The Worst Witch Saves the Day is the fifth novel in The Worst Witch children's boom series by Jill Murphy. The book was published in 2005 and features Agatha Cackle (from The Worst Witch) disguised as new teacher, Miss Granite.
Mildred Hubble is returning to Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches on the first day of her third year. As a reward for her good behaviour, her mum bought her a new broomstick. After meeting up with her friends, Maud Moonshine and Enid Nightshade, Mildred sees that Maud's hair is curly (she borrowed a hairstyling brush from her aunt) and they also learn that they will have a new teacher as a form-teacher this year other than Miss Hardbroom.
They see in assembly that their new form-teacher will be Miss Granite (who was hired by Miss Cackle after Miss Gribble failed to show discipline and against Miss Hardbroom's advice). Miss Granite is described as being very strange-looking and having a huge cloud of orange curls, which looked extremely frivolous for Miss Cackle's Academy and also wearing enormous purple-tinted glasses and a short cape with a collar turned up so high that you couldn't see much of her face at all. The girls also learn with their very own ears that Miss Granite speaks in a very high-pitched, squeaky voice that shocks everyone including Ethel Hallow.
After settling down, Mildred unravels her pigtails and gives Maud's styling brush a go. Mildred is gone a while. When Maud and Enid go and check on her, they find Mildred with her hair loose and a chunk of her hair tangled up with the brush in a huge mess right up onto her scalp. Ethel comes in and volunteers to help. However, the "help" Ethel offered was actually taking a pair of scissors and chopping off both the styling brush and the messy hair. Offended at Ethel's bad hairdressing, Ethel chops off all of Mildred's hair.
After some boring and weird lessons with the bizarre and quirky Miss Granite, Ethel offers to help Mildred again in her hair predicament. She formulates a hair-growth potion which she claims will restore Mildred's hair to its rightful length. Mildred applies the potion that night but nothing happens at first. However, just when Mildred is dropping off to sleep, the potion overdoes the purpose and makes her hair grow longer and longer by the minute, enguling the whole school in her hair. Miss Hardbroom comes to investigate after Miss Granite never came (she saw this as an excellent challenge for her to test her discipline skills) she sees Mildred's out-of-control rapidly growing hair and surprisingly states that Mildred is having "a bad hair day". She manages to stop the hair growing and cuts it to its rightful length and vapourises the swathes of hair that had engulfed the whole school.
In a flying lesson, Ethel steals Tabby (who has been suffering a nervous breakdown as a result of the hair incident) and hides him on the roof in front of Miss Granite's study's window. When trying to get him back, Mildred's new broom falls onto the floor and breaks and Ethel catches Mildred just as she was falling. Miss Granite appears in the courtyard and confronts Mildred saying that she better not have been spying on her.
That night, when trying to get Tabby back from Miss Granite, Mildred is locked in a cupboard by who seems to be Miss Cackle but is actually Miss Cackle's identical twin sister Agatha Cackle who sneaked into the school disguised as Miss Granite. She is trying to turn all the teachers and pupils into snails (as reminiscent of what happened in the first book). Mildred manages to turn herself into an ant where she sneaks out of the cupboard and makes her way to Maud's room where she tries unsuccessfully to wake her up but writes a note instead saying, "FORGOT SPEL" (missing an L off "spell") and Maud and Enid turn her back into a human. Mildred tells them what is going on and, just as Agatha is about to turn Miss Cackle into a snail, Mildred turns her into a snail herself. They also bump into Miss Hardbroom who had been away at Miss Pentangle's Academy playing chess with Miss Pentangle.
Miss Hardbroom suggests that Miss Cackle poses as Agatha and invites Agatha's rebellious coven in where Mildred and the others will turn them all into snails. What happened is not mentioned, but both Agatha and her coven are turned into snails. As Mildred, Maud, and Enid go back to bed they say they want Miss Hardbroom as a form-teacher again. Miss Hardbroom suddenly appears in front of them and is friendly for a brief moment before strictly telling them to get back to bed with no candles on.
Script error - Agatha Cackle previously appeared in the first book.
- In the next book The Worst Witch to the Rescue Miss Granite is replaced by another teacher, Miss Mould, an art teacher who is mentioned briefly at the end of this book.
- Mildred's "bad hair day" incident is mentioned briefly in The Worst Witch to the Rescue when a breeze from the slit-window blows Mildred's hair about when she is in bed.