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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

evaluări:
4.5/5 (140 evaluări)
Lungime:
233 pages
3 hours
Lansat:
Dec 1, 1958
ISBN:
9780547416397
Format:
Carte

Descriere

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newbery Medal for this portrayal of a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.

Lansat:
Dec 1, 1958
ISBN:
9780547416397
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

"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 and came to Connecticut. Not till both children were in junior high did I find time at last to sit down quietly with a pencil and paper. I turned naturally to the things which had filled my days and thoughts and began to write magazine articles about family living. Then one day I stumbled on a true story from New England history with a character who seemed to me an ideal heroine. Though I had my first historical novel almost by accident it soon proved to be an absorbing hobby." Elizabeth George Speare (1908-1994) won the 1959 Newbery Medal for THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, and the 1962 Newbery Medal for THE BRONZE BOW. She also received a Newbery Honor Award in 1983, and in 1989 she was presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her substantial and enduring contribution to children’s literature.

Legat de The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare

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Copyright © 1958 by Elizabeth George Speare

Copyright renewed © 1986 by Elizabeth George Speare

All rights reserved. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1958.

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to trade.permissions@hmhco.com or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

hmhbooks.com

The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:

PZ7.S7376 Wi FT MEADE

ISBN: 978-0-395-07114-4 hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-547-55029-9 paperback

eISBN 978-0-547-41639-7

v5.0320

Introduction

In 1958 I was in high school. Elvis was in the army in Germany, there was a new pope in Rome, and the so-called cold war against communist Russia was a bewildering and fearsome threat. These were the things on my mind in 1958. I didn’t notice that someone named Elizabeth George Speare had written a book called The Witch of Blackbird Pond—and that’s regrettable, for I likely would have read Kit Tyler’s story and said, as many millions did then and have since, It’s about me!

I was a bit of an outsider growing up, a reader and a loner, yearning to fit in but unwilling to shed my own fragile identity in order to do so. I could not see myself in the perky, fearless Nancy Drew or the wholesome, do-gooding Nan Bobbsey, or pretty and popular Sue Barton, student nurse. But Kit Tyler was like me, an ordinary girl, scared and lonely, stubborn and independent and a bit rebellious, trying to figure out a new world and make a place for herself in it. Yes, that was me.

In 1685 Kit Tyler comes from sunny Barbados to her aunt’s family in the Puritan town of Wethersfield, Connecticut, with its hard, cold, restrictive life. What Kit learns throughout the book is just what I needed to learn as a young person—the value of being yourself, fighting for what you believe in, taking care of those who need care, seeing the beauty in things that might ordinarily seem plain, building friendships and community, and the importance of hard work. In a year in the Connecticut colony, Kit matures from anger and resistance to appreciate what she found without losing what she had, so that at the end she has two places to call home.

Kit Tyler’s relatives and the rest of the people of Wetherfield are Puritans, English Protestants who left England in search of religious freedom but in their new land refused to extend that freedom to other faiths. Speare created many characters who embody the strength and dedication of the Puritans, but she did not shrink from illustrating as well the superstition, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness that led to the mob violence of the New England witch trials and troubles for Kit and the gentle Quaker Hannah Tupper.

Unfortunately, I didn’t discover The Witch of Blackbird Pond in 1958. I read it first in a children’s literature class as a twenty-something adult. But I grew up in the 1950s and lived through the suspicion and fear and the anti-communist hysteria. When I finally read the book, I realized that the same bigotry, intolerance, and damaging gossip that led to the early witch trials also informed the so-called witch hunts of the 1950s. The House Un-American Activities Committee and, later, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused many people of being communists or communist sympathizers. Although communism was not illegal, those named were placed on a blacklist and denied employment. Many lives were ruined during this shameful time in American history. We do not know how Elizabeth Speare felt about this witch hunt; we only know what she wrote, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond stands squarely against bigotry and intolerance and in favor of acceptance, justice, and respect.

I read the book as an adult, but in order to write this introduction, I wanted to know how those who came to the book as young women responded to the character and the themes. Did they see themselves in Kit? What did they find important or memorable about the book? So I asked some of them.

