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The Wee Free Men: 07/05/14
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett is the 30th Discworld book and the first of the Tiffany Aching young adult series. Tiffany, the youngest daughter of a sheepherding family wants to do something else with her life. She wants to be a witch. But life on the Chalk doesn't seem like a likely place to become a witch, that is until the Queen of the Faeries steels away her baby brother, Wentworth.
Tiffany's headstrong approach to life combined with her first sight and second thoughts draws the attention of some unlikely allies: Perspicacia Tick, a witch finder, and the Nac Mac Feegle, a six inch tall, fighting clan of Pictsies who can get into and out of anything (except pubs).
Mostly though the book is about how Tiffany uses the lessons learned from her recently passed grandmother, Granny Aching, to face the unknown and get her brother back. Yes, her friends are magical but she gets by through being observant, stubborn, angry, and proud. She's not a heroine to wring her hands at the first sign of trouble. No; she's the type to grab a frying pan.
Later books in the series make a bigger deal about the stories taking place on Discworld but this one safe for a few mentions here and there, could easily take place anywhere else. Discworld here isn't the point; it's just the setting and that is refreshing compared to some of the earliest books in the series.
I've read Wee Free Men in three different formats: as an audio performed by Stephen Briggs, a hardback with just the text, and then a gorgeous illustrated version with watercolors by Stephen Player. Below are some of my favorite pictures from that version