51qvjUEBZHL._SL160_“Look at you, in that rather horrible dress and those clumpy boots. You dreamed you could invade my world with a frying pan. You had this dream about Brave Girl Rescuing Little Brother. You thought you were the heroine of a story. And then you left him behind.”

I’ve noticed that GU books often are titled after the girl protagonist (it’s a clue when one is scanning the shelves for them), but The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett is named after her companions.

Tiffany is nine years old and lives in the Chalk country of Britain with her family, including her baby brother who she doesn’t much like. One day monsters start appearing, and then a group of tiny Scottish men who think perhaps Tiffany is the witch they’ve been looking for to help (although they end up helping her just as much). When her brother is stolen by the Queen of Faerie, Tiffany must journey there to rescue him. She is almost trapped in a dream of home (the returning-to-home theme you see often in GU stories), but is saved by her own quick thinking. She faces off against the Queen a couple times, but the final defeat happens when Tiffany realizes who she is, deep down. With a little help, she brings her brother and another child out of fairyland, and confidently faces her future as a true witch.

(This is a pretty classic GU story, but beyond that it is delightfully well written. Pratchett has a knack for being funny and deeply meaningful at the same time, and has quite a canny understanding of the inner workings of magic.)

“If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”

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