Ahoy there me mateys! While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read. In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder! And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends. So I decided to remedy that in this here year and thus created this category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .
the witch of blackbird pond – Elizabeth George Spears
This being Banned Books Week and having just finished a historical fiction about witchcraft in England, I thought it be high time to read the beloved favorite. I reread this in one delightful sitting.
This book is a young adult historical fiction about a girl named Katherine, i.e. Kit, who is forced to leave her home in Barbados and move to Connecticut to live with her Aunt and Uncle. She goes from a care-free rich island lifestyle to a hard-working Puritan one in America. It is a tale about growing up, change, and family. And it has witchcraft. Or better yet it doesn’t.
The two people accused of witchcraft in the book are not witches. However this book has been banned because of promoting witchcraft and violence. Huh? What is shown instead are the consequences of gossiping, fear, and ignorance. The book dispels the notions of witchcraft using proper proof. Instead the book promotes hard work, good relationships, and education. I find the idea of banning this book to be ludicrous.
The book certainly stood up to the passage of time and I found meself happily rediscovering old details that had been clouded over. Kit is strong, intelligent, and above all changes for the better. The other characters are equally well drawn and compelling. I love that Kit is challenged over her ideas of politics, religion, slavery, and class. It is still fast paced and engrossing. The love and friendships and bonds formed by Kit and her family and neighbors made me happy. I also think credit goes to this novel for teaching me to call kittens “tiny balls of fluff.” I believe that it completely deserved winning the Newbery Medal of Honor.
If ye haven’t read this one then hoist those sails and get moving!
The back of me very old copy of the novel has this to say:
Kit Tyler knew, as she gazed for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home would never be like the shimmering Caribbean islands she left behind. She was like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world. And in the stern Puritan community of her relatives, she soon felt caged as well, and lonely. In the meadows, the only place where she could feel completely free, she meets another lone and mysterious figure, the old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. But when their friendship is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft!
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