Some women loved it for its vivid, realistic picture of a Colonial New England beyond the romantic images of the Mayflower, Pocahontas, and the first Thanksgiving. Others remembered enjoying a literary crush on the fiery, vexatious seaman Nat Eaton. Cynthia Leitich Smith, a writer, identified with Kit’s love of reading and her courage. My daughter found the romance charming, the witch trial exciting, and the values her own, but said, For me that book is all about the image of that little cottage, filled with herbs and good smells and a cat and loved ones.

And countless young women cherished the story for the model it offered readers tired of books in which teen girls were, as my friend the Reverend Robbie Cranch put it, portrayed as deferential flirts or swooning idiots. Kit is neither an idiot nor a flirt. She is lonely and confused but is also brave, compassionate, determined, and resilient.

And that character was not only me. She was Alyce of The Midwife’s Apprentice. And Rodzina and Matilda Bone and Catherine and any of the girls I have written about. I found myself wondering how much of the Kit Tyler I encountered in my twenties stayed with me and reappeared thirty years later when I myself began to write.

Elizabeth Speare and I both wrote as children, but, busy with home and family and work, neither of us attempted a novel until we were nearly fifty. My first novel was Catherine, Called Birdy. Elizabeth Speare’s was Calico Captive, based on a diary of 1807 that told of the four-year Indian captivity of Susanna Johnson and her family. Speare fully intended, she said, to do something similar for her next book, this time set where she lived in Connecticut, but she found nothing that inspired her until she realized that people were waiting, not in the pages of a diary but in her own mind: There was a girl, she related in her Newbery acceptance speech, lonely and insecure, a child who needed friendship, a wise and gentle old woman, and two young men, one shy and uncertain, the other self-confident and merry.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond was awarded the Newbery Medal for 1959, the only time, according to the editor and literary critic Anita Silvey, that a book was chosen unanimously on the first ballot. It’s a marvel of a book. The writing is clear, the atmosphere is vivid and convincing, and the characters are well drawn and fully human. Speare wrote only four novels for children, for which she was awarded two Newbery Medals and a Newbery Honor. Were she a baseball player, she would have by far the highest batting average in the history of the sport.

Elizabeth Speare presents contradictions and dualities that make her as three-dimensional and real as the rest of us. Writing in conservative, conformist 1950s America, she nonetheless tackled themes of bigotry, gossip, intolerance, and guilt by association. A Sunday school teacher and author of a Newbery-winning book about Jesus, she wrote, too, of the downside of religious faith. A homebody dedicated to her family, she always said home came first, but her creation, Kit, is a spunky, determined, outspoken girl who follows her own path.

Elvis is dead, there is yet another new pope, and the cold war is long over. Elizabeth George Speare died in 1994, but Kit Tyler will live on, as long as girls look to find themselves—their ordinary, brave, compassionate, outspoken, independent selves—in a book. May they, like Kit Tyler, also find home.

Karen Cushman

Chapter 1

ON A MORNING in mid-April, 1687, the brigantine Dolphin left the open sea, sailed briskly across the Sound to the wide mouth of the Connecticut River and into Saybrook harbor. Kit Tyler had been on the forecastle deck since daybreak, standing close to the rail, staring hungrily at the first sight of land for five weeks.

There’s Connecticut Colony, a voice spoke in her ear. You’ve come a long way to see it.

She looked up, surprised and flattered. On the whole long voyage the captain’s son had spoken scarcely a dozen words to her. She had noticed him often, his thin wiry figure swinging easily hand over hand up the rigging, his sandy, sun-bleached head bent over a coil of rope. Nathaniel Eaton, first mate, but his mother called him Nat. Now, seeing him so close beside her, she was surprised that, for all he looked so slight, the top of her head barely reached his shoulder.

How does it look to you? he questioned.

Kit hesitated. She didn’t want to admit how disappointing she found this first glimpse of America. The bleak line of shore surrounding the gray harbor was a disheartening contrast to the shimmering green and white that fringed the turquoise bay of Barbados which was her home. The earthen wall of the fortification that faced the river was bare and ugly, and the houses beyond were no more than plain wooden boxes.

