Reading To Our Kids

What my wife & I are reading to our four kids

Kicking off ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’

on February 2, 2012
Wintersmith (Discworld, #35)

Links to this book

Reading to: Alanah (9) & Sabrina (3).

A man with no eyes. No eyes at all. Two tunnels in his head …Somewhere – some time – there’s a tangled ball of evil and spite, of hatred and malice, that has woken up. And it’s waking up all the old stories too – stories about evil old witches…

Due warning: there be spoilers ahead!

Last night we continued on our reading of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series by starting I Shall Wear Midnight. Tiffany is now 16 years old and is the witch of The Chalk. As with the previous Tiffany books, as she has gotten older, so have the topics in the books.  This book get a fair bit darker, it has child abuse (not explicitly spelled out, but it’s there), sexual tension, broken hearts, betrayal, violence, bigotry and religious hysteria.  The “Cunning Man” is a take off the church Inquisitors of old and he is a genuinely scary and horrific character.

While technically I am reading this to both my nine year old (Alanah) and my three year old (Sabrina), I start the night by reading Sabrina one of her books (pretty much always Charlie & Lola at the moment). So Sabrina generally falls asleep not long after I finish reading that.  I don’t really think she’d follow most of it anyway, but she is also a big fan of the Nac Mac Feegle.

There’s also a few cameos in this book from previous (non-Tiffany) Discworld books, including Magrat Garlick, Death & my favourites: The City Watch.  There is also a fairly important role played by one Eskarina Smith the main protagonist in the book Equal Rites where she is a daughter of a Wizard (not supposed to happen) and gets enrolled at Unseen University by Granny Weatherwax. The fact that no female was allowed to enrol was of no great concern to Granny.  We also get to go to the famous Boffo Novelty and Joke Shop.

Anyway there’s also a bunch of time-travel and altered reality stuff in this book, but frankly if my kids can keep up with Doctor Who, they can cope with this.  This is the last of the Tiffany books, and there has been no hint (that I know of) that there will be any more.  I foresee much sad faces & pouting to come at the end of this one, although maybe Lani can graduate on to reading Wyrd Sisters herself.

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