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WITCH CHILD (original 2000; edition 2002)


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1,736564,078 (3.72)61
Info:Scholastic (2002), Paperback, 260 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:To Be Read--I Own

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Witch Child by Celia Rees (2000)


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English (52)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All (56)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
1659. A time of fear and persecution. Mary, granddaughter of a witch, keeps a diary. It begins: I am Mary. I am a witch…

She sees her grandmother hanged, is rescued by a stranger, takes ship for America and finds a place in a Puritan community there. All that befalls her, she records in her diary and as she writes, she stitches the pages inside a quilt for discovery would mean death.

For a young adult book this was very good. No patronizing "teenage girl" voice that you would find in "Twilight". I actually suggest getting a copy of the book on cd so you can hear the wonderful Jennifer Ehle (who played Elizabeth Bennett in the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice) reading the story.

It is a light read. It is a little stereotypical, but then again, doesn't history pretty much point out that the Puritans were a bit stodgy and afraid of just about anything that couldn't be explained by the local pastor?

There were times when I felt as if the story was being outright stolen from other "witch hunt/witch trial" stories out there - some teenage girls don't like another teenage girl and they all start acting crazy and blaming the other girl for it. "She comes to me with the Devil!" That part was a little disappointing. I've read that story already. I knew sooner or later that Mary would be considered a witch and probably hunted down by her townsfolk, but to have it almost exactly like many other stories? meh...

In the end, I thought the book on cd was entertaining, especially as I worked on boring data entry. Nothing too heavy but not too light either. Didn't draw my attention away too much from my work, but kept me interested and going.

A definite read!

( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
Really enjoyable, played to exactly what I wanted to read. An awesome girl unappreciated for her raw and terrifying power. And the cover is simple but awesome. She's a witch as her mother is, and the cool aspect of them versus the puritan world they live in... AND the entries were found stitched into a quilt? I think I need to re-read this one last time before I pass it along.
  knotbox | Jun 16, 2016 |
This was a great book to read. The writing really drew me into the story. It's written like a diary and I believe this was the perfect style to put across the idiocy and superstitious clap trap that prevailed during early colonial times. I found myself becoming frustrated reading the actions of the townspeople. It just seems so idiotic to revert to a backward style of living. Having read this I see similarities to today with fear and paranoia of different religions taking hold. Hopefully thing don't progress to the heights they did during the 1600's. I highly recommend reading this novel. ( )
  Arkrayder | Apr 23, 2016 |
Great tension and a great reader made up for the drab and simplistic characters and narrative. ( )
  LaPhenix | Nov 22, 2015 |
Ugh. It started decently enough - intriguing (though I hate the "this is real, I swear it is!" trope); however, it descended into yet another Salem witch trial derivative. So much so that some scenes appeared to come straight from The Crucible. Oh well... ( )
  benuathanasia | Nov 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Celia Reesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eriksson, MonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mustain, WolfgangCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am Mary. I am a witch.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When Mary sees her grandmother accused of witchcraft and hanged for the crime, she is silently hurried to safety by an unknown woman. The woman gives her tools to keep the record of her days - paper and ink. Mary is taken to a boat in Plymouth and from there sails to the New World where she hopes to make a new life among the pilgrims. But old superstitions die hard and soon Mary finds that she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity, and once more she faces important choices to ensure her survival. With a vividly evoked environment and characters skilfully and patiently drawn, this is a powerful literary achievement by Celia Rees that is utterly engrossing from start to finish.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763618292, Paperback)

During the witch hunts of the mid-1600s, many young Englishwomen died on the gallows, innocent victims of false or hysterical accusations of witchcraft. But what of those women who actually claimed the name "witch" as their own? In the pages of her secret journal, Mary Nuttall reveals what it is like to live in a climate of mistrust and piety in which differences are dangerous and rumors can kill, where she must hide her heritage as a healer and pagan. With a sure hand, she describes her beloved grandmother's trial and hanging as a witch, her own rescue by a mysterious noblewoman, and her eventual passage to the New World and the forest settlement of Beulah. There Mary falls under a curtain of suspicion when she willingly chooses to explore the dark woods shunned by the fearful colonists and makes friends with some of the spiritual native people. When several girls in the community begin to shriek and swoon, and the same minister who damned Mary's grandmother comes to search for signs of witchcraft, Mary is subjected to close and deadly scrutiny.

Breaking with most historical fiction about witchcraft (such as Elizabeth Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond), British author Celia Rees raises the stakes and the tension by placing a real witch at the center of her story. Witch Child is an engrossing, suspenseful novel that will cast a spell over both readers of historical fiction and fans of witchcraft series from Circle of Three to Sweep. --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

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In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

(summary from another edition)

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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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