Novel: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Author: Elizabeth George Speare
Target Audience: 10-12 years
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Year: 1958
Setting: Colony of Connecticut; 1687
A Favorite Quote: “When I take you on board the Witch, it’s going to be for keeps.”
My One Sentence Summary: When Kit’s grandfather dies, she leaves Barbados to join her aunt and uncle in New England, but the Puritanical customs of the colony are hard for her to navigate and she soon finds herself in trouble.
What I loved about this book: When I first read this novel in middle school, I was spellbound by the unique setting and the romance. I like the relationship between Kit and Nat. The novel was a fast read for me—Speare continuously builds tension and it seems that after each chapter the characters have more to lose, as things go from bad to worse. Yet there are tender relationships, moments of kindness and bravery, and a compelling storyline.
Major themes: Dangers of prejudice and fear-mongering; accepting those who are different from us; sacrificial nature of love and true friendship
Who should read this book: Readers who enjoy historical fiction and a touch of romance will enjoy the book. Some aspects of the book may feel dated to readers who prefer contemporary novels, but those who enjoy older books, meticulously researched settings, and a sweet love story will like The Witch of Blackbird Pond.