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Witch Child

(Witch Child #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  15,251 ratings  ·  1,169 reviews
The spellbinding diary of a teenage girl who escapes persecution as a witch--only to face new intolerance in a Puritan settlement.

Enter the world of young Mary Newbury, a world where simply being different can cost a person her life. Hidden until now in the pages of her diary, Mary's startling story begins in 1659, the year her beloved grandmother is hanged in the public s
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Candlewick Press (MA) (first published 2000)
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Hania its not to dark I read it when 12 or 13 and it was fine . it is defiantly a brilliant book.
Rebecca No, it's not. Though it is framed that way for the story, it's not an actual journal.

Community Reviews

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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,251 ratings  ·  1,169 reviews

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Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lyndz by: Moleking
The North American witch hunts of the 1600’s was a tumultuous and horrifying time in our history, particularly for women who were unable to conform to the norms of society.

Witch Child is a diary of sorts that starts out with Mary, recounting the horrific and humiliating witch trial that her beloved old grandmother had to endure before her public execution in England. It follows Mary as she makes her journey to the New World where she realized that things are not much different than they were in
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Magic, conflict, superstition, new world.

This is such a great book, and I've loved it for years. It's not a high-paced thriller and to be honest not much actually happens, but it is a great, pleasant read, and totally compelling.

I love the various settings and all of the conflict which comes with them.

This book flirts with fantasy but there's very little outright. It not in your face, it's subtle and quite tame. It comes across as very realistic and what magic is mentioned is rather vag
Feb 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Tina, Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Forsyth
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful historical novel for teenagers begins: ‘I am Mary. I am a witch.’ It is set in 1659, during the tumultuous months after Cromwell’s death and before the return of Charles II. Her story is purportedly told in diary entries that have been found sewn inside a quilt. It is a tragic and powerful tale, which begins when Mary’s grandmother is arrested and tortured by witch-finders and then hanged in the town square. Mary is rescued by a rich woman who she suspects may be her real mother, ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Witch Child is a really good story, one about how people fear what they don't understand. It's bad enough that the main character's grandmother was hanged after she was accused of being a witch, but now Mary has to keep her own magical powers a secret, lest she be sent to death herself.
Elise (TheBookishActress)
2.5 stars. A lot of potential and good writing style, but ultimately just another boring, archetypal historical fiction.

When I was in my preteen stage, I went through a historical fiction stage, and I read countless books about witch hunts. Almost all of them share some major traits: a main character who is a misfit, usually because she's particularly unreligious, and a boring beginning.

Unfortunately, this book doesn't break that mold. Rees breaks no boundaries with her sometimes-boring plotti
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was just as good as it was the first time I read it.
Apr 12, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes magical controversy
Witch Child, by Celia Rees explores a very contradictory issue that existed in America for a vast amount of time. The Salem Witch trials are studied in classes to this day, and the events that took place still haunt many people. This novel does not focus directly or bluntly state the events of the Salem Witch Trials, but is obviously focused in that central time period. The setting of this novel is essential in the plot, which is something I do not regularly see in other texts. This unique focus ...more
Tairique Robinson
Tairique Robinson

This book was one of the most boring books I evEr read in my life. From cover to cover a bunch of nonsense. It was like any other book you would find in a book store. This book should not ever be handed out again. Thats all i have to say.BORING!!
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone Over 11 Who Love Powerful Characters, Magic, And Historical Fiction You Can't Put Down!
“I am Mary. I am a witch.”

