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Terry Pratchett (1948 - 2015) was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. He had his first story published when he was just thirteen, and after leaving school at seventeen to become a journalist he continued writing, publishing his first novel, The Carpet People, in 1971 and going on to produce the phenomenally successful Discworld and his trilogy for young readers, The Bromeliad. His first Discworld novel for children, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents was awarded the 2001 Carnegie Medal.
Terry Pratchett as well as numerous other books, winning many awards and becoming the UK’s bestselling author. He was appointed OBE in 1998.
He died in March 2015 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. You can find out more about his life and work at www.terrypratchettbooks.com
Clever, funny and on occasion just plain daft, this is the perfect stocking filler for kids and Terry Pratchett fans alike. Open the pages and find eleven short stories which have been fabulously illustrated by Mark Beech. The text marches up hill and down dale, in between, over and under the illustrations, shouting, bursting, capering across the page so the story and illustrations become a glorious Christmas pudding mix of a read, give it a stir and get ready to duck as the tales take flight. The stories made me chuckle, in fact as soon as I had read the first offering, ‘Father Christmas’s Fake Beard’, I promptly insisted my husband read it too (it’s always the sign of a good book when I do that!). Yes this is a kids book, and yes I fully expect that adults will get just as much enjoyment from the stories as the children. A Terry Pratchett book was always on my Christmas list, I treat each and every one of them with love… set a new fan in motion, or delight a well established one - this is a proper little gem.
A truly wonderful kick of escapism, ‘Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes’ may be aimed at children, however you don't have to be a kid to read this (adults can get just as much enjoyment, possibly even a little more). These books are also known as the ‘The Bromeliad Trilogy’, the reason for which will become abundantly clear as you read further into the trilogy. Masklin, Grimma and their rapidly diminishing band of four inch high Nomes (they aren't shrinking in height, but numbers) leave their home in order to survive. They find themselves in a department store, among Nomes who no longer recognise that there are outsiders, or even an outside. When they discover that the department store is closing down and being knocked down, can they persuade the rest of the Nomes that they need to leave? Terry Pratchett has the ability to make words sing together, in such a way, that they make you stop and think. He may excel in fantasy, yet it’s fantasy firmly based in fact, and it’s fantasy that makes you look at life from a new perspective. ‘Truckers’ is eye opening, laugh inducing and sometimes jaw dropping stuff and I absolutely loved it.
Rib-tickling, thought-provoking, wonderful fun with a little history thrown in for good measure. Johnny returns, with his quirky gang of friends, this time hurtling into the past on board a slightly dysfunctional time travelling shopping trolley. First published in 1996, the beauty of the writing means that it still feels relevant, is fabulously funny, and quite quite bonkers. This is Terry Pratchett at his best, yes it is predominately a book for kids, however I thoroughly enjoyed it, I suppose that makes me a big kid! Mark Beech illustrations grace the start of each chapter, perfectly summing up what is to come. Showing how the past shapes the present, and always surrounds us, Johnny and the Bomb is quite possibly my favourite in the Johnny Maxwell trilogy.
Fantastic, funny and weirdly wonderful, with beautifully apt illustrations by Mark Beech. Johnny can see and talk to the dead, not scary zombie ghostly dead people, just rather ordinary dead people who don’t want anyone to build on their cemetery. ‘Johnny and the Dead’ was first published in 1993, yet is still bang up to date in terms of humour, wit, and observations. Terry Pratchett was wonderfully clever at pointing out just how absurd humans can be sometimes. He takes the dead, from the First World War Blackbury Pals, to former magician Mr Vicenti and brings them to life, well, perhaps to life isn’t quite the best way to describe it, but he certainly makes them accessible and approachable. Terry Pratchett makes me laugh, most importantly he makes me think, and I absolutely adore his books. ‘Johnny and the Dead’ walks into ghostly graveyards and makes them interesting, fascinating places, full of information that we really shouldn’t forget, or demolish and build over!
This is an absolutely cracking whiz-bang of a story. Set in an unreality, that is actually scarily real, it plays with your mind and really, really makes you think! Johnny Maxwell loves video games, while shooting invading spaceships, he finds himself contacted by an alien race, suddenly the game is real, can Johnny save the day? This is as valid today, as when it was first written in the early 1990’s, though Terry Pratchett made some updates, along with an authors note in 2013. He explains that Only You Can Save Mankind was written during the first Gulf War when TV computer games about war were in their infancy, the news was showing constant, sometimes even live updates about the war, and so the lines between pretend and real were become very blurred indeed. Terry Pratchett excels in setting questions about mankind for you to ponder without you realising it, all the while enjoying a wild fantastical ride. No one else quite has his magical touch, his books are so witty, thoughtful and wise. Only You Can Save Mankind is the first in a quite spectacular trilogy and another must read from the the truly wonderful Terry Pratchett. Browse inside!
