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

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,865 ratings  ·  211 reviews
Elizabeth is the loneliest only child in the whole US of A until she discovers Jennifer. Of course, Jennifer isn't a friend, really. Witches don't make friends, and Jennifer is a witch. Elizabeth becomes her apprentice, however, and in the process of learning how to become a witch herself, she also learns how to eat raw eggs, how to cast short spells, and how to get along ...more
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 http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/pr... "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)

Community Reviews

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Melki
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!
Chris
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
Swankivy
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
Shawn Thrasher
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
Kate
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
Sara
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
Lynn
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.
Jeffrey
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
Tiffany
See my full review here: http://misstiffreads.blogspot.com/201...

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
...more
Christy
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...
Alison
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.
Tena
I remember loving this book as a kid, so I wanted to reread it. As I read it, though, it just made me sad. It's a book about a lonely, angry little girl desperate for a friend, so desperate that she'll even tolerate a person who is not very nice to her just so she'll have someone. I realized that the year I read this book about 5 times was my 5th grade year, when I had to move to another town in the middle of the school year. It brought back so many sad, lonely feelings from that low, low time i ...more
Emily
It, alongside Harriet the Spy, changed my third grade world. And the grades after that. Best EL Konigsberg book. Period.
Ann Moody
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
...more
Jenny K
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.
Harriet
It was a pretty good book. My mom finally got me to read it and I am sort of glad she did.
JoAnne
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
Shannonmde
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
...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
One of my favorites as a kid.
Lauren
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
Jill
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
...more
Julie Decker
Elizabeth strikes up an odd, somewhat cordial relationship with weird local girl Jennifer, who wears an ancient-looking Pilgrim costume to school on Halloween and claims to be a witch. Soon Elizabeth is taking witch lessons from Jennifer, as an apprentice to the master, and is frequently required to give Jennifer specified foods while obeying seemingly arbitrary rules even when Jennifer isn't watching (e.g., don't use the phone, don't cut your hair, etc.). Jennifer continues to test and push Eli ...more
Emma
I think this was one of my top five books from childhood (let's say the period 5-12 years) and I read hundreds if not thousands of books. I used to prop my book up next to my cereal bowl and read through breakfast. I read while I walked home from school. I read in bed, in cars, basically if I wasn't playing with my best friend, I was reading. So it's high praise.

I ADORED this book. It was read to us by my wonderful fourth-grade teacher Trish Cregan and I must have read it myself another five tim
...more
Liz Cee
I first read this book when I was about ten and it was one of my favorites. I decided to reread it to see if it was as good as I remembered. After all, some things do not stand the test of time (like hula hoops, plaid bag pants and "Laugh-In").

JHMWM&ME is better than I remembered.

Elizabeth is ten years old and new to the community. She doesn't have any friends in her school or her apartment building and she is stuck wearing all the hand-me-downs previously owned by her cousins.

On the way to
...more
Senecacat
I was not crazy about this book. In this story, Elizabeth has moved to a new home and a new school. She has trouble fitting in with the already established social structure of her fifth grade class. She has a nemesis, Cynthia, who will be familiar to anyone who has ever been to school. Elizabeth finally meets an odd girl named Jennifer, who chooses to befriend Elizabeth.

There were charming moments, in which Jennifer puts Cynthia in her place while supporting Elizabeth. But there were also times
...more
Ann Carpenter
I quite liked this book, which won a 1968 Newbery Honor, more so than the winner that year - which was also by the extremely talented and apparently very quick writer E.L. Konigsburg. I realize I'm probably very much in the minority, but I've never liked From the Mixed Up Files. It's been a number of years since I've read that one, so I'm not sure how they compare in being distinguished literature, but this one was, for me personally, more fun to read.

I would have realized it was from the sixti
...more
Teresa Gibson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miah D
E.L. Konigsburg's (Atheneum, 1971) funny novel of two lonely girls receives an update in this narration by Carol J. Stewart. Stewart's soothing voice brings the story to life without belittling typical schoolgirl dilemmas. Elizabeth is new in town and having trouble making friends. When she meets Jennifer, things take a turn for the better. Jennifer claims to be a witch and she recruits Elizabeth as her apprentice. The girls communicate through notes and secret messages, which always appeal to t ...more
Kay
I really like E. L. Konigsburg. I like her writing style. I like her ability to create children characters that help you remember what it was like to be a child. I really like her books. This is the story of two “misfit” girls who find each other and eventually learn how to relate normally to one another and become friends. It’s an interesting journey getting there. Both of the main characters use anti-social defense mechanisms to cope with their harsh social world. Through their friendship, the ...more
Theo kids
This one had up's and down's, and I may have been judging it rather harshly, subconsciously expecting the brilliance of Mixed Up Files, but I did like it overall.

The up's included the fun of discovering a new friend, a quite unusual and unique (albeit rather controlling) friend who arrived when the title character needed her most. I loved the insight into childhood dynamics that Konigsburg has a firm grasp on, and the cleverness with which she sets up the story line. It always comes full circle,
...more
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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...
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler The View from Saturday Silent to the Bone The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver

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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.” 7 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.” 4 likes
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