Is that Wethersfield? she inquired instead.

Oh, no, Wethersfield is some way up the river. This is the port of Saybrook. Home to us Eatons. There’s my father’s shipyard, just beyond the dock.

She could just make out the row of unimpressive shacks and the flash of raw new lumber. Her smile was admiring from pure relief. At least this grim place was not her destination, and surely the colony at Wethersfield would prove more inviting.

We’ve made good time this year, Nat went on. It’s been a fair passage, hasn’t it?

Oh, yes, she sparkled. Though I’m glad now ’tis over.

Aye, he agreed. I never know myself which is best, the setting out or the coming back to harbor. Ever been on a ship before?

Just the little pinnaces in the islands. I’ve sailed on those all my life.

He nodded. That’s where you learned to keep your balance.

So he had noticed! To her pride, she had proved to be a natural sailor. Certainly she had not spent the voyage groaning and retching like some of the passengers.

You’re not afraid of the wind and the salt, anyway. At least, you haven’t spent much time below.

Not if I could help it, she laughed. Did he think anyone would stay in that stuffy cabin by choice? Would she ever have had the courage to sail at all had she known, before she booked passage, that the sugar and molasses in the hold had been paid for by a load of Connecticut horses, and that all the winds of the Atlantic could never blow the ship clean of that unbearable stench? That’s what I minded most about the storm, she added, four days shut away down there with the deadlights up.

Were you scared?

Scared to death. Especially when the ship stood right on end, and the water leaked under the cabin door. But now I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. ’Twas the most exciting thing I ever knew.

His face lighted with admiration, but all for the ship. "She’s a stout one, the Dolphin, he said. She’s come through many a worse blow than that." His eyes dwelt fondly on the topsails.

What is happening? Kit asked, noting the sudden activity along the deck. Four husky sailors in blue jackets and bright kerchiefs had hurried forward to man the capstan bars. Captain Eaton, in his good blue coat, was shouting orders from the quarterdeck. Are we stopping here?

There are passengers to go ashore, Nat explained. And we need food and water for the trip upriver. But we’ve missed the tide, and the wind is blowing too hard from the west for us to make the landing. We’re going to anchor out here and take the longboat in to shore. That means I’d better look to the oars. He swung away, moving lightly and confidently; there was a bounce in his step that matched the laughter in his eyes.

With dismay, Kit saw the captain’s wife among the passengers preparing to disembark. Must she say goodbye so soon to Mistress Eaton? They had shared the bond of being the only two women aboard the Dolphin and the older woman had been sociable and kindly. Now, catching Kit’s eye, she came hurrying along the deck.

Are you leaving the ship. Mistress Eaton? Kit greeted her wistfully.

Aye, didn’t I tell you I’d be leaving you at Saybrook? But don’t look so sad, child. ’Tis not far to Wethersfield, and we’ll be meeting again.

"But I thought the Dolphin was your home!"

In the wintertime it is, when we sail to the West Indies. But I was born in Saybrook, and in the spring I get to hankering for my house and garden. Besides, I’d never let on to my husband, but the summer trips are tedious, just back and forth up and down the river. I stay at home and tend my vegetables and my spinning like a proper housewife. Then, come November, when he sails for Barbados again, I’m ready enough to go with him. ’Tis a good life, and one of the best things about it is coming home in the springtime.

Kit glanced again at the forbidding shore. She could see nothing about it to put such a twinkle of anticipation in anyone’s eye. Could there be some charm that was not visible from out here in the harbor? She spoke on a sudden impulse.

Would there be room in the boat for me to ride to shore with you? she begged. I know it’s silly, but there is America so close to me for the first time in my life—I can’t bear not to set my foot upon it!

