The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Book review by
Jennifer Docherty, Common Sense Media
The Witch of Blackbird Pond Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
1600s America springs to life for today's kids.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 29 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Villagers try to capture an old widow and set her house on fire. Accusations of witchcraft threaten the life of the main character.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that well-developed characters and an engrossing plot make this an enjoyable read. The story is dramatic and deals superficially with charges of witchcraft, as well as a budding romance between two characters, but there's nothing of real concern for young readers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAuts32 May 9, 2021

I Loved It!!

This book is definitely amongst my favorite books!
The storyline was very interesting, and I couldn’t put it down! The author really has an ability to captivate... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 10-year-old Written byKnapperFam November 30, 2019

a must read!

amazing book . This one is for more experienced readers because of the old fashioned language. Absolutely no cussing , nothing even close. The violent parts are... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySt. Dominic Lit 12 April 15, 2019

very boring !!

I would not recommend this book to any young child. It is very hard to keep up with what is happening in the book. I continuosly found myself getting very bore... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byElizabeth Cretchen January 22, 2019

DON'T try to read at all!!! Not a good seller either!!!

This book is really really really really really really really really disappointing. The plot is all messed up and confusing as ever. I read it in a langua... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this gripping historical page-turner, sixteen-year-old Kit must defend her life when she is accused of witchcraft in Puritan New England. After she is forced to leave her luxurious home in Barbados to live with her stern and dour Puritan Connecticut relatives, she finds herself facing execution. Author Speare brings seventeenth-century America to vibrant life for today's children.

Is it any good?

Well-developed characters and detailed descriptions of life within the town capture and sustain the reader's interest throughout the novel. Coming from a more permissive modern society, many readers will empathize with Kit's unsuccessful attempts to suppress her independent nature, and will find her failure to conform to such a restrictive society endearing. Speare addresses Kit's inner thoughts and emotions frequently throughout the novel, making her a believable and sympathetic character. Though some of the minor characters are stereotypical Puritans, the complex nature of many of the more prominent Puritan characters, particularly those within Kit's family, is gradually revealed.

Passages describing the daily life in a 17th century Puritan colony are particularly interesting. From required behavior in church and the punishments meted out to disobedient children, to the daily chores of the women of Kit's household, readers are given a glimpse of what life was like over 300 years ago. But as charges of witchcraft mount, the novel becomes a real page-turner, and many will find it hard to put down.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the historical realities of religious life in colonial America and might even enjoy researching the infamous Salem witch trials, which took place several years after the fictional events in this book. Why are the Puritans in the story so quick to level charges of witchcraft against those who share different values than they do? How is Kit's daily life in the colonies different than her lifestyle in Barbados? How is being a woman today different than being a woman in the 1600s?

Book details

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