Witch Child tells the story of a girl named Mary, whose grandmother was hanged for being a witch. She had to leave, before the townspeople turned on her as well. And so she was taken away from the only home she’s know by a mysterious woman she’s never met, Mary is sent to America for her own safety. But life aboard a ship of Puritans heading to the New World is just as dangerous as it was back home in England – maybe more so. Can she keep her secret? Or will she be disc
NSAndrew Liebergen
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book to read this week. I don’t know why, it just was the story that engrossed me into the book. You all should read this book. It is kind of a cross between a documentary, thriller, and a love story. I believe our current students would extremely enjoy this book. With the popularity of vampires and Harry Potter, children will love the supernatural aspect of this book. Teachers will love the historical facts and situations interwoven into the story.
The main character Mary N
Eliza Brittni
Nov 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people intrested in history
Recommended to Eliza Brittni by: my mom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se avete una nipote, un nipote, un cugino, il figlio di amici di famiglia, la sorellina e volete regalare un libro, eccolo qua, servito su un piatto d'argento, 'Il viaggio della strega bambina'.
Semplice, ma non banale, ambientato nella America del 1600 invasa dai nuovi coloni puritani che, partendo giudicati dall'Inghilterra, arrivano nel Nuovo Mondo pronti a giudicare a loro volta, un nuovo mondo di indigeni, ma anche il loro stesso sangue, accusandolo di stregoneria.

Un libro sui pregiudizi, su
❧ Cristina ☙

"Witch Child had been on my shelf for over a year until I finally picked it up and decided to read it. It’s a story about a girl named Mary that is a witch and the book is written in the format of her secret diary. It’s set in the 17th century where women were burned or hanged without any trials for the most simple suspicions of them being witches." (...)

👉 Read more of my review on my blog post -
I don't think I was really in the mood for this. It's a fairly straightforward historical fiction, with a fairly standard frame story of a found diary type deal. It's very easy to read; definitely aimed at young adults, if not at kids. Probably that's part of it -- it was so easy there was nothing to hold onto. The set-up is interesting enough, and for what it is, it's well-written, but there wasn't enough substance for me.
Charlotte Jones
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the very mixed reviews on Goodreads, I found this book gripping, entertaining anda real page turner. Firstly, I was immediately drawn in by the cover. Usually I prefer books with illustrated covers, but I found that the photograph on this and the sepia tones really reflect the feel and atmostphere of the book.

With regards to the premise and the style of writing, this book contains diary entries written by Mary, the granddaughter of a witch, around 1659-1660. It is regarded as a children
Beth Bonini
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a particularly compelling example of historical fiction. So compelling, in fact,that I think my students may well ask, "Is this real?" I have to continually explain that good fiction SHOULD convince you that "it" (the characters, the emotions, the storyline) is "real," but sometimes they find that concept confusing. Well, author Celia Rees does a terrific job of making you feel like a historian/anthropologist who has just discovered an amazing find: the diary of a young colonial girl whi ...more
A Girl Has No Name
3.5 stars!

When her grandmother is accused for sorcery, Mary has to flee immediately. With the help of a mysterious woman, she is able to get on a boat that is leaving the continent for the New World. Living within a puritan settlement, Mary is however once again the target of hatred and persecution. Will her friends be able to protect her?

I have always been intersted in reading about the persecution of whiches and sorceres as one of the darkest chapters in human history and I remember that I e
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teen lit lovers
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted at a Phoenix used book shop
One of the things I was really looking forward to about this vacation is all the time in the car to read. Humph! I didn't bring a single book that I wanted to read. No kidding. At the time I packed, I was tired and I grabbed really light reading. When it came time to read, I really wanted a story, you know? Instead, I read all my magazines and bought more.

One of the things Jeffrey and I always do in a new city is go to the art museum and seek out good used bookstores. I found this one at Bards
Mia -
Mar 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
E' che mi son fatta delle domande e mi sono data delle risposte quando ho finito di leggerlo.

- L'ho finito!
- E ti è piaciuto?
- Mica tanto.
- E' scritto male?
- No, che c'entra, scritto male no, però ...
- Però?
- E' una scrittura un po' ridondante, capisco che ha a che fare con il periodo in cui è ambientato, metà del 1600 tra l'inghilterra e l'america, la caccia alle streghe, gli indiani, però ho fatto fatica.
- A te piacciono le streghe.
- Di brutto!
- Ma questo libro no?
- 'nsomma.
- Nemmeno un perso

Jessaca Willis
It’s strange to read a book about witches, where the main character is a witch, and to only ever see magic twice (one of those times being 90% through the book).