What a child you are, Kit, smiled Mrs. Eaton. Sometimes ’tis hard to believe you are sixteen. She appealed to her husband. The captain scowled at the girl’s wind-reddened cheeks and shining eyes, and then shrugged consent. As Kit gathered her heavy skirts about her and clambered down the swaying rope ladder, the men in the longboat good-naturedly shoved their bundles closer to make room for her. Her spirits bobbed like the whitecaps in the harbor as the boat pulled away from the black hull of the Dolphin.

As the prow scraped the landing piles, Nat leaped ashore and caught the hawser. He reached to help his mother, then stretched a sure hand to swing Kit over the boat’s edge.

With a bound she was over the side and had set foot on America. She stood taking deep breaths of the salt, fish-tainted air, and looked about for someone to share her excitement. She was quite forgotten. A throng of men and boys on the wharf had noisily closed in on the three Eatons, and she could hear a busy catching up of the past months’ news. The other passengers had hurried along the wharf to the dirt road beyond. Only three shabbily-dressed women lingered near her, and because she could not contain her eagerness, Kit smiled and would have spoken, but she was abruptly repulsed by their sharply curious eyes. One hand moved guiltily to her tangled brown curls. She must look a sight! No gloves, no cover for her hair, and her face rough and red from weeks of salt wind. But how ill-mannered of them to stare so! She pulled up the hood of her scarlet cloak and turned away. Embarrassment was a new sensation for Kit. No one on the island had ever presumed to stare like that at Sir Francis Tyler’s granddaughter.

To make matters worse, America was behaving strangely underfoot. As she stepped forward, the wharf tilted upward, and she felt curiously lightheaded. Just in time a hand grasped her elbow.

Steady there! a voice warned. You haven’t got your land legs yet. Nat’s blue eyes laughed down at her.

It will wear off in a short time, his mother assured her. Katherine, dear, I do hate to let you go on alone. You’re sure your aunt will be waiting for you at Wethersfield? They say there’s a Goodwife Cruff going aboard, and I’ll tell her to keep an eye on you. With a quick clasp of Kit’s hand she was gone and Nat, shouldering her trunk in one easy motion, followed her along the narrow dirt road. Which one of those queer little boxlike houses did they call home? Kit wondered.

She turned to watch the sailors stowing provisions into the longboat. She already regretted this impulsive trip ashore. There was no welcome for her at this chill Saybrook landing. She was grateful when at last the captain assembled the return group and she could climb back into the longboat. Four new passengers were embarking for the trip up the river, a shabby, dour-looking man and wife and their scrawny little girl clutching a wooden toy, and a tall, angular young man with a pale narrow face and shoulder-length fair hair under a wide-brimmed black hat. Captain Eaton took his place aft without attempting any introduction. The men readied their oars. Then Nathaniel, coming back down the road on a run, slipped the rope from the mooring and as they pulled away from the wharf leaped nimbly to his place with the crew.

They were halfway across the harbor when a wail of anguish broke from the child. Before anyone could stop her the little girl had flung herself to her knees and teetered dangerously over the edge of the boat. Her mother leaned forward, grasped the woolen jumper and jerked her back, smacking her down with a sharp cuff.

Ma! The dolly’s gone! the child wailed. The dolly Grandpa made for me!

Kit could see the little wooden doll, its arms sticking stiffly into the air, bobbing helplessly in the water a few feet away.

Shame on you! the woman scolded. After the work he went to. All that fuss for a toy, and then the minute you get one you throw it away!

I was holding her up to see the ship! Please get her back. Ma! Please! I’ll never drop it again!

The toy was drifting farther and farther from the boat, like a useless twig in the current. No one in the boat made a move, or paid the slightest attention. Kit could not keep silent.

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  • (3/5)
    Ds and I found two specific examples, but now I cannot recall what they were to share them. They don't make a difference in the story, but a reader shouldn't take the story as factual either. The book is a good story for younger kids to sort of get an idea of what two lifestyles were like: Barbados compared to Connecticut. The laws trying to be changed by the English king and the "rebellion" of the colonists. My ds says it was a little "lovey dovey" and didn't care for that much.
    Kit's grandfather dies in debt and though an older man proposes to Kit, she'd rather face the unknown in a new world with her mother's sister's family, whom she's never met.
    On the voyage to America she is somewhat warned about the differences in Connecticut. She notices the obvious differences immediately; dress style, and what freedoms are allowed or not allowed. She thinks she's adapting well enough until her elderly Quaker friend is accused of being a witch and a witch hunt is on the way to her friend's house!
  • (5/5)
    It's dawned on me that there are probably some "classic" children's books that I haven't yet read, and while poring through the lists I stumbled upon this one which indeed, somehow, I missed.

