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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  101,819 Ratings  ·  4,229 Reviews
Kit Tyler knew, as she gazed for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home would never be like the shimmering Caribbean islands she left behind. In the stern Puritan community of her relatives, she soon felt caged as well, and lonely. In the meadows, the only place where she could feel completely free, she meets another lone and myst ...more
Audiobook, 6 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Listening Library (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katy
Jan 29, 2016 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, and have therefore come to the conclusion that books written for children can be higher quality writing than books written for adults because there isn't this pressure to impress with heavy metaphor and poignant statements about life. When adults write for adults there is too much pressure, adults writing for children understand that it is the story and the characters that matter most, and if those two are well written then I think you have a deep, satisfying book.
Anne Osterlund
Sep 15, 2012 Anne Osterlund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kit, Katherine Tyler, is a free spirit. When her grandfather dies, she sells off his giant home in Barbados and sets sail to find her only remaining family in Connecticut colony. She weathers a storm, avoids seasickness, and even manages to wrangle two entire conversations out of the blue-eyed son of the ship’s captain.

However, the Connecticut mainland has a sharper edge than any of the challenges on board ship. How can Kit bear the insidious patience required to drop cornmeal in a bowl one pinc
...more
Kp
Feb 11, 2008 Kp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barnes&Noble.com says 9-12; I'll go ahead and add girl to that.
"Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
also wisdom and instruction and understanding"
-> Psalm 23:23

A wholly satisfying read (and respectable look at Puritan life)!

(I'm a 23 yr old [in college] guy, and->) Who knew I'd get so emotionally invested??

I certainly didn't.

There were several parts when I was legitimately frustrated, angry, and a little teary-eyed (to level with you...).

My favorite scenes were quite easily John's return home (the teary-eyes; c'mon-> I'm just trying to give you
...more
_inbetween_
Feb 15, 2008 _inbetween_ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A serious favourite from my formative youth, strange and harsh and nearly illicitly romantic so that I reread it, no matter how much Kit's predicament upset and scared me (mobs and trials and institutions are some of my worst fears).
Reading it quickly now - for the first time in English - many decades after first finding it in the small town library, I'm struck by how good a book it is. Many, amongst them the woman who "raised/formed" me as well as Narnia, crumble in retrospect, but there was a
...more
Sarah
So. I read this for the first time since 5th grade.

As a kid, the romance between Kit & Nat gave me great anxiety. I really wanted them to end up together. The idea that they might not was excruciating because it was SO OBVIOUS!!! that they were the OTP of this book...so when I picked it up again after so many years, I remembered little else about the story.

But as an adult, two things stand out: the relationship between Kit & her uncle Matthew, & the complete lack of sexual menace in
...more
Lucy
Feb 10, 2008 Lucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know this is a classic. A Newberry award winner for juvenile fiction, I can hardly criticize such a loved book. Sadly, I did not read this when it was meant to be read, as a youth struggling to know it's more important to do the right thing than to fit in with what everybody else is doing.

Important, worthy lesson, but after reading two young adult novels this week with very similar themes (does this happen to anyone else? I always seem to inadvertently read books in "themes"), I feel there is
...more
Corinne
This is a breathtaking book. It takes us to Puritan New England, in the colony of Connecticut. Sixteen year old Katherine (Kit) arrives in America after having been brought up by her grandfather in Barbados. Her liberal Shakespeare-reading, ocean-swimming, silk-dress wearing upbringing did nothing to prepare her for the inflexibility and piousness of her aunt’s family that takes her in. In fact, Kit’s free thinking and outspoken ways create suspicion and irrational fear.

Speare’s characters are f
...more
Rose
Nov 30, 2008 Rose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible book IMHO
Jan Rice
Aug 24, 2015 Jan Rice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jan by: Richard
Shelves: audio, history, fiction

Sticks and stones will break my bones,
but words will never hurt me....


Well, unless you happen to be in court being tried for witchcraft:

"You will listen to the charges against you."
A clerk read from a parchment, giving full weight and due to every awful word.
"________ _____, thou art here accused that not having the fear of God before thine eyes thou hast had familiarity with Satan the grand enemy of God and man, and that by his instigation and help thou hast in a preternatural way afflicted
...more
Diana
Mar 16, 2016 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pentru-recenzie
Primul lucru care m-a atras la această carte a fost coperta, desigur. Nu-i așa că este superbă? Să fiu sinceră nu mă așteptam ca povestea să îmi placă atât de mult, deși Simona îmi spusese că este faină. Ce să zic, am început anul excelent, cu cărți foarte bune. :D