Witch Child is solidly in the historical genre, and only mildly in paranormal, so if you’re looking for a story about witches, this ain’t it.

The only reason someone would ever want to read the journal of a witch is if there was mention of witchcraft or some cool sorceries. Mary’s journal though, is mostly about her migration to America
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Stark
3.6279 stars

They did not want her drowning, because that would deprive the people of a hanging.

Witch Child is presented as a collection of found journal entries written by Mary Newbury between March 1659 and October 1660. Mary comes from a family of witches and therefore defines herself as a witch (even though she doesn’t really practice much). After Mary’s grandmother is hanged she must flee to avoid the same fate. She boards a ship to the New World where she hopes to leave behind her witchy
Un libro per ragazzi molto particolare, che, purtroppo, riesce a sopravvivere solo in parte alle aspettative che la trama così originale e differente crea, principalmente perché non si dimostra pienamente in grado di sviluppare in modo adatto tutti gli spunti narrativi che offre.
Le premesse, quelle del viaggio di crescita e delle avventure di una giovane strega in un epoca storica fatta di persecuzioni e superstizioni, sono estremamente interessanti, così come, durante il proseguire della narra
Susan Rose
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Plot: This is the story of Mary a British teenager living in the time of the restoration of the monarchy.After he grandmother is accuse of witchcraft who is sent to live in the American colony of Salem.

Favourite Quote: 'If I had any power, any at all, I would destroy them all, right here and now. I would turn them into mass of fornicating toads. I would turn them into leprous blind newts and set them to eat themselves. I would cover their bodies with suppurating plague sores. I would curse them
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it
I am Mary. I am a witch. This is the beginning of Mary Newbury journal in 1659. After watching the witch trial of her grandmother, Mary escapes the prejudice of England and sets sail for America. She joins unlikely companions, the puritans. We are aware that this is a dangerous decision, yet what other choice is there? Is she really a witch? Did she really live? These questions are for you to find out as you read her journal.
This story reads very much like a journal would. There is not a lot of
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fantasy

In città vivono nove streghe, tre vestite di lana, tre vestite di stracci, tre del miglior velluto...

Inghilterra, 1659. La giovane Mary assiste all'impiccagione per stregoneria della nonna Alice Nuttall. Subito dopo viene aiutata da una giovane e graziosa donna che organizza la sua partenza verso il Nuovo Mondo insieme a un gruppo di puritani in fuga dall'Inghilterra.

Non aspettatevi un libro fantasy o horror sulle streghe. La stregoneria di cui parla Celia Rees è quella reale, per cui
Initial reaction: 4.5. Damn close to a 5, actually. I may bump it up.

Here is a teaser from my review:
Witch Child takes the form of a diary written by Mary Nuttal (claiming to be Mary Newbury). After her grandmother is killed for supposedly being a witch, Mary is sent to America to assume a new identity and sever all ties with her past, ties which may get her killed. She takes up with a colony of Puritans traveling to the New World, and soon finds a place among them. But she also finds herself t
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

Although Mary never knew her parents, she lived happily in a cabin in the woods with her grandmother and pets. However, her grandmother was a healer, a trusted member of the community until only recently. Now, she's gone, and Mary is alone in the world, on the run from the witch hunters.

A mysterious benefactor comes to Mary's aid, telling her that she must set sail for the American colonies with a tight knit community of Puritans. Even though Mary
Panda Marie
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book greatly exceeded my expectations!
I was a tad bit worried that I was getting into a unrealistic young adult paranormal novel that was and filled to the brim with cheesy romance (not exactly my cup of tea.) That is not at all what this book is.
This book was so subtle when it comes to witchcraft. The subject didn't come into focus until you really got to know the characters, especially Mary. I found this to be a very nice touch as it made the story seem more realistic rather than over the
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Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children's literature, including some horror and fantasy books.

She was born in 1949 in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and teenage daughter. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics. After university, she taught English in Coventry secondary schools for seventeen years, dur

Other books in the series

Witch Child (2 books)
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