    Loved it! It had everything I could possibly want in a book. Compelling plot, not too dark, not too light, great protagonist, especially well-drawn secondary characters (there are many, many of them, and they each had a distinctive personality--it was such a pleasure to read this book, when so many novels these days seem to differentiate their characters by name and quirk rather than actually render a rounded description).

    I was feeling high 4 stars through most of it, but burst into tears at the end so it gets kicked up to 5. Nicely done, book.

    (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).
  • (4/5)
    This book took place in the mid 17th century when colonies were new in New England. People could just point their finger at you and you would be considered a witch. A young woman named Katherine also known as Kit comes from the Bahamas to live with her Uncle, Aunt, and Cousins. As shes there she becomes friends with a widow who lives in the swamps of Wethersfield. She learns new things and learns that its hard and strict as a life as a Puritan. People there consider lots of things Kit likes to do witchcraft. She has to go through a trial because she is considered a witch and comes to find that she is not guilty and that she lives in peace and harmony never having to worry again.I liked this book a lot and I wish it was a movie. It made me feel like a Puritan back then doing work and hearing of a witch. It was foolish in my opinion for people just to claim another person is a witch for doing something different. I felt like I was Kit having to go through the hard trials of her being considered a witch. She really didn't belong there in Wethersfield and she should have stayed in the Barbados. She just wasn't the type to be a Puritan. I wish this was a movie so I could see the acting of how it would be.
  • (4/5)
    SUMMARY:From the shores of Barbados, to the harbors of Saybrook,and to Wetherfield, Connecticut, Katherine Tyler, better known as Kit, went in search of a new life.This historical fiction tells how she had escaped an unwanted marriage after her beloved grandfather died. She lied to ride the Dolphin, which was the boat traveling at that time, to go to live with her aunt and uncle Wood in the US. But when she arrived she discovered her uncle was not pleased about her surprised visit. However, her aunt Rachel and her cousins Mercy and Judith were pleased. Kit later discoverd that life was not a fairytale like she had imagined. She was given to perform household chores like all other women. Kit had no slaves at her beckoning call like in Barbados.Kit was also very stubborn and did the opposite of what she was told. She was forbidden to go down by the Blackbird pond because everyone believed the old lady living in the house was a witch. Kit soon discovered a true friend in the old lady when she defied her uncle and aunt by going there.The old lady was just very lonely since her husband died and was a Quaker. Quakers questioned the readings the Puritans read from the bible. So they were seen as outcasts. She also established that she had a natural good way with children when she taught at a grammar school where the hornbook was used and reading verses from the bible was the reading textbook.During her time she met a liitle girl named Prudence who deperately wanted to read. Prudence was labelled stupid by her parents and was never sent to school. She later proved he parents wrong when she read from the bible to defend Kit, who was in trouble for associating with the old lady, the towns people called a witch.Kit was also being pursued relentlessly or courted by a young man called William. She later told him how she felt because she had no real connection with him. He later discovered it was her cousin Judith who he really felt closer to. So they got married. She had also met her friends from the Dolphin, Nat and John. Nat was also very close to the old lady. John was inlove with her cousin Mercy, and proposed to her after he returned from the war. Kit also found out that the non stop aching in her stomach was as a result of her deep feelings for Nat. She also had missed Barbados. Nat bought his own boat and came looking for Kit, he asked her uncle for hands in marriage.The old lady had moved to another state to live with another older woman for comapny.PERSONAL:This story took place in 1687, so it was historical. Also making the story historical and fiction are the Quakers, slaves, the Dolphin boat use as a means of transporting people from one part of the world to another,the Puritans, reading the literally, the clothing worn and how the townspeople believed in witchcraft and the way they handled anyone who did.I enjoyed the story very much. It is age appropiate for grade six and above. They are in a period in their lives where they faceing some of the similar problems the teenagers are facing from the story.CLASSROOM:There will be a discussion about how rumors can affect or have affected students lives . What do they do when these rumors surface.The teacher will place studenst in groups and present them with magazines about celebrities and they will try to differentiate between what is true or not. Do they believe that they are entitled to a normal life?
