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Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William Mckinley, And Me, Elizabeth
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Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William Mckinley, And Me, Elizabeth

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  3,399 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She’s also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is...well, different. She’s read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says “please” or “thank you.” And she says she is a witch.

It’s not always easy being friends with a witch, but it’s never boring. At first an apprentice
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 1st 1971 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1967)
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Shelly Haskell I would say yes. It is written for 7 - 10 year olds. Some may be uncomfortable with Jennifer pretending to be a witch. From …moreI would say yes. It is written for 7 - 10 year olds. Some may be uncomfortable with Jennifer pretending to be a witch. From "Simply written to reflect the real world children live in every day, E.L. Konigsburg’s gentle story will appeal to young readers willing to make use of their imaginations. Similar to the writing style of Mary Pope Osborne's The Magic Tree House series, the reading level of this book is easily accessible to second graders with an average to above average reading level. The publisher recommends this book for ages 7-10, and I highly recommend it for that age range."(less)

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Oct 02, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I KNOW I read this book LAST YEAR and even wrote a review, but now all record of it is gone, gone, gone like the mastodon!
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth is a reading experience for me that would be akin to finding an old, well worn toy in the attic; I love to reread it, I think the story is wonderful (mostly because of memories), but this is not something that I would necessarily consider passing on immediately to a young reader-- mostly because of how well worn it is. The story suffers slightly from being a product of its generation. Images of children dressed as cigarette boxes for ...more
Shawn Thrasher
Aug 29, 2015 Shawn Thrasher rated it liked it
Elizabeth and Jennifer are two of the more well drawn and memorable best friends in children's literature in this well respected (if not quite beloved) classic. The fact that they are interracial friends probably meant a ton in 1967, although I don't recall thinking that was such a big deal twelve years later or so when I first read this (probably around 1980). Elizabeth, who narrates, is far snarkier and less shy than you would imagine; Jennifer is perfectly serious in a hilarious way. The book ...more
Joy Lee
Jan 15, 2016 Joy Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
중반에 엘리자베스와 제니퍼가 마녀 놀이를 나름 진지하게 하는 부분도 꽤 흥미로왔지만
힐러리 에즈라 라는 이름의 두꺼비가 등장하고
마지막에 맥베쓰와 제니퍼의 경고가 맞아 떨어지는 부분..은 정말 어린이책 답지 않은 듯
이야기의 아귀가 딱 맞아 떨어지는 느낌이었다.
멕베스가 어떤 이야기일지 예전에 읽어보고도 기억이 가물거려서
이 책을 읽으며 궁금해졌지만 마지막에 맥베쓰의 이야기 구조를 빌려온 제니퍼의 경고가 해석되어지는 부분이 되니 맥베쓰도 대충 그런 이야기였겠거니 하며 안떠오르는 기억을 대충 얼버무릴만 하게 되었다.
재미있었다^^... 흑인 여자 아이인 제니퍼와 키작은 백인 아이 엘리자베스가 친구가 된 설정도 마음에 들고...
이런 단짝 친구가 있으면 정말 많은 친구가 있는 누구도 부럽지 않을터^^...
옛날 생각이 날것만 같다...
하기야 요즘도 초등학생이 되는 꿈을 꾸긴 하니까^^...
어렸을 때 이책을 읽었으면 어땠을까 싶기도 하다..
그런데 맥베쓰와 제니퍼의 해석이 맞아떨어지는 것을 엘리자베
Mar 08, 2008 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was probably my favorite childhood book. I was thrilled to find a copy a few years ago at the thrift store. I remember giggling as I repeated the whole long name of the story to friends, telling them they HAD to read this book. Somehow the title seemed longer back then...
I read this in one sitting and it held my attention, but I was never particularly invested in the characters or the outcome of anything they were doing. I liked some of the interesting quirks the author came up with--the different scents in the air depending on if the factory nearby was making mint or butterscotch, the tricks Jennifer comes up with to get extra candy at Halloween, the redundancies and idiosyncrasies of Jennifer's writing style--but the friendship between Jennifer and Elizabeth f ...more
"Before you can be anything, you have to be yourself. That's the hardest thing to find." E L Konigsburg

Author/Illustrator: E L Konigsburg
First Published: 1967

The first book published by Konigsburg. It went on to receive a 1968 Newberry Honor Award. (The Newberry Medal (for "for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year") was first awarded in 1970/1971. The 1968 Awards were given in retrospect).

