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The Witch of Blackbird Pond (original 1958; edition 1978)

by Elizabeth Speare

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5,626132761 (4.05)172
Member:meldridge
Title:The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Authors:Elizabeth Speare
Info:Laurel Leaf Library/ Dell Publishing Co Inc (1978), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:2012

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958)

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(6.9)
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
Every so often it is nice to revisit old childhood favorites to see how they stand the test of time, or to read ones that you somehow missed. I had never read "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" when I was growing up. My daughter read it for our family book club a few summers ago and she made it sound so interesting that I finally picked it up to read. She was right; I really enjoyed it.

Set prior to the Revolutionary War, Kit travels from Barbados to her family in Connecticut after her grandfather dies, leaving her homeless and penniless. She grew up in a life of wealth and privilege, so adjusting to the Puritan life of colonial America was a bit of an adjustment. She befriends an old Quaker woman who is shunned for her beliefs, and eventually matures and better understands the world.

If you haven't read this little gem, you should, especially if you like historical fiction. It's a fast, enjoyable read. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
Another historical novel by Elizabeth George Speare. I was impressed by The Bronze Bow set in the times of Jesus. This one is set in colonial New England and the story deals with the Puritans, Quakers and the Salem Witch trials.

The main character Kit is an impulsive teenager who have been raised by her grandfather on the tropical island of Barbados. When the grandfather dies she’s forced to travel to the Connecticut Colony to live with her aunt and uncle and cousins - a strict puritan family.

Kit finds it hard to adjust to the ways of the pious puritans. Her refuge becomes the widow Hannah Tupper who live near the Blackbird Pond. She’s a Quaker and the townspeople believe her to be a witch. Kit knows better after she becomes her closest friend. She seems to understand Kit.

There’s a love interest here as well - The rich kid William is courting her - and Nat, the son of a captain, also becomes her friend.

When a deadly epidemic hits the town the people are quick to blame the “witch of Blackbird Pond” - and Kit finds herself in a dangerous situation.

Although the plot is captivating it’s more the internal world of Kit that are of most interest here. The way she has to evaluate the people around her - and make difficult choices that effects family and friends and herself.

Won the Newbery Medal in 1958. ( )
2 vote ctpress | Oct 4, 2014 |
Katherine Tyler (Kit) is a 16 year old who lives in Conneticut in the 1600's. After a series of events, the townspeople begin to believe Kit is a witch. She swam, because she is originally from Barbados, and people find then perculiar. She acts out a scene from the bible and the town doesn't like that either. They come for her in the middle of the night, but a friend testifies for her and the town soon realizes she is not a witch. there are no pictures in the book except for the cover. I like books with covers to help the reader get the author's vision. This book is good for intermidate readers. It is too long and hard for beginners. I would recommend this book to kids who want to learn more about witch trials. However, I don't think it is completely realistic, which is why I didn't give it a 5 star rating. This was a chapter book which was also historical realistic fiction. The main idea was about standing up to power groups if you know what they are doing is wrong. ( )
  nhassa3 | Oct 1, 2014 |
There are two main reasons I liked reading this book. First, the book is written in an older form of English to reflect the time period of America in the 1600's, which immediately makes this book stand out. The writing in this story transports the reader back in time, making the story feel more realistic and believable to imagine. For example, the author uses phrases and words that are commonly not used today to set the scene such as, "Puritan", "tis", "thee", "thou", "praise be", and many more. Second, I appreciated the complexity of characters in book, especially the main character Kit Tyler, with diverse personalities that add conflict, emotion, and drama to the story. In particular, Kit personality drives the story through her expressive and deep thoughts as highlighted through the story. This is highlighted throughout the book, and especially during her initial shock to Puritan life in the beginning of the story, and once again when she protects Hannah Tupper and is excused of also being a witch herself. In these scenes in particular, the complexity of Kit's character is shown, furthering the reader's interest in her and the story. Overall, as told through these characters' development, this story displays the message of how one should not make judgements of others and that justice will find its way despite all odds. ( )
  StephanieGrim | Sep 18, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth George Speareprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hurt, Mary BethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On a morning in mid-April, 1687, the brigantine Dolphin left the open sea, sailed briskly across the Sound to the wide mouth of the Connecticut River and into Saybrook harbor.
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"Still dazed, Hannah accepted the miracle and the prospect of a journey like a docile child. Then after two shaky steps she turned obstinate. She would not set foot in the boat without her cat."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440995779, Mass Market Paperback)

Forced to leave her sunny Caribbean home for the bleak Connecticut Colony, Kit Tyler is filled with trepidation. As they sail up the river to Kit's new home, the teasing and moodiness of a young sailor named Nat doesn't help. Still, her unsinkable spirit soon bobs back up. What this spirited teenager doesn't count on, however, is how her aunt and uncle's stern Puritan community will view her. In the colonies of 1687, a girl who swims, wears silk and satin gowns, and talks back to her elders is not only headstrong, she is in grave danger of being regarded as a witch. When Kit befriends an old Quaker woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, it is more than the ascetics can take: soon Kit is defending her life. Who can she count on as she confronts these angry and suspicious townspeople?

A thoroughly exciting and rewarding Newbery Medal winner and ALA Notable Children's Book, Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond brings this frightening period of witch hysteria to life. Readers will wonder at the power of the mob mentality, and the need for communities in desperate times--even current times--to find a scapegoat. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In 1687, Kit Tyler moves from the Caribbean to Connecticut Colony. Her friendship for a strange, old woman leads to her trial for witchcraft.

(summary from another edition)

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