  • (5/5)
    Genre; This book is a historical fiction. This story was about a girl who goes to America and is eventually accused of being a witch. In the end she makes a desperate escape to save her life. This makes this a historical fiction story because everything within it is entire possible. There were many people who were accused of being a witch in the area during this time period. Since everything within the story is entirely possible within the time period this story is a historical fiction story.Age: Middle School/Upper IntermediateUse: 1. Use as a lead in to a history study of this time period. 2. When talking about the Salem Witch trials use this to help students understand the time period/eventsMedia: None it is print.
  • (5/5)
    A beautiful story of early life in New England. Coming of age, as a female in the late 1700 century. Kit was born in Barbados, where she is raised by her grandfather. After his death she sails to Wethersfield, Connecticut to live with her mothers sister and her family, who are Puritans. There she learns many things about life and finding herself and her place in it.
  • (5/5)
    Just finished this (again) with my kids(boy12, boy9, and girl6). A wonderful look at Puritan society in CT in the late 1600's. I was surprised even my soon-to-be 13yo boy begged for more chapters at each reading. Compelling story, good plot twists, and satisfying ending. This book brought up some great discussions with my kids about why I teach them to work! As a mom, that's never a bad thing. This book makes a great family read aloud.
  • (4/5)
    On my daughter's school reading list, I picked this up and really enjoyed. Quick read. Now it is a favorite.
  • (5/5)
    This was a quick read for me, but a very good book. I can't believe that I never read this when I was younger because it's just the type of book that I have always enjoyed. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.
  • (4/5)
    Genre: Historical FictionReview: The author stayed true to the genre of historical fiction by having the setting and several of the characters in the story based off of actual events. While Kit Tyler is fictious, the house where she lived and many of the people in the town of Wethersfield are from actual facts.Character: Kit Tyler is a round dynamic character. The story begins with us learning about her past and how her grandfather passed aways and she must now go to live with her aunt and uncle. She does not tell them she is coming. After she arrives in Wethersfield, things only get worse for her, after a time she becomes more used to her surrounds and responsibilities, but she still fights the notion that Hannah is a witch. This leads to great conflict within herself to decide what she thinks. In the end, she listens to her heart and helps save Hannah before the townspeople can hurt her.Media: Acrylic
  • (5/5)
    You want a book about history, acceptance, diversity, 17th century travel, the colonies in New England? This book has all of those things and a wonderfully told story to top it all off. I can't imagine anyone reading without imagining all of the locations clearly in their mind or putting themselves into the middle of the events as they take place. It is just too easy to fall in love with this story.As a traveler, I was especially drawn to the experiences of sailing to new places, meeting new people, and encountering the inevitable culture clash that comes from changing locations between great distances. Watching how the characters dealt with the changes that occurred because of these travels was really very inspiring in some ways. As an educator, I was relieved to see diversity in the 17th century handled in such a way that proved not everyone had blind hatred of what they didn't understand, yet even for those people the ending wasn't the perfectly happy storybook conclusion most books fall to. I can not sit here and claim that everything is historically accurate, since it isn't my area of expertise, but I can guarantee that it would be very hard for a young reader to resist being drawn into Katherine's world.
  • (4/5)
    I read this when I was a child, and I still love it.
  • (3/5)
    Katherine Tyler (Kit) is a 16 year old who lives in Conneticut in the 1600's. After a series of events, the townspeople begin to believe Kit is a witch. She swam, because she is originally from Barbados, and people find then perculiar. She acts out a scene from the bible and the town doesn't like that either. They come for her in the middle of the night, but a friend testifies for her and the town soon realizes she is not a witch. there are no pictures in the book except for the cover. I like books with covers to help the reader get the author's vision. This book is good for intermidate readers. It is too long and hard for beginners. I would recommend this book to kids who want to learn more about witch trials. However, I don't think it is completely realistic, which is why I didn't give it a 5 star rating. This was a chapter book which was also historical realistic fiction. The main idea was about standing up to power groups if you know what they are doing is wrong.
