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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Children's favorites: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Speare, Elizabeth George- The Witch of Blackbird Pond

I bought this book from a Scholastic book order in middle school, thinking that it would be terrifying. It doesn't have the supernatural chills that I was expecting (story of my reading life), but it is very suspenseful. I still have my old paperback copy, well-worn from many readings.

Kit is a young woman from Barbados who was brought up by her wealthy grandfather on a plantation. When her grandfather dies, she is left with no home. She packs her things and goes to her aunt in New England, about as different a place as she could find. Her mother and aunt were sisters, but she doesn't know her aunt and just shows up on her doorstep asking for help.

Kit doesn't fit in at all, and Puritanical New England is not a good place to stand out in. She is used to living in luxury provided by enslaved people, which seems natural to her. Before her ship docks, she has already ruffled feathers, and she butts heads with her stern uncle right away.

Kit makes a friend of the "witch" of Blackbird Pond, a kind but outcast Quaker. The story of how Kit tries to get along in this alien world, a love story, and the progress of Kit's new family adjusting to her and her to them makes a fascinating story. There's some good suspense, too, but I won't spoil it.

I highly recommend this Newbery-winning book to any kids who enjoy historical fiction, from middle school age and up.

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