The Education of a Witch by Ellen Klages


Under My HatTitle: The Education of a Witch
Author: Ellen Klages
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Witches
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Lizzy scoots, and her father puts the little chair from her bedroom right on the seat of the car.

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Lizzy Breyer’s parents take her to see the movie, Sleeping Beauty. Unlike most little girls her age who are enthralled by Sleeping Beauty and her prince, Lizzy is entranced by the wicked witch Maleficent. Her mother takes her to the toy store, where she chooses a Maleficent puppet to buy, and she imagines that it talks to her. When Lizzy’s baby sister is born, everything changes for Lizzy. She is no longer the center of attention, which makes her feel angry. As her obsession with Maleficent grows, Lizzy begins acting out at school and soon discovers an ability within herself to cause mischief and mayhem just like the witch she idolizes.


At the beginning of this story, I thought that it was really sweet that a young girl found solace in Maleficent when her family welcomed a new baby. After all, I totally get feeling an attachment to Maleficent – she is one of my favourite Disney villains. But, as with many short stories, it took a completely unexpected turn. And quite a sinister one.

I’m a bigger sister, so I’m sure that there were bumps in the road when, at two and a half, my baby sister came on the scene. I certainly remember there being many, many, many arguments as we grew older (they still occur frequently for that matter). But, I would never resort to witch craft to lash out at others. And (I hope), the teething issues weren’t as bad as they were for Lizzy. Since she turns from cute girl with no understanding of why she’s not the centre of attention to a slightly crazy little child. I’m actually glad the story ended on such a cliff hanger, since I don’t really want to know how it ended!

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Image source: Frances Hardinge

3 thoughts on “The Education of a Witch by Ellen Klages

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