  • (3/5)
    This is about the third time I've read this book, but the first time giving a review. My rating is based upon this reading. I loved this book as a child and it always held special memories for me. I read it aloud about 17 years ago to one of my sons and I enjoyed it well that time also. It makes for a fine read-aloud and I got caught up in my listener's enthusiasm. This time though, reading independently as an adult I found the story somewhat slow, more of a romance than I had remembered, with a quiet plot yet extremely well-written and an easy read with flowing language. Despite the title, the book does not take place in Salem nor have a genuine plot about the Puritan witch trials. However, the fear of being thought a witch is always present in the background of the story and this is brought to a climax in one chapter close to the end. But also running through the book are themes of politics, especially the British annexing of Connecticut to Massachusetts and Connecticut's desperate plight to hide their Charter until they could rise again and fight those in England who wished to rule them from afar. Finally, the main plot centres around an outsider, her difficulties with fitting in, and most importantly the triangular love affair between 3 girls and 3 men who learn along with some painful moments, who each really loves and who is whose soul mate. A sweet, slow-moving, yet captivating historical fiction.
  • (5/5)
    Classics, Historical Fiction, suspense, witchcraft, drama, Interest Level: Grade 6, GLE: 6.9, 1958.Kit Tyler is torn between being herself and fitting into her new surroundings in Colonial Connecticut. She has recently moved from Barbados and experiences resentment and hostility from the other villagers. When she befriends a villager that is accused of witchcraft, she must choose between her conscious and fitting into her new life.
  • (4/5)
    I won't review this classic story, a Newbery Medal winner from 1958, only the book itself. I read a "Bound to Stay Bound" version of the book, and while these books are specially bound to withstand hard usage, I found that on a small book such as this, the firm binding makes the book very difficult to read. Having to force the pages open to read the text nearest the interior margins was very unsatisfying. (The story of course, was excellent.)
  • (5/5)
    Witch of Blackbird Pond - 978-0547550299A coming of age book about a young orphaned girl. Kit's world changes as she moves from Barbados to Connecticut in the mid 1600's, from a society that was kind, fun-loving and warm to one that was brutally cold - both in temperature and in relationships and harsh (this was time where witches were blamed and burned for any misfortunes). Brilliantly plotted and filled with remarkable and memorable characters.
  • (4/5)
    This is a Newberry Award Winner book that is about a young girl named Kit trying to fit in with the Puritan way of life. Kit is from Barbados and leaves to live with her Aunt Rachel and her family. When she arrives she comes with bright colors and trunks of cloths. She has to immediattly switch into a perfiect Puritan girl. The bad thing is that she is already been accused as a witch because she can swim. There is also a wealthy young man that likes here. She mights another person called Hannah Tupper that is also called a witch. They have to get through the wicth hunt together. This is a Newberry Honer book that everyone has to read. I normally don't like the 1600's and 1700's time for books but this one surprised me. I liked how if one person says one thing about another person it is true because they are a good Puritan person. I also like how kit finds out about snow. My favorite character was Nat Eaton because he can get mad and he can be nice. This is a very interesting book and I like how Elizabeth George Speare takes the time to make sure all the history is correct. This is a very good book that I am happy that I read.
  • (4/5)
    Re-read after *mumblemumble* years. I found that I'd retained almost nothing about this book, so it was just like reading it for the first time. The thing that struck me most forcefully is how entirely human, real, and well-rounded all of the characters (with the possible exception of Goodwife Cruff) were. The story was lovely, if a bit too pat, and the illustrations were beautiful.
  • (5/5)
    This was my favourite book between third grade and sixth grade. I can't even describe what makes it so special but rereading it always brings me pleasure!
  • (5/5)
