"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Hat Full of Sky by Sir Terry Pratchett

Something is coming after Tiffany ...Tiffany Aching is ready to begin her apprenticeship in magic. She expects spells and magic — not chores and ill-tempered nanny goats! Surely there must be more to witchcraft than this!
What Tiffany doesn't know is that an insidious, disembodied creature is pursuing her. This time, neither Mistress Weatherwax (the greatest witch in the world) nor the fierce, six-inch-high Wee Free Men can protect her. In the end, it will take all of Tiffany's inner strength to save herself ... if it can be done at all.---Goodreads

I'm in love!  I have just fallen in love with Sir Terry Pratchett and his writing.  A Hat Full of Sky is a nearly perfect story and I wanted it to go on and on so I could stay entangled in it's magical pages and the world that Pratchett created.  In fact, I think I'm experiencing a mild depression right now because, alas, the story did end, exquisitely, but it ended.

In my almost six years as high school librarian I have had exactly two students who adored Pratchett and have begged me to buy more of his books. The first was five years ago and I did.  I bought several more of Pratchett's books that have sat languishing on the shelves after that young man graduated until this year when another fan came along and once again begged for more books. Now I am going to actively work to increase the readership of these wonderful books.  No longer will I allow one Prachett fan per every five years!  Before I heard from this year's fan, I had already decided to read one of his books as part of my challenge to Read the ALA 2011 YA Winning Books  Sir Terry Pratchett won the Margaret A. Edwards Award which honors an author for significant and lasting contribution to YA Lit. 

I want to sing out hip-hip-horray! If anyone every deserved such an award it is Sir Pratchett, if, and I suspect it is, this book is representative of his writing style and his story-telling skills. I randomly selected A Hat Full of Sky because it was available at my public library in the audiobook format. This book is actually the second book in the series of Wee Free Men but it worked fine. I was never confused or felt like I had missed some critical piece of information from the earlier book.

So what was it that I liked about A Hat Full of Sky? First, the story is imaginative and clever. "By turns hilarious and achingly beautiful, this be just right." (Kirkus Review)  I listened to it on audiobooks read by Stephen Briggs, who adds to the whimsical, magical story with his wonderful Scottish brogue.  I could listen to him read forever.  (Can you tell I'm in love?)

Here are a few of my favorite quotes... or quotes I just wanted to remember:
The nose is a big thinker. It's good at memory---very good. So good that a smell can take you back in memory so hard it hurts. the brain can't stop it.--Ch. 8
Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there you see differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. --Ch. 15
The words ran through Tiffany's mind as she watched the sheep, and she found herself filling up with joy --- at the new lambs, at life, at everything.  Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. it's a feeling inside that can hardly be contained.--Ch. 15

I just adore that quote: "Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle." I'm saving that one up for a rainy day!

Now, which of his books should I read next?


  1. I just finished the first book in the series, The Wee Free Men. Pratchett is fun, clever, and really dark all at the same time. It's great to discover really smart, funny books for YAs. I look forward to seeing where this series goes.

  2. How lucky are you that you get to read his books for the first time??? I've read them all. I particularly like The Thief of Time, which isn't usually shelved in YA but is brilliant. But definitely go back and pick up The Wee Free Men, then Wintersmith, then I Shall Wear Midnight.
    Again, how lucky are you? :-)

  3. This one sounds like a lot of fun!

    I would definitely recommend Mort. The Color of Magic is the first Discworld book written but so many people have said it wasn’t even close to their favorite. I put a lot of faith in the BBC list and Mort was voted as the best Discworld novel. Guards! Guards! was next. Good luck with your next choice!


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.