Kit, protagonista noastră, este forțată să părăsească insula Barbados după moartea bunicului său și pornește într-o călătorie lungă pe corabia Delfinul pentru a ajunge la mătușa sa în colonia Connecticut, singura ei rudă rămasă în via
...more
Simona
Rating: 5+5



„Rar s-a mai întâmplat ca o carte să ne transporte în așa fel în viața din secolul al XVII-lea.“ - New York Herald-Tribune

„O carte remarcabilă, plină de energie și de empatie.“ - Bookmark



Nu știu cum se face dar în ultima perioadă am reușit să citesc multe cărți care mi-au plăcut. De această dată vă voi vorbi despre Vrăjitoarea de la Iazul Mierlei de Elizabeth George Speare, o carte care a apărut la YoungArt luna trecută. Încă de la primele pagini ale acestei cărți am simțit că voi i
...more
Leanna
Jun 06, 2008 Leanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been muddling through a few “serious” books for the last several days, so I finally picked up an old friend instead: Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

The book’s protagonist, sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler, leaves 17th-century Barbados to live with her aunt in Puritan New England. Not too surprisingly, Kit does not fit well in her new environment. She has been pampered and spoiled. She is a Royalist and an Anglican. She can swim.

Kit is not the ideal heroine for a 21st-centur
...more
Jessica
Sep 21, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12 And Up
Forced to leave her sunny Caribbean home for the bleak Connecticut Colony, Kit Tyler is filled with trepidation. As they sail up the river to Kit's new home, the teasing and moodiness of a young sailor named Nat doesn't help. Still, her unsinkable spirit soon bobs back up. What this spirited teenager doesn't count on, however, is how her aunt and uncle's stern Puritan community will view her. In the colonies of 1687, a girl who swims, wears silk and satin gowns, and talks back to her elders is n ...more
Amy Greenfield
Dec 09, 2012 Amy Greenfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beloved-books
A fish-out-of-water story that brought the seventeenth century alive for me.

What did I love about it when I was a teen? Its restless, stubborn, impulsive heroine, Kit. Its confident, outspoken, sea-faring hero, Nat. Steadfast Mercy and shy John — whose story still makes my heart beat a little faster. A historical setting so vivid that my real life paled beside it. And - sigh - one of the most romantic last scenes ever.

Re-reading it now, I can see that it was shaped by the time it was written i
...more
Minli
If you don't like this book, I don't want to hear it. I don't know how I missed it during my childhood, but I'm making up for it now.

Like Arthur Miller, Elizabeth George Speare wrote about witch hunts during the 1600s as a parallel to the Red Scare of the 1950s. A question bubbled up in my mind as I read this: is good historical fiction timeless?

Published in 1958, during a period not exactly known for its tolerance, The Witch of Blackbird Pond beautifully depicts Kit Tyler's year living in the c
...more
Kris
Sep 14, 2014 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterful. Unhurried and understated. Simple, yet deep enough for a young child to appreciate the first layer, while sensing something more... Beautifully done. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a good children's book.

I haven't read a children's book this deep in a long time. Every character had inner conflict and multiple layers... enough to keep the interaction new and spontaneous, their character traits growing, the plot diverse and unpredictable.

It was a breath of fresh air not to be
...more
CLM
In 1687, when 16-year-old Kit Tyler's grandfather dies and she is importuned by one of his debtors, she reluctantly leaves Barbados and sails for Connecticut to make a home with her previously unmet aunt Rachel. On board the Dolphin, she makes friends with the sea captain's son as well as a sober young minister also heading for Wethersfield. Unfortunately, Kit also makes an enemy in her future neighbor, Goodwife Cruff, who is suspicious of Kit's exotic background and impetuous spirit, and warns ...more
Hayes
Written in 1958. I have had this on my bookshelves for many years. I thought I would use it with a class, which never happened, so I never read the book. Finally got to it, thanks to the Mt. TBR challenge.

The political history was interesting and well done: the problems between the American Colonists (in Connecticut, specifically, in 1687) and King James and his governors, divided loyalties, the beginnings of the idea of Revolution. Certainly better than Johnny Tremain.

The idea of witchcraft wa
...more
Valerie
There was nothing WOW STUPENDOUS about this book. I like it well enough. The witch trial was my favorite part, but that was the highlight of the whole book for me. The plot was slow almost the whole time.

Kit was an okay heroine. She does what she thinks is right and stands by it but she didn't have much personality. Her spontaneousness wasn't that spontaneous. Kit was rich so she felt very degraded by all of the work she was told to do. That bothered me because she felt like only servants did th
...more
Flying Sandals
Feb 07, 2013 Flying Sandals rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Alrighty. . . . . WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ?


This book is an insult. It insulted me, the people who died because of the Salem Witch trials, and history in general.