    Media: NoneGenre: Historical FictionReview: This book is a great example of a historical fiction novel because it combines both history and fiction. The story of Kit and what she went through is completely fictional however, the history of accusing people of witchcraft and the puritan lifestyle is accurately portrayed. Because of where Kit grew up she is automatically an outcast but when she decides to befriend Hannah Tupper the entire town turns on her accusing her of witchcraft.
  • (3/5)
    I hadn't read this book as a child and I only read it now because it was in a box of books I bought. It was a good quick read, although very obvious as to how things would turn out and who would end up marrying who by story's end. Maybe if I had read it as a child, it wouldn't have been as apparent. But then, as a child, I would have wanted a book filled with more adventure and action. Probably a good book for a pre-teen. I gave it to my niece when I was done with it - I'm curious to see if she reads it and if she likes it. Ultimately for me, even though it was predictable, it was enjoyable in a quiet, comfortable way that I think too few contemporary books seem to be.
  • (5/5)
    The book The witch of black bird pond, is about a girl named Kit who is forced to live with her aunt in the Connecticut colonies. Kit's parents died when she was a child in the book. So she went to live with her grand father Sir Charles in Barbados. When he passed, Kit was forced to marry a fifty year old man so she left to america. Kits aunt was puritan and during 1694 the witch trials were happening. and get got stuck right in the middle. This book is a good book it has an interesting story line. You will be stuck guessing whats going to happen next. I like this book because it doesn't stray away from the story. It has really good exciting moments during the book.
  • (5/5)
    Genre: Historical fictionReview: This book is historical fiction because there are numerous occasions where true information is given about the Salem witch trials and the beginning of the United States. However, because this is not a true biography the story is then a historical fiction book. The author did a great job of creating a story that was easy to follow and based on historical events.Media: Watercolor, pencil
  • (4/5)
    There are two main reasons I liked reading this book. First, the book is written in an older form of English to reflect the time period of America in the 1600's, which immediately makes this book stand out. The writing in this story transports the reader back in time, making the story feel more realistic and believable to imagine. For example, the author uses phrases and words that are commonly not used today to set the scene such as, "Puritan", "tis", "thee", "thou", "praise be", and many more. Second, I appreciated the complexity of characters in book, especially the main character Kit Tyler, with diverse personalities that add conflict, emotion, and drama to the story. In particular, Kit personality drives the story through her expressive and deep thoughts as highlighted through the story. This is highlighted throughout the book, and especially during her initial shock to Puritan life in the beginning of the story, and once again when she protects Hannah Tupper and is excused of also being a witch herself. In these scenes in particular, the complexity of Kit's character is shown, furthering the reader's interest in her and the story. Overall, as told through these characters' development, this story displays the message of how one should not make judgements of others and that justice will find its way despite all odds.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent! One of my favorite classics. This book seems so real; the characters are intricately woven into the story to create a tale to remember. The ethereal qualities are mixed with the shockingly realistic truths of the time period and I've always felt like it was a great classic to introduce at a fairly young age and re-introduce several times throughout the life span. There are new things to learn and understand during different times in your life.
  • (4/5)
    A beautiful story with interesting characters.
  • (4/5)
    One of my favorite books as a child. I still enjoy the story and reading about facing challenges and how to overcome.
  • (4/5)
    This book probably began my lifelong infatuation with historical fiction.
  • (5/5)
    Kit traveld from Barbados to come to New England. Her parents died when she was young and her grandpa lost all his money. He decided to live with her aunt. When she got there Aunt Rachel, Uncle Matthew, Mercy, and Judith were all shocked. Her arrival was unexpected. She learned that she was not going to fit in to this new enviornment. Soon after a few sadining events, she goes to the meadows and meats "Witch" Hannah Tupper.I was really reluctaint to reading this book. I thought that this book was silly and that only girls would want to read it. My teacher made the whole class read it. I soon realized that i really enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to drama fans. This book shows who dogmatic Americans can be. It shows their real charcater.