The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by Elizabeth George Speare
★★★★★
 
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.

10 comments:

abibliophilesstyle said...

I loved this one as a young teen. I recently picked up The Bronze Bow and The Sign of the Beaver, by the same author, at a library book sale for $0.25 each. :D
One benefit to reading this now is picking up on The Tempest reference - that's certainly not something I would've gotten when I read this book 20 years ago.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

This was one of my faves growing up. Kit is such a fantastic heroine!

Trish said...

Another one to add to my list of books for one day! I've heard of it but I haven't read it either.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

abibliophilesstyle - I loved The Tempest references and I'm such a fan of authors who don't dumb things down for a younger audience.

Kat - I wish I'd read it when I was young, but I still like it.

Trish - Maybe you could even save it until your daughters are older and then read it with them. That would be so fun!

Trish -

misfortuneofknowing said...

I remember loving this book as a kid. I think my English class read it in 5th grade. I can't wait until my kids read it!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

misfortuneofknowing - Fifth grade would be a perfect age for this!

Allison said...

I agree with you on every level - I read this a year or two ago for the first time and was so angry at myself for not having picked it up when I was younger!

Kelly said...

I read this one when I was in 3rd grade, and it has remained a favorite since then. I do think it's time for a reread though!!

Jeanne said...

I also missed this one when I was young, but I read it when looking for books with my kids, and all three of us liked it.
We were playing a game on a long car trip this weekend where we take a title and describe what would be in the YA book about it. This title is very much like some we were using (from signs along the road).

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Allison - I guess that just means we need to push it on young kids to read now!

Kelly - The books we read when we're young stay with us for so long!

Jeanne - Ha, I love that roadtrip idea!