Here's a basic overview:
A few major themes in The Witch of Blackbird Pond include the political issues of the 17th century, religious differences from protestants and Quakers, how education differs from country to country ("What a pity every child couldn't learn to read under a willow tree..." -Kit, who learned in Barbados), judgement and how it affects culture... these are just a few of many elements. See? Didn't I say it was deep for a YA novel? ;)
If you're into history, you'll love the richly detailed depiction of day-to-day life in 17th century America. Even if you're not (like me) you will still definitely enjoy this Newberry Medal-winning classic.
“You are not a Puritan then?”
“Puritan? You mean a Roundhead? One of those traitors who murdered King Charles?”
On Justice and Politics:
“Justice! What do you young men know about rights and justice?The men who made this town understand justice. They knew better than to look for it in the King’s favor. The only rights worth all that toil and sacrifice are the rights of free men, free and equal under God to decide their own justice. You’ll learn. Mark my words, some day you’ll learn to your sorrow!”
"Since I can't remember a time when I didn't intend to write, it is hard to explain why I took so long getting around to it in earnest. But the years seemed to go by very quickly. In 1936 I married Alden Speare and came to Connecticut. Not till both children were in junior high did I find time at last to sit down quietly with a pencil and paper. One day I stumbled on a true story from New England history with a character who seemed to me an ideal heroine. Though I had my first historical novel almost by accident it soon proved to be an absorbing hobby." Elizabeth George Speare (1908-1994) won the 1959 Newbery Medal for THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, and the 1962 Newbery Medal for THE BRONZE BOW. She also received a Newbery Honor Award in 1983, and in 1989 she was presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her substantial and enduring contribution to children’s literature.
Rating(1-5): 5 stars
Content (1-10): 9 (mentions of harsh town punishments, arsenic, man hunts, intense trial scenes)
Age Level: 12-Adult (Yes, I have known many adults and older teens who still classify this as one of their favorites. Give it a try!)
You can buy it here for $5 and free shipping!
Let me know in the comments below your thoughts! Happy reading!