-hating witches. It continues to feature in lists dedicated to the scariest children's books more than 30 years after it was first published.

GENRE: Fantasy


  • Gender
  • Children and childhood
  • Belief
  • Beauty and ugliness
  • Death and loss
  • Religion
  • National identity


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Questions for your circle

  • What methods would you use to find a witch? Why is this important?
  • What mixed feelings does the narrator have about the stories his grandmother tells him? How do you know? What would you think if a grandparent told you these stories?
  • Why do witches hate children so much ? 
  • What reasons does the boy give for mice being better than humans? Do you agree with his point of view?
  • Why was The Witches controversial? Do you believe that it should be banned from schools?

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