Now is the time when I express my distaste for a Newbery award-winning novel. Is that even allowed? Buh, I feel horrible even typing this post. However, I did promise you, my readers, that I would write about my experience reading the top 100 children’s books, and that is simply what I am doing.
Enter The Witch of Blackbird Pond and it’s main character, Kit. Kit has spent most of her life in Barbados (on Barbados?) with her grandfather, living the free and luxurious life. Her grandfather passes away and leaves Kit to fend for herself, so she heads off on a ship to Connecticut to, hopefully, take up residence with her aunt, uncle and their two daughters. Oh, and did I mention this takes place in the 1680’s?
When Kit arrives, she finds that her family is living in near-poverty and that her ideals and attitude are much different than theirs. She is instantly looked down upon and makes friends with the local “witch” secretly. Without giving any spoilers to the remainder of the novel, let me proceed with my thoughts on themes.
There were way too many themes in this book. The plot was great, introducing characters in a timely manner, revealing characters well and within the plot of the story, and keeping the main character true to herself. However, I was so confused by the end of the novel as to what the author was trying to emphasize. The fact that it takes place in colonial America and the main character is a wealthy white girl from Barbados? Enough for me already. Then there was the introduction of a witch hunt and outcast characters and politics and courtship and poverty. I couldn’t keep everything straight. This novel, while I do enjoy historical fiction, was not my cup of tea.
As I always ask on posts for books I do not enjoy, please, please comment with your positive ideas on this novel. I welcome your expertise and experience on this award-winning piece of work.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by Elizabeth George Speare
Originally published in 1958