Have you ever wanted Christmas to be different? Turkey and carols, presents and crackers - they all start to feel a bit . . . samey. How about a huge exploding mince pie, a pet abominable snowman, or a very helpful partridge in a pear tree? What if Father Christmas went to work at a zoo, or caused chaos in a toy store, or was even arrested for burglary!?
In a nutshell: inventive | readable | hilarious | This collection of 14 rip-roaringly funny stories is a great way to introduce children to Terry Pratchett – indeed, each story is just the right length for bedtime reading – but will have appeal to his existing fans too or, as he wrote in the introduction, to anyone with an imagination. The stories were written when he was a young man working as a junior reporter on a local paper, but the hallmarks of the style that make him one of the most-enjoyed authors of our times are already clear, notably sublimely fantastic and funny set ups, that familiar author voice commenting via footnotes, and some canny, underplayed moral commentary. Highlights include an unusual afternoon in Blackbury, and repeat visits to the town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo! Illustrations by Mark Beech capture the silliness and fun. ~ Andrea Reece
A fabulous and very fitting conclusion to the Tiffany Aching novels, and a wonderful full stop to the much loved Discworld series. Tiffany has to be on her mettle, a twisted powerful enemy is set for battle, Tiffany needs all the help she can get, including the Wee Free Men and of course she definitely needs Granny Weatherwax. Terry Pratchett has been one of my favourite author’s since I was a teenager and has made me laugh, cry, and most importantly he has has made me consider, discover and think about our own world. Terry Pratchett had an immense gift for writing, his ability to connect to so many people is legendary. This is his last novel, and within it, a light is held up to the darkness. I devoured and loved every second, every word of The Shepherd’s Crown and while of course I will miss the wonder of opening each new title, this is a series that can be read again, and again. ~ Liz Robinson The Tiffany Aching Discworld books are in order: The Wee Free Men A Hat Full of Sky Wintersmith I Shall Wear Midnight The Shepherd’s Crown
A chilling, plucky yet playful novel for older children, and adults. Tiffany Aching’s magic has woken an evil being who has a intense loathing for all things witch. The Cunning Man is something that Tiffany has to face on her own, yet she needs help, thank goodness for The Wee Free Men and Granny Weatherwax. Please do note that while Tiffany started in The Wee Free Men as a young girl, she is now very nearly 16, and this, her fourth novel, has a deeper, darker mood that I feel is more suitable for teenagers. No matter how many times I read Terry Pratchett’s novels, his words affect me deeply, one moment sadness overwhelms, while in the next a well needed roar of laughter overtakes me while blowing a raspberry. I simply adore I Shall Wear Midnight, it touches every mood, shakes thoughts and tickles feelings, The Tiffany Aching novels are for me, a most definite must read. ~ Liz Robinson The Tiffany Aching Discworld books are in order: The Wee Free Men A Hat Full of Sky Wintersmith I Shall Wear Midnight The Shepherd’s Crown
Wintersmith is another jewel in the wonderfully absurd crown that is the Discworld. Tiffany Aching grows in knowledge and power as she steps into a dance with winter and begins a, shall we call it… flirtation. As Tiffany grows older in these books, so the content becomes richer and a little more adult. While The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky can quite happily caper into the thoughts of a nine year old, I feel the third novel is more suitable for slightly older children. Do you need to have read the first two Tiffany Aching books, yes you do actually, to enjoy the sheer magic of Terry Pratchett's writing as he takes the world we live in, and while making fun of humanity, also allows us to see the sheer wonder. Wintersmith is a gorgeous, wickedly funny, dancing delight of a novel and as it joins the first two Tiffany Aching Novels, it snugly fits right in. ~ Liz Robinson The Tiffany Aching Discworld books are in order: The Wee Free Men A Hat Full of Sky Wintersmith I Shall Wear Midnight The Shepherd’s Crown
Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books are a must read (by children and adults), and the second novel in the series is an absolute delight. When Tiffany steps out of her body to check her outfit (as there’s no mirror to hand), something deeply dark and deadly notices and decides to take her place. Tiffany is fascinating, clever, brave and as well as first thoughts, she has second and most importantly third thoughts as she pits her wits against the hiver. The Wee Free Men run wild through the story, stamping on propriety and giving spelling a good kicking. As I chuckled, I also wondered, and stretched my own thoughts out into the world. Terry Pratchett’s ability to write for any age, to make you roar with laughter and then in the next breath, consider and wonder, ensures he sits at the top of the author tree for me. A Hat Full of Sky cements Tiffany Aching’s place in The Discworld, what a wonderful series within a series this is. ~ Liz Robinson The Tiffany Aching Discworld books are in order: The Wee Free Men A Hat Full of Sky Wintersmith I Shall Wear Midnight The Shepherd’s Crown