Not an author I had previously read, but from what I understand she i
Nov 14, 2009 Kate added it
Shelves: kidlit-ya
I don't know how I missed this book in childhood given that I loved others by E.L. Konigsburg (chief among them, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler). But no matter, I'm just glad to have discovered it now thanks to the recommendation of a friend (thanks Amy!). It's a marvelous book about not fitting in and friendship which I have no doubt speaks to the young readers for whom it was written, but it also has many layers for the adult reader to savor. Jennifer, the self-professed ...more
Nov 21, 2015 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one, on the other hand, is even smarter and lovelier than I remembered! Treat and a half.
Sep 02, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
I am so glad this showed up in my recommendations! I've been thinking - what was that book I read in third grade where that girl becomes friends with that witch and they try to come up with a potion that lets them fly? I'm pretty sure this is it. I loved this book. It was fun. Even when me and my friends decided to come up (unsuccessfully) with a potion that let us fly. From what I remember, there was some lesson to be learned at the end, but that escapes me. The odd girl and the flying ointment ...more
Have you ever read The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? Yeah, me neither. I had it READ TO ME, in the third grade, probably in 20 minutes increments once a week. It was the favorite part of the week for me. I was new in that school, and I couldn't believe a teacher would do that. Mrs. Kirschbaum. That is the best thing she ever did.
And that story has stayed with me. I heard about this book from a list of books related to Shakespeare, and I thought sure. I thought I recognized the au
I wanted to like this book. The title is pretty awesome, you've got to admit, and I loved From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The View from Saturday. But I just couldn't. Besides the whole "I'm a witch" bit, Jennifer is controlling and manipulative beyond belief. Far too much like the kids in Dandelion on My Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath to me. At least (view spoiler), bu ...more
Jul 07, 2016 Haeeun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book just like I loved all the other e. l. konisberg books I've read
(From the mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The View from Saturday).

When I was half way into the book, I realized that I had actually read this book in elementary school
in Korean (I didn't regognize the title because the title of the translated version was 'my friend is
a witch'). I remember I was also reading a book called 'little witch' (in the translated version) by a German writer. 'Little witch'
Apr 28, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I reread this for the first time in years after hearing of Konigsberg's passing. It's as good as I remember. I like it that the author leaves us in doubt for a long time as to whether or not Jennifer is really a witch. I also liked it that she was black and Elizabeth was white, and it didn't make a bit of difference in the story.
Some books are timeless-- this one, even with Koningsburg's charming style, is oddly locked in time.

And although it's a light story with a non-plot, from four decades away some things that were benign are a little troubling.

In an attempt at post racial colorblindness (hah!) the author mentions only once that Jennifer is black. But the awareness pervades the book with its non-acknowledgment. The narrator never critiques her own race and her friend's race... And although it seems well-meant, it'
Konigsburg's first published book - has its moments as she traces lonely Elizabeth's unusual friendship with Jennifer whose apprentice in witchcraft she becomes - loses momentum at some point and never recaptures it but has all the elements that Konigsburg will later pull together so beautifully in Mixed-Up Files
Feb 11, 2015 Tiffany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
See my full review here:

Elizabeth moves around a lot, so she's a little shy and a little uneasy about making friends, especially when some girls her age are two-faced like Cynthia. Then on Halloween Elizabeth meets Jennifer, a witch, a real witch, not just a Halloween witch. Jennifer takes Elizabeth on as an apprentice witch and the two girls start and unusual friendship centered around their practice as witches. While they attempt to make a flying potion
Feb 06, 2012 Alison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
One of my favorite authors. This one feels a little off-kilter, but maybe it's just the way that this girl friendship works. Zoe really liked this one, and maybe I'd like it more if I read it again. I like "The Mixed-up Files" and "The View From Saturday" WAY better.
Gabriel C.
Dec 02, 2015 Gabriel C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Basically lovely, especially in its appreciation of the unalloyed hatred the characters feel for Cynthia and its adults-free troublemaking. Classic Konigsburg style. Old-fashioned (pilgrims?). Beautiful Starship Troopers treatment of race---I kept squinting (confused! I'm sadly still too often incapable of imagining "the mother is the dentist") at the pictures until I got to the one giveaway...I winced at the watermelon, but I *hope* since it's contextualized it doesn't read as racialized.

