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The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth…

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

by Elizabeth Speare

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5,546125779 (4.06)167
Title:The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Authors:Elizabeth Speare
Info:Laurel Leaf Library/ Dell Publishing Co Inc (1978), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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


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You want a book about history, acceptance, diversity, 17th century travel, the colonies in New England? This book has all of those things and a wonderfully told story to top it all off. I can't imagine anyone reading without imagining all of the locations clearly in their mind or putting themselves into the middle of the events as they take place. It is just too easy to fall in love with this story.

As a traveler, I was especially drawn to the experiences of sailing to new places, meeting new people, and encountering the inevitable culture clash that comes from changing locations between great distances. Watching how the characters dealt with the changes that occurred because of these travels was really very inspiring in some ways. As an educator, I was relieved to see diversity in the 17th century handled in such a way that proved not everyone had blind hatred of what they didn't understand, yet even for those people the ending wasn't the perfectly happy storybook conclusion most books fall to. I can not sit here and claim that everything is historically accurate, since it isn't my area of expertise, but I can guarantee that it would be very hard for a young reader to resist being drawn into Katherine's world. ( )
  mirrani | Aug 10, 2014 |
This book took place in the mid 17th century when colonies were new in New England. People could just point their finger at you and you would be considered a witch. A young woman named Katherine also known as Kit comes from the Bahamas to live with her Uncle, Aunt, and Cousins. As shes there she becomes friends with a widow who lives in the swamps of Wethersfield. She learns new things and learns that its hard and strict as a life as a Puritan. People there consider lots of things Kit likes to do witchcraft. She has to go through a trial because she is considered a witch and comes to find that she is not guilty and that she lives in peace and harmony never having to worry again.
I liked this book a lot and I wish it was a movie. It made me feel like a Puritan back then doing work and hearing of a witch. It was foolish in my opinion for people just to claim another person is a witch for doing something different. I felt like I was Kit having to go through the hard trials of her being considered a witch. She really didn't belong there in Wethersfield and she should have stayed in the Barbados. She just wasn't the type to be a Puritan. I wish this was a movie so I could see the acting of how it would be. ( )
  MartinP.G3 | May 30, 2014 |
Just finished this (again) with my kids(boy12, boy9, and girl6). A wonderful look at Puritan society in CT in the late 1600's. I was surprised even my soon-to-be 13yo boy begged for more chapters at each reading. Compelling story, good plot twists, and satisfying ending. This book brought up some great discussions with my kids about why I teach them to work! As a mom, that's never a bad thing. This book makes a great family read aloud. ( )
  JenW1 | May 8, 2014 |
This young adult historical fiction novel is a well-loved favorite for many, but I somehow missed it when I was young. Kit is an orphaned girl who travels from her home in Barbados to Connecticut in 1687. She moves in with her aunt and uncle, but her strong-willed nature makes the adjustment to their Puritan way of life difficult. Her arrival brings her to New England in the midst of the Salem witch trials, when the slightest variation from normal meant you might be accused of being a witch.

Kit meets and befriends Hannah, an older woman who is outcast from the local society. She’s also being courted by the small community’s eligible bachelor and she gets to know Nat, the son of a local sailor. There is a great reference to Shakespeare's Tempest, which was awesome.

I loved this story and I badly wish I’d read this one when I was young. It’s the exact kind of book I thrived on when I was in about fourth grade. It reminds me so much of “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle,” one of my favorites at that age. It’s a wonderful blend of history and a great story.

BOTTOM LINE: A great story with pieces of history and life lessons tossed in for good measure. This one is definitely going on the shelf to be shared with others in the future. ( )
  bookworm12 | May 5, 2014 |
Kit, is a sixteen year old who has to defend her life because she was accused of witchcraft. Those in her community thought she was strange because of her different beliefs. She is forced to go live with her stern Puritan relatives in Connecticut. This book describes the 17th century daily life of a Puritan colony.

Personal Reaction:
A good read. It gave me a glimpse of what life was like over 300 years ago for Puritans. There are many details describing life in a New England Puritan colony.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Students will take turns reading aloud.
2. Create a character for your own colony. Include the name, government structure, and guidlines the colony has to live by.
  MissSuzieQ | Mar 25, 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.
"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)

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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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