So the other day my mum was asking what books I’d recommend to my 14-year-old cousin, who I haven’t seen in 7 or 8 years. How I was supposed to have a better idea of what 14-year-old girls from the west coast of Ireland might like to read than she would I have no idea.
But my immediate thought, because when I was 14, they were just coming out, was the Witches series from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Well, not Equal Rites, because… well, no. But Wyrd Sisters (based on a play set in Scotland), this one (about the trouble with being a fairy godmother; also, sisters), Lords and Ladies (based on a different play by that lad from Stratford), Masquerade (Opera) and Carpe Jugulum (vampires and tea) have some of my absolute favourite characters in them. And they’re almost all girls (although it may be stretching a point to call Granny Weatherwax a girl). So that’s got to be good.
Anyway, I have no idea if my mum passed this on to Stephanie (I think that’s her name), but I pulled this off the shelf and read it cover to cover in a day. It’s so much fun! The gambling scene on the riverboat, the Thing With The Bulls, Greebo… so good. And an important message about being yourself just as good as you can be.
It struck me that there is also another set of Discworld books for young adults which I haven’t read, starring another young witch. I really ought to get around to them.
See also: anything Discworld, really. And none of that Harry Potter nonsense. (I actually said “Are you a child?” to someone when he told me he liked that the other day: that was unnecessary, really.)