Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth” as Want to Read:
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  3,584 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic Jennifer, Hecatate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth.

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.”
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1967)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Popular Answered Questions

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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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!
Apr 18, 2017 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This was a Newbery Honor book in the late 60's and had an interesting premise so I was excited to read this book reads like it was written in the late 60's and just hasn't aged well.
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
Joy Lee
Dec 21, 2015 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
I never read this as a child, but really enjoyed this story of two misfit girls who practice witchcraft in New York. Their secret friendship empowers them in unexpected ways and the author tells a good story, as always.
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'
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
Sep 02, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 28, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jenny K
Aug 15, 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.
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
One of my favorites as a kid.
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.
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.
May 28, 2017 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Konigsburg's books are hit and miss for me. This one is a bit of a miss. I like the picture it paints of two little girls becoming friends, but it's definitely set in a world that is hard to recognize unless you grew up before the 1990's. I don't know how kids today would receive it.
Jun 11, 2017 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A bit dated. Interesting story.
Kris Irvin
May 31, 2017 Kris Irvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Very quick read. I didn't like the ending very much because it felt awfully abrupt, but the rest of the story was cute. Great for young girls, especially those who are "weird". (Like I was!)
Mar 14, 2017 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth and Jennifer start up a friendship on the basis of Elizabeth becoming an apprentice witch.

I remember being fascinated by this book when I was a kid. Such a great friendship story.
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
Amy Rosenkoetter
I remembered reading this as a child, so I thought I'd give my childhood a quick rerun. As I was reading, I found a number of things I remembered and many I'd forgotten, including the ending, which was very satisfying.

On her way to school after lunch one day, fifth-grader Elizabeth chances upon Jennifer, a new classmate, sitting in a tree. She pushes Jennifer's falling-off shoe back onto her foot and a mysterious friendship is born. Jennifer, a self-proclaimed witch, holds a mystique for the ver
I read this as a child and loved it. Rereading, I still enjoyed it but it does seem a bit dated now. Konigsburg's writing is still outstanding and her characterizations are well done. There isn't really anything wasted in the text as she explores a girl hungry for a friend while also not wanting to be one with the crowd.
Jul 05, 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'
Jun 29, 2014 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

Despite the title which implies a cast of thousands, this story revolves around the intense relationship betweent two fifth-grade girls, both seeking to be Needed. Black Jennifer is a loner of a character, while white Elizabeth is new to the neighborhood. The author refers to Hecate, the head witch in MACBETH, which may stimulate some discussion of Shakespeare's plays.

On Halloween day Elizabeth is walking through a park, when she spies an old-fashoined shoe dangling from a tree
Jun 10, 2012 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because it had earned a Newbery Honor, and was written by the same author who wrote From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a Newbery winner. The book was written in the 1960s, so there are some elements that are outdated, but a good story is a good story, and this one has passed the test of time.
This is a middle-grade book told from the point of view of Elizabeth, an only child who is new to her apartment, awkward, and short. She meets a girl named Jennifer
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Avion My Uncle Flew
  • Belling The Tiger
  • Shadrach
  • The Planet of Junior Brown
  • The Windy Hill
  • Black Fox of Lorne
  • Like Jake and Me
  • Downright Dencey
  • Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time
  • Sugaring Time
  • All Alone
  • Journey Outside
  • The Witches of Worm
  • When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories
  • Thistle and Thyme: Tales and Legends from Scotland
  • Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens
  • Annie and the Old One
  • Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America
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...

Share This Book

“...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
More quotes…