|The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star|
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PlotThe pupils of Cackle's Academy arrive for the start of the year amidst fierce wind and rain. In the courtyard, Miss Bat and Miss Mould are directing the pupils to put their things away and go to the Great Hall for assembly. Mildred Hubble lands safely, but Enid Nightshade nosedives into a large puddle.
In the Hall, the pupils are suprised to see Miss Drill wearing a grey suit instead of her usual sports clothes. It seems that Miss Drill injured her knee when rock climbing during the summer holidays, and will no longer be teaching gym classes- but she will be form four's (Mildred's class) form teacher. Also during the holidays, all the pupil's bedrooms have been fitted with glass in the windows, complete with Bat-Flaps so the bats can still get in and out. Everyone is excited about this, except the new first years, who are confused as they had no idea that the bedrooms didn't have proper windows.
Most exciting, however, is the competition which Cackle's has entered to win a swimming pool; they will be competing against Pentangle's Academy and Moonridge High School. Each school must put on an act, and three judges will choose the winner. Form four then go and find out what tasks they have been assinged for the term. Mildred is made Lantern Monitor, along with Ethel and Drusilla. Maud gets First-Year Mentor (which Ethel wanted so she could terrorize the first years) and Enid is Flower Monitor (picking flowers to beautify the classroom).
Later, Mildred, Maud and Enid are in Mildred's room, when they see a shooting star outside; Mildred makes a wish. In the staff room, the teachers also see the shooting star. Miss Hardbroom doesn't believe in wishes, (she's never had a proper birthday cake to wish on) but the other teachers persuade her to make one anyway.The next day, Miss Drill attempts to be 'trendy' with a dark green suit, lilac shirt and a purple tie with yellow stars (her rather colourful outfits continue for the rest of the book). Miss Drill gives Mildred, Ethel and Drusilla bags containing their lantern monitor equipment, then the class make suggestions for an act for the Swimming Pool competition; Enid suggests a dance troupe, but Miss Drill doesn't think that Miss Hardbroom will approve of that idea. Miss Drill then sends the class outside for some exersise. That evening, Mildred heads out to her lantern monitor duties- lighting the candles in the lanterns. She goes outside to light the lanterns at the gate, when she sees a pair of eyes peering through the gate. It turns out to be a small, stray dog, who is very friendly to Mildred, who is suprised, as that was what her shooting star wish was: for a dog! She finds that the dog likes riding on her broomstick, and she sneaks him back inside in her bag of equipment.
Back in Mildred's room, Tabby isn't too impressed with the new arrival, who Mildred names Star. The next morning, Mildred has to get up early to put out the lanterns, and she takes Star outside for a run around and some food, while no-one is watching, and gives him a wash.
The next day, it is anounced that Form Five's broomstick ballet will be the act to compete in the competition, Ethel isn't impressed. Mildred contiues to focus on her lantern monitor routine, and sneaking Star in and out for his walks. Tabby calms down and he and Star get along with each other, and Mildred finds that Star is a good broomstick flier, and starts teaching him to do tricks on the broomstick. Maud and Enid, however, begin to wonder what Mildred is up to, and insist on accompanying her on lantern duty one morning. Mildred reveals Star to them, and they agree to keep him secret.
At lunch time, they go to the hall and watch form five rehearsing their broomstick ballet, which is very good. on the morning of the competition, the ballet costumes are placed in the front hall, ready to go. Mildred is doing her lantern duty with Star, lighting the lantern in the front hall, when Ethel appears. She wants to know what Mildred is hiding in her bag, and attepts to grab it, but they knock the lantern, which falls and sets light to the ballet costumes. Mildred puts out the blaze with the fire extinguisher, but not before the costumes are burned to shreds.
Miss Hardbroom shows up, and Mildred, Ethel and Star are led to Miss Cackle's office. meanwhile, Maud and Enid hear what happened, but they have an idea. they run to Miss Cackle's office, where Miss Cackle has just started to talk to Mildred and Ethel. They suggest that Mildred and Star could perform their broomstick tricks, as a replacement for the ballet. Miss Cackle allows it, and Mildred gets Star back.Not suprisingly, Form Five are not impressed, but Mildred offers her apology, which is accepted by Edna, the principal dancer, and by the other dancers. They arrive at The Supreme Magician's castle, where the competition is taking place, the girls from Pentangle's and the Boys from Moonridge High are already there. The three judges are The Supreme Magician, The Chief Wizard and the Grand High Witch.
Moonridge High is first, with the "Battle of the Broomsticks", involving Moonridge boys dressed as wizards and dragons. Pentangle's then perform a broomstick ballet, like Cackle's were going to. Last is Mildred and Star's act. They perform very well, doing all their tricks perfectly.
The judges consider the act unusal, but the Grand High Witch says there is no rule against dogs (or any other animal) on a broomstick, and the juges declare Mildred and Star as the winners!
Back at the academy, everyone wants to see more of Star's tricks. Miss Hardroom appears and says that Miss Cackle wants to see Mildred in her office. Miss Hardbroom asks where Mildred got the dog, and Mildred tells her about the shooting star. Miss Hardbroom says that she saw the shooting star and wished that Cackle's would win the competition.
Miss Cackle says she was impressed by Mildred's performance, and allows her to keep Star, and to use him as her Broomstick Companion- she is allowed to keep Tabby as well of course. Miss Hardbroom also allows Mildred to continue as lantern monitor.
A few weeks later, the teachers are in the staffroom looking at plans for the new swimming pool, when Miss Hardbroom arives with a cake. It's her birthday, and she thought it was about time she had a proper birthday cake.
- Drusilla's last name is given as 'Paddock', which was first given in the TV series.
- Pentangle's are said to have purple uniforms, which also originates from the TV series.
- It's said that Pentangle's head girl can have "any kind of cat she wants"- but in previous books, and in the TV series, Pentangle's have owls, not cats.