Reader Reviewed Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan, Victoria Semykina

Begone the Raggedy Witches

Written by Celine Kiernan, Victoria Semykina

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

February 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: well-written, enthralling magical adventure

The age-old theme of good versus evil is given a lively reworking in Celine Kiernan’s new series. When her father is kidnapped by witches, her mother sets out with Mup, her brother and dog, plus the ghost of Aunty Boo to fetch him back. The world they enter is a dangerous one, ruled by a tyrannical queen using spies and informers – the raggedy witches – to enforce her cruel, arbitrary rules. There’s a shock for Mup who discovers the queen is actually her grandmother, and that she too has magic powers. The story bristles with excitement and adventure while allowing space for friendships to form, and for humour too (Mup’s baby brother is transformed into a puppy, much to his delight). Well-written, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying story.

Firmly in the tradition of classic tales of magic such as Narnia, and with hints of Tolkien and Susan Cooper too, readers would also enjoy Peter F. Hamilton’s The Queen of Dreams series. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Zoe Basson, age 10 - 'I found this book was filled with magic, wonder and suspense. Begone the Raggedy Witches took me on a journey from the dull, grey world into a realm of magic and bright, bright colour.'
  • Romilly, age 11  - 'I can’t tell you how brilliant this book was. I loved it and can’t wait to find out what happens next.... READ IT!!!'
  • Jasmine, Yr 7 - Thorp Academy - 'The first few pages of the book were paced so fast I had barely digested one section when the next one started. Every word I read, I clung onto it as it was just so breathtaking, the author makes the characters so real, it was like I had known them my whole life.'
  • Aoibhe Churcher, age 11 - ‘Begone the Raggedy Witches is a heart warming story. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to all children over 9 years old.'
  • Annabelle Cassidy, age 9 - 'This book is a magical thrilling ride not letting you settle as you always want to know what's coming next.'
  • Libby Bridgeman, age 10 - 'I love this book! Mup, the ghost of an aunty, her mum and baby brother must venture out to rescue her father from the Raggedy Witches! I rate this 5 stars!'
  • Seren Daly, age 10 - ‘Begone the Raggedy Witches is a fantastic book with lots of exciting parts. It has lots of twists and turns which makes the plot thicker.'
  • Ross O'Gorman, age 11 - ‘Begone The Raggedy Witches is a really great fantasy tale, full of scary witches, an evil queen, characters that can turn into animals and a family whose mother is forced into finding her true destiny.'
  • Stephanie Chaplin, age 12 - 'This book is most suitable for ages 10+ and children who love adventures, magic, and witches.'
  • Ethan Watkin, age 10 - 'The author did a brilliant job of setting the scene and I could vividly picture what was happening.'
  • Llew Harrison, age 10 - 'I found the story quite intriguing.'
  • Alex Hall, age 11 - 'The book is about a girl called Mup, whose dad was stolen by witches. Mup had to venture into a mysterious world full of witches to try to save him.'
  • Ellen Hall, age 8 - 'This book is about a girl called Mup whose dad gets dad-napped(!)  by witches. She has to travel into the witches world where is a queen witch. Can she rescue her Dad and return home?'
  • Isabella, age 10 - 'When I read the description of this book I thought it would be a really interesting story and it was. I really liked the story in the end and I think there are some really interesting parts.'  


Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan, Victoria Semykina

A middle-grade fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Frances Hardinge, Katherine Rundell and Sally Gardner. On the night that Aunty dies the Raggedy Witches come for Mup's mam. Pale, cold, relentless, they will do anything to coax Mam back to Witches Borough. When they kidnap Mup's dad, Mup and her mam must leave the mundane world to rescue him. But Mam is strange on this side of the border - striding, powerful, and distant. Even if they can save Dad, Mup is not sure anything will ever be the same again...


From multi-award-winning Irish author Celine Kiernan comes a dark fantasy adventure about witches Ireland's answer to JK Rowling. Sunday Independent

About the Author

Celine Kiernan is the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning author of five novels for young people. Her ghost story, Into the Grey, was the first book to receive both the CBI Book of the Year Award and the CBI Children's Choice Award. She is best known for The Moorehawke Trilogy, which was shortlisted twice for the Irish Book Awards and was longlisted for the Australian Inkys Award. It has been translated into nine languages. The Wild Magic Trilogy is Celine's first series for middle-grade readers. She lives in Ireland. You can find her online at and @Celine_Kiernan.

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Book Info


288 pages
Interest Age: From 9 to 12 years


Celine Kiernan, Victoria Semykina
More books by Celine Kiernan, Victoria Semykina


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st February 2018




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