Review of “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”

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For several years now I have heard people mention The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Not being someone who is into books about witches, I never really paid much attention to anything that was said about it.

Until I was reading through a book about all the ‘best’ books, and it had a synopsis of the book. I was immediately interested in the book! So the next time I dropped by my local library to pick up my stack of held books, I asked the librarian if they had a copy. They did, so I checked it out and carried it home, eager to start it!

“I am Katherine Tyler.”

The book was an easy read, since it was written for children, but I found it was an extremely interesting story. Set in 1687, it follows sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler from her arrival in Connecticut from Barbados, through the ups and downs of her intriguing and complex relationships with her Uncle Matthew, Aunt Rachel, cousins Judith and Mercy, the Widow Tupper, and Nat Eaton.

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At the beginning of the story, we meet a very selfish, self-centered, and proud Kit, who arrives in Connecticut very naive and spoiled, and we watch as the story unfolds, and Kit grows up over the course of a year, working hard, making difficult decisions, and begins to care about others.

“But someone ought to help her.”

One of the changes we see in Kit is her boldness in helping the Widow Tupper, a Quaker and outcast of the community, and Prudence, a neglected and lonely little girl. While Kit’s heart was not always right in giving help, and her methods were not the most honest, she was exemplifying James 1:27, by practicing true religion by going “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction”. While not proposing that the ends justify the means, I do think what we see in Kit is a flawed protagonist struggling to do the right thing.

“There is no escape if love is not there.”

Overall, I found The Witch of Blackbird Pond to be a very well written, powerful, coming-of-age story about a girl struggling to do what is right. Parents should be warned that the potentially offensive (for some) topic of Halloween is discussed. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading it again! I would give the book an “A”.

Have you read the book? If so, what are your thoughts?

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