The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Written by Elizabeth Speare
Reviewed by Brynn M. (age 10)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond is about a girl named Kit who leaves her home in Barbados to go to Wethersfield, Connecticut, to stay with her aunt. She travels with a sailor named Nat on a ship called The Dolphin. 1600’s Colonial Connecticut is very different from her first home in the tropics, and Kit has to adjust to no longer being rich as well. Her first experience in America shows her just how different.
When she is returning from her first trip ashore in America, a child loses her doll. Kit jumps into the water and gets it for her. Everyone is shocked and horrified. Kit asks the little girl’s name and she says it is Prudence. Kit and Prudence become friends, even though Prudence’s mother doesn’t like Kit. Kit also becomes friends with another traveler on the ship, John Holbrook.
When Kit gets to her aunt’s house in Wethersfield she has to do a lot of menial labor, but she also gets two cousins to talk to. Their names are Judith and Mercy. Mercy has a disability and her legs do not work, but she is kind. Judith is pretty and vain. One day, Judith and Kit were working out in the fields, and Kit sees a house out by the pond. Kit asks who’s house it is and Judith tells her the witch Hannah Tupper lives there. Kit wants to visit, but Judith tells her not to.
For a while Kit helps Mercy with the Dame school, a school for young children, but she gets fired for doing plays with the students. She is very upset and goes to the meadow. Hannah is there. Hannah lets Kit into her house and gives her food. They talk and Kit says she will come back. Over time Kit and Hannah become friends. Kit’s friend Prudence (the girl from The Dolphin) begins to visit Kit and Hannah too.
Kit’s family does not want her to visit Hannah. Her Uncle Matthew forbids her to go back. People are suspicious of Hannah because she is different. She is a Quaker in a Puritan town. Like Kit, she doesn’t fit in. When a mysterious illness strikes the townspeople start talking about witchcraft, and Kit and Hannah are in danger. Read the book to find out what happens.
I liked this book because it was very interesting. There were some very unique things that happen with marriage and drama. This book is not like any other book I have ever read. This book is unique because it is in a different time period. There were a few characters I did not like, like Judith. I think Judith is rude and annoying. I like Mercy. She is really, really nice to everyone. When Kit is bad at doing her share of chores, Mercy is still very nice to her. Judith is kind of mean to Kit when she is bad at things.
I think that people ages 9 and up should read this book. I think they would like it because anyone younger would not understand the wording. I think readers who like big plot twists would like this book.