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The Witch of Blackbird Pond
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Archive YA/Children Group Read > 2017 October The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Your Host is ❀✿ Gem ✿❀


message 2: by Gem (new)

Gem  | 159 comments Good morning everyone, happy October! I'm really excited about this month's book, I've been wanting to read it for a long time. I've downloaded a digital copy and will begin reading it today. Who's in?


message 3: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Good Morning ❀✿ Gem ✿❀!
I am going to be a bit behind. I just found a book to order and it should be here by the end of the week, I hope!

I have been wanting to read this for a very long time. I think you might have brought it up quite a while ago and has intrigued me since!


message 4: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8743 comments Mod
I will be reading it in the second half of the month-closer to Hallowe'en.


Tracey (traceyrb) | 1360 comments I will be reading it along with my daughter and have just ordered a copy from the library.


message 6: by Gem (new)

Gem  | 159 comments Since I've read ahead, I'll keep my comments to a minimum until you all start reading, I don't want to give anything away. I've completed the first two chapters and think our protagonist is going to have some serious adjusting to do. She lived on the island of Barbados on the plantation of her wealthy grandfather, she has traveled to Barbados to the Connecticut colony alone to live with her aunt. She is discovering all kinds of things that are very different from the life she knew.


message 7: by Manybooks (new) - added it

Manybooks | 472 comments I read this years ago and will have to reread before posting either a review or a more substantial comment.

But first and foremost, this to me has always been a novel that shows how education was feared, that Kit knowing how to read (that Kit knowing how to swim) was seen as a danger to the puritanical as education means questioning and criticism.


message 8: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Well I must say I managed to get through Chapter 1 completely last night before I fell asleep. Chapter 2 not sure where I was or what it was about, so Chapter 1 it is!

I felt a little deprived not starting out in Barbados, but on the ship. Kit decides America is nothing to look at on the approach. She decides to ride in with the others that are porting and feels awful for a child who is being chastised for her doll falling overboard and no one would help so she jumps in the freezing water to retrieve the doll. She is called daft and maybe a witch as they are the only ones that float!


message 9: by Gem (new)

Gem  | 159 comments Lesle wrote: "Well I must say I managed to get through Chapter 1 completely last night before I fell asleep. Chapter 2 not sure where I was or what it was about, so Chapter 1 it is!

I felt a little deprived not..."


That swimming bit made me laugh, as a southern gal from Florida I can't fathom swimming or not being a test for anything. Between the beaches, lakes, rivers, and swimming pools most folks born in Florida know how to swim as soon as or before they learn to walk.


message 10: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
❀✿ Gem ✿❀ that is how Kit reacted (I thought) was surprised that others did not know how!

I managed a few pages at lunch time.

It is taking forever to go up river and I did not realize that the wind would cause such a huge affect, to help them along on the journey.


message 11: by Cleo (last edited Oct 09, 2017 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 23 comments Lesle wrote: "I felt a little deprived not starting out in Barbados, but on the ship...."

I know what you mean. Much of the main focus is the antagonism Kit experiences when she comes in conflict with perceptions and ideas which are different from hers and how she handles them. It would have been nice to experience her life before the colony and how she came to develop as a person.

I read this book a long time ago but I have a review on my children's blog and remember it quite vividly so I can jump into the discuss here and there.


message 12: by Manybooks (last edited Oct 09, 2017 03:57PM) (new) - added it

Manybooks | 472 comments ❀✿ Gem ✿❀ wrote: "Lesle wrote: "Well I must say I managed to get through Chapter 1 completely last night before I fell asleep. Chapter 2 not sure where I was or what it was about, so Chapter 1 it is!

I felt a littl..."


The swimming bit made me a bit flabbergasted when I first read the novel as a teenager in Calgary Alberta (my parents taught all three of us to swim when we were still very young in Germany), but when I went to university in New Brunswick, I was actually rather surprised how many of my fellow residence mates from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI actually did not know how to swim (and how many of their parents, even if they fished for a living, also did not know how to swim). But then again, the cold waters of the Northern Atlantic (both in New England where the novel is set and in the Maritime provinces of Canada, are a lot less swimmable, and a lot colder even in summer than the Caribbean Sea and the the Gulf of Mexico.


message 13: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Cleo wrote:I know what you mean. Much of the main focus is the antagonism Kit experiences when she comes in conflict ..."

Cleo exactly!


message 14: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
I took the cover off today and look what I found. The title word "Witch" is punched out!

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message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8743 comments Mod
That is very interesting.


message 16: by Tracey (last edited Oct 14, 2017 12:13AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tracey (traceyrb) | 1360 comments I have finished the book. The part about not swimming is not so weird to me as I can barely swim. I come from England and was never taught but made sure my kids did take lessons.
I found at times the narrative was not the author's strong point. Description of the environment was much better and I enjoyed the passages describing the Great Meadow, New England in winter and what Kit missed of Barbados. Also, some of the characters were fairly well done. Mercy, John, and Nat were my favourites.
The descriptive passages of the Great Meadow made me think of my homeland (I am now in Canada) where I was able to wander through meadows that gave me the same feelings that Kit had; peace, contentment, joy, and security.


message 17: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Just learned the real reason Kit leaves Barbados, I do not blame her!


message 18: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Oct 15, 2017 12:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Uncle Matthew is a very disagreeable person towards ones that shows loyalty to the King.

Kit found the Bible boring until she had heard the Proverbs and the beauty of the verses.

On their way to the Onion Fields Judith and Kit pass a Meadow which reminds Kit of Barbados. There is a little house, the supposed witch Tupper lives there with her cats.


message 19: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
After being let go from the school, Kit is heartbroken and runs off into the Meadow and Hannah becomes friends with Kit. Hannah is a Quaker.
Kit makes a second chance happen for her and Mercy.
Kit discovers Hannah has another friend in Nat. He help brings her goods and helps chops wood and such.

Uncle Matthew forbids Kit seeing Hannah again.
The political debate begins and Uncle Matthew is in the mix of it all. Thanksgiving does not happen since the Governor wishes it not to be.

Kit thinks she should consider marrying Nat as a way to leave her Uncles home and be happier.


Tracey (traceyrb) | 1360 comments Lesle wrote: "After being let go from the school, Kit is heartbroken and runs off into the Meadow and Hannah becomes friends with Kit. Hannah is a Quaker.
Kit makes a second chance happen for her and Mercy.
Kit ..."


I think this idea Kit has of Nat is an interesting point in the story. Whether she does or doesn't marry him, I think it is a realistic point in the story. In life, do we not sometimes almost stumble on things that are a way forward yet really deep down we knew this already? Almost like we have to be pushed to choose something and it takes a crisis to make us move into change.


message 21: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: Almost like we have to be pushed to choose something and it takes a crisis to make us move into change.


I think she needs this choice to be more herself. We will see...


message 22: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lesle | 5376 comments Mod
The is an illness about and Judith has become ill too. A mob shows up at Matthews home and he protest against them coming. They blame the 3 deaths from the illness on the widow (witch) Hannah.
Matthew calls it nonsense and the will of God. A woman in the group calls Kit out as a witch as well, for her spending time with Hannah. He banishes them from his home.
The set Hannah's home on fire. Hannah is saved by Nat, but while defending Hannah to her Uncle and claiming she is her friend the Cruffs decide Kit needs to be jailed as she is also a witch and is placed in a shed. Kit comes before the magistrate.

Is Kit charged? Does her desire to return to Barbados come true? A double wedding? Nat's new ship the Witch? and is it for keeps?


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