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Witch of Blackbird Pond

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  112,650 Ratings  ·  4,782 Reviews
After her grandfather's death Kit leaves Barbados for New England. She is shocked by the gray, damp landscape and the Puritanical lifestyle of her uncle's household. Fitting in is not easy, and her only friend is believed to be a witch. Kit must choose: either abandon Hannah, or stand by her and risk losing everything.
Boasting a stunning new cover and an introduction by N
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published January 10th 2011 by Perfection Learning (first published 1958)
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Feb 21, 2008 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.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barnes& 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
Anne Osterlund
Apr 17, 2009 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
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, history

"She snatched at the dream that had comforted her for so long. It was faded and thin, like a letter too often read."

A search of identity, belonging, friendship, and breaking social class boundaries, this book is uncharacteristically deep for young adult novels. Not only is the time period historically accurate, but Elizabeth George Spear incorporates easy to read, yet distinct and complex, accents. From the Quaker 'witch', to the Barbados
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Mac
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 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
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
Feb 07, 2008 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
Andrei Bădică
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unul dintre cele mai frumoase romane pe care le-am citit vreodată!
This is my 9th Newbery Medal book and maybe the best so far. Well written with good characters, especially Kit Tyler, the young lady who is the heroine of the novel. There is a bit of a history lesson here also since the setting is 1687 in Wethersfield of the Connecticut Colony where the heavy handed Puritan's are dispensing their brand of religion and law. You can get an idea of the plot from the book description, but it plays out on the pages so well with such a strong, young female character ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible book IMHO
Jan Rice
Aug 22, 2015 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
Now I recall why I wasn't a huge fan of his book while I was a kid. Between the main character lamenting every single moment that she's being worked like a slave and the Puritans sounding scarily familiar about people being evil if they don't worship as they do, I was over this book almost as soon as I started it.

Taking place in 1687, we get a sneak peek at the colonies prior to the American revolution. The main character Kit who has lived in Barbados her whole life with her grandfather as her o
Amy Greenfield
Sep 06, 2012 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
Katherine Arden
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book got me into historical fiction which is the genre perhaps closest to my heart. The conflict between freedom and responsibility, between individual and family and community ring as clear today as they did when I first read this book as a kid
Re-read 3.22.17
I've read this book easily over 20, maybe 30, times yet it still remains one of my all-time favorites.

Re-read 2013

I was around 11 years old the first time Mom read The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare out loud to us. That was a good year for read-out-louds. We were studying American history, and that meant Johnny Tremain, Carry On Mr Bowditch, Sign of the Beaver, and Calico Bush. My favorite, though, the book I picked up and read and re-rea
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
Jun 06, 2008 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
May 23, 2014 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
Sep 20, 2007 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
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
Jul 18, 2013 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
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
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
Jan 18, 2016 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
Flying Sandals
Feb 07, 2013 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.



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
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
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
Amanda Tero
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years I thought this book was actually about a witch so avoided it--I was corrected on that assumption about ten years ago, but it's still taken me this long to get to reading it. It is a very historically-accurate story of Puritans and their over-dramatized beliefs concerning those who were different than them. The "witch" was just an old Quaker woman, and nothing of witchcraft was in this book (just rumors and suppositions, none of which were true).

Now that I've mentioned that (for curious
Rachael Stein
Jun 12, 2012 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
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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...” 1300 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.” 77 likes
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