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Witch Child by Celia Rees
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Witch Child (2000)

by Celia Rees

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Witch Child (1)

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1,917565,536 (3.73)70
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.
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English (52)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
After her grandmother is tortured and murdered as a witch, Mary Newbury escapes England disguised as a Pilgrim headed for the New World. She finds that her new companions can be just as rigid in their rules and narrow-mindedness, and she must watch herself and hide her abilities as best she can.
Written as a series of diary entries found in later years, this YA novel does a good job of giving a sense of urgency to the story; I found myself rooting for Mary from the first page and worrying for her safety in nearly every page thereafter. It also showcases the ridiculous amount of danger the simple fact of being a woman could place you in and the insanely various forms that danger could take, from childbirth to accusations of witchcraft for appearing to be too smart or too independent for your gender. ( )
  electrascaife | Apr 29, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rees, Celiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ehle, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, MonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mustain, WolfgangCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am Mary. I am a witch.
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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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Average: (3.73)
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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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