REVIEW TO COME

EDIT:

Now, I was given this to read and learn about the witch trials. Being very excited, I cracked it opened and read it cover to back. I didn't enjoy it. It hurt me. Both physically and mentally.

Oh oh oh, where do we begin?

First off, is this a book trying to take on a serious topic such as the Salem trials or is it a
...more
Victoria
Jun 07, 2009 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite historical fictions...because it's not boring!

This is the way to travel back in time; follow Kit as she lands on the bleak shores of Connecticut during the Puritan times. Having grown up in Barbados with a loving grandfather, Kit is totally unprepared for the harsh, hard-working, god-fearing life of colonial America. Her new family; an aunt, uncle, and two cousins, have mixed feelings about the new addition to their household.

Kit finds solace with a old hermit woman named Han
...more
Ness Kingsley
Feb 19, 2016 Ness Kingsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My elder sister bought this for me when I was a youngling and I remember it very fondly - must re-read.
Nancy
I loved it as a child and I really loved this the second time around as an adult. I was surprised to find that the character that was Kit's mentor was a Quaker. I became a Quaker as an adult and am constantly surprised by the number of books that I loved in my childhood that had endearing Quaker characters. Characters that I wanted to emulate. Wonderfully researched look into life in colonial America. Good adventure and all of the romance turns out well. I read this for my book group and we had ...more
Marklessgirl
Jan 18, 2016 Marklessgirl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book all in one day and it was amazing! This book is crazy! And I am so happy with the end the other book that I read by this author that I read I still wanted so much more and I did not feel like the book was over but it was *sadness*. I like that this book does not really focus on just on thing/part it is about so many parts of the main girls life and who she loves and meets on her way of life. I got so mad at some of the characters and then there where times I was so happy with ch ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I got to read this book in 4th grade when the rest of the class was reading a book I had already read. My 4th grade teacher may have had a hidden motive knowing the background I was being raised in, but it definitely had an impact on me.

Someone randomly recommended this book to me so I thought I'd add it to my read list!
Morgan
Dec 08, 2015 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Recommended for: Ages 8 to Adult (or slightly younger as a read-aloud)

Rating: PG

This is another one of those books that my mom read to my sisters and me over lunch when we were young. It also became a family read-aloud several years later. The only other book I can think of that did this is Anne of Green Gables. I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond dearly even as a young child. I can remember stamping my foot and loudly declaring, "She's not a witch." It, with the same author's The Bronze Bow and
...more
Emily
Nov 07, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I finally got to read this. Elizabeth George's story was a wonderful peek into what life was like in New England in the 1600s. I absolutely adored the main character, Kit, and all the characters began to grow on me more and more as the book progressed.

This book was school-required reading, but I've wanted to read it for several years. I remember my fourth grade teacher had it in her classroom, but I veered away from it because of "The Witch" in the title. But rather than a story of
...more
Book Concierge
3.5***

Kit Taylor has had to leave her home in Barbados after her grandfather’s death, and has gone to live with her aunt and uncle in 1687 Connecticut. The Puritan community in which she finds herself is different from what she has known in her life; everything from the clothing, way of life, religious beliefs, loyalty to the King of England, even the weather, is totally foreign.

Kit is a lovely girl (though not the stunning beauty her cousin Judith is), and determined to make her way in this p
...more
Rachael Stein
Jun 15, 2012 Rachael Stein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"No, writing is not lonely. It is a profession crowded with life and sound and color. I feel privileged to have had a share in it." —Elizabeth George Speare*

A couple of chapters into The Witch of Blackbird Pond, I had to flip back to the copyright page and double check that it was actually published in 1958. That's just four years after The Wheel on the School, which, while it has some admirable qualities, can most kindly be described as quaint.

Witch, on the other hand, with its vivid, immediat
...more
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
I just read this for the first time since elementary school. It may as well have been the first time ever, because I remembered nothing about it. Quite frankly, I was blown away.

This is a terrific read - well-written, and it weaves historical events into the narrative seamlessly. The messages of friendship were sweet and the connections between the characters were realistic and affecting.

Something that surprised me was how central romantic intrigue was to the story. I'm starting to wonder if it'
...more
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7549
I was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1908. I have lived all my life in New England, and though I love to travel I can't imagine ever calling any other place on earth home. Since I can't remember a time when I didn't intend to write, it is hard to explain why I took so long getting around to it in earnest. But the years seemed to go by very quickly. In 1936 I married Alden Speare a ...more
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“What a pity every child couldn't learn to read under a willow tree...” 1293 likes
“All the way up the river she's been holding back somehow, waiting. Now you'll both have to wait. I'm not going to disappoint her, Kit. When I take you on board the Witch, it's going to be for keeps.” 71 likes
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