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

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,384 ratings  ·  181 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 appren...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1967)
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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
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
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
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
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.
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
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...
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.
It, alongside Harriet the Spy, changed my third grade world. And the grades after that. Best EL Konigsberg book. Period.
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.
It was a pretty good book. My mom finally got me to read it and I am sort of glad she did.
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
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
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
"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...more
I really love some of E.L. Konigsburg's books, but this one was really not my favorite...starting with the title. I'm still not sure what the title has to do with the book at all. The story, although possibly intended to be endearing, is more about bullying. It is about a "new girl" who really wants a friend, but doesn't quite fit in, so she makes friends with a girl who claims to be a witch. The witch girl gives the new girl all sorts of orders about what she can and cannot do, eat and not eat,...more
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...more

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...more
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...more
Joan Innes
I enjoyed seeing Jennifer and Elizabeth's friendship mature and grow through various stages. It is definitely a tale of childhood and adolescent friendships where we would put eachother through various tests, creating secret codes, language and knowledge that would keep our childhood world in a place apart from the adult worlds. The view through this window into adolescent friendships show the challenges of establishing a sense of self amongst parents, teachers, school and all of their establish...more
Sage and I read this and I really enjoyed it. It is a quick, short read, but it has been my experience that Konigburg always has something of value to say. My favorite points in this book were her references to Macbeth and the Witches. Is security really mortals' downfall? Perhaps she is right. Everything good that has ever come to me has been though some sort of risk. (Perhaps leap of faith is a better term...) Anyway, Sage and I are going to read Macbeth and see what we decide. Is Macbeth too...more
Ron Christiansen
A strangely enchanting, maybe even subversive novel. What I like is what we do not know until late in the book or, in some cases, not at all. This technique works to focus readers completely on the young girl's point of view. This book is about children. It is a bit claustrophobic at times, but in a good way: it helped me remember how desperate it is to be a lonely child.

Elizabeth's voice comes through brilliantly, "It didn't take me long to discover that what Cynthia was, was not perfect. The...more
Apr 13, 2009 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Kids in 4-6 grade
This is a sweetly written book that I suppose, at its heart, is about social dominance. About how when children get together there is often an inequality in behavior, in withholding knowledge, in self-assurance, and how that inequality leads to a relationship in which one of the parties is dominant. But that relationship must evolve, as the less dominant person becomes more confident, more knowledgeable, more self-assured . . . and it leads to a crisis. The relationship will either evolve into s...more
About the development of the friendship between the new girl and a very smart and confident loner; both very interesting personalities. The story moves along slowly and what I perceived as aspects of theme were subtle. I wonder how widespread enjoyment of this story would be as it took a while to sink in.

This was a very different kind of story from other young childrens' books that I've read. Not as much fun as the recently read Anastasia Krupnik. The interest it held seemed more a curiosity abo...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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.” 6 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.” 2 likes
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