Jun 08, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It, alongside Harriet the Spy, changed my third grade world. And the grades after that. Best EL Konigsberg book. Period.
Ann Moody
Dec 13, 2014 Ann Moody rated it really liked it
The resident 8-year old was immediately captivated by this tale, enjoyed as a bedtime read-aloud for a few nights. I'm going to have to affirm its status as a classic based on the reaction, which included nightly demands of "one more chapter!"

Really, I thought its pace and tone, less frantic than the newer stuff we get these days, would be a bit boring, but that was far from the case. I also wondered where this nutso title came from, but in typical E.L. style, all was revealed seamlessly throug
Jenny K
Aug 17, 2011 Jenny K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really sweet little book. Loved it when I was 9, got it for my 9-year-old, she loved it, too. Just reread it.
May 15, 2011 Harriet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a pretty good book. My mom finally got me to read it and I am sort of glad she did.
Jun 14, 2014 JoAnne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery
Elizabeth is new to town and wants a friend. She meets Jennifer on Halloween. They are both dressed as pilgrims but Jennifer's costume looks real. Elizabeth's is last year's costume. Jennifer tells Elizabeth that she is a witch. She wants Elizabeth to be her apprentice. Elizabeth wants a friend so she agrees and Jennifer starts giving her tasks. They meet at the library every Saturday. Through doing these tasks, Elizabeth sees amazing things. Something happens and the girls stop being friends. B ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Shannonmde rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2014
2 hours 25 minutes

Listening to this book on audio. Apparently there are illustrations that if I were reading this in print I would know that one of the girls in the book (Jennifer) is African American. The book was written in the 1960s and other reviews I've read suggest this may explain why Jennifer was a bit of a loner before Elizabeth moved to town and why Jennifer had such an odd way of making friends. She takes Elizabeth on as an apprentice witch and has tasks for her to complete as part of
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
One of my favorites as a kid.
My emotions concerning this book confuse me. I couldn't tell if Elizabeth's friendship with Jennifer was poisonous or not. It was never stated that it was, but come on, a friend who can make you eat raw onions for a week just because she told you you should is not a good friend to have. But it all ended happy. So I guess I was too much of a grownup to be able to get past that part of the story. Silly me. But I honestly don't think this was Konigsburg's best book. Everything I've read by her I ha ...more
This book was huge for me as a kid (my best friend and I wanted to be journeyman witches just like them!). As an adult, it's good story about friendship--particularly the challenge of balancing individual needs vs the desire to connect.

Both of the main characters are loners--imperfect and odd but sympathetic in different ways. Their witchcraft shenanigans are full of hilarious examples of the random crazy things kids think of. Both of them are committed to being different and don't want to be 'n
Picked this up purely because of the title, and I was not disappointed. It's a clever portrait of the relationship between two girls told with a strong and entertaining narrative voice. A fairly quick read that has impact. Totally get why this won a Newbery. Give this to your daughters. But wait! Because I do have a couple criticisms:

Even though I think this book was overall amazing and I stand by giving this to your daughters, I was slightly put off by some of the gender dynamics -- the "girl h
Jan 01, 2015 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-honor
I do like E.L. Konigsburg’s writing style, but the story line of this book wasn’t particularly gripping. Didn’t really pay attention to the story much, but there were plenty of fun little anecdotes thrown in to keep it entertaining.

“We got through two performances of the play. They seemed short. Like standing over a stove all day long cooking up some very elegant soup, adding hundreds of special ingredients, stirring and stirring, and then having everyone gulp it down in five minutes.”

“As usual
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Kongisburg won a second Newbery ...more
More about E.L. Konigsburg...

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“...just because I don't have on a silly black costume and carry a silly broom and wear a silly black hat, doesn't mean that I'm not a witch. I'm a witch all the time and not just on Halloween.” 10 likes
“I made myself a glass of chocolate milk using enough syrup for three normal glasses. I also made myself four peanut butter crackers. Then I walked out the living room door to our terrace. The trees were coming! New green was all over ... green so new that it was kissing yellow.” 6 likes
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