Have you heard of The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Newberry Medal winner? No actual witches found within its pages? If not, then this post is allll about convincing you to read this slim, near-perfect novel. If you have read Witch and are as in love with it as I am, then you can read this post and nod in agreement. (Or comment any dissenting opinions below. I’m flexible.)
REASON #1 – IT’S NOT ‘JUST A KID’S BOOK’
Sure, The Witch of Blackbird Pond might be categorized as a ‘children’s classic’, but it’s really for everyone. The main character, Kit, is sixteen when the book starts out, but she’s surrounded by plenty of adults and older teens (and, yes, a few children–one in particular). There are arguments about politics, mature relationships, high stakes, and so much more to keep adults of any age entertained. Plus, it’s simply a good story, well told. Very well told.
REASON #2 – THE CHARACTERS FEEL REAL
Puritans have become a horror movie staple, even a cliché, I feel (at least the niche of horror films set in Salem :P). Well, you’ll find no clichés in The Witch of Blackbird Pond! The characters (most of them) are Puritans, but each one is their own fully-realized person. You have a wife scared of anything that might disrupt the tranquility of her home. One daughter who is saintly (think Beth from Little Women), but still believable. Another daughter who longs for riches and finery, but who also works hard in the fields and is fine with the Puritan traditions surrounding her. And the main character! Kit is a wonderful heroine in that she’s very likable, but also has her flaws and makes mistakes. #realistic
And I haven’t even talked about the male characters! There are plenty and each is a complex, well-rounded individuals in their own right. Read this book for the characters, if nothing else.
REASON #3 – THERE ARE TWO SHIPPABLE COUPLES
M’kay, so I know that a lot of people adore Nat. And there are aspects of his character that are GREAT. But I also found he was a bit more rude to Kit than he had any right to be (not that people generally have a right to be rude, but you get what I mean). I do like them as a couple though (and, yes, Nat as an individual). But the other romance! The one between a young man named John and one of Kit’s cousins (not saying which, because spoilers)…it’s beautiful. I LOVE it and, what’s better, I ship it. 😉
REASON #4 – THE WRITING IS SHARP & CLEAR
As I mentioned above, this isn’t the longest of novels. It’s succinct, fascinating, and every word counts toward the greater narrative. We see the Puritan colony from Kit’s eyes (she’s fresh from Barbados), and the plot moves quite quickly (though it also does take time to show Kit learning new skills and customs). You won’t be bored reading Witch!
REASON #5 – THE HISTORICAL ASPECT
I’m not sure how historically accurate Witch is. But I’m guessing that the author did a fair bit of research. You’ll learn about how Puritans lived their everyday lives, and also political stuff that I think helped lead up to the American Revolution (I’m not super clear on what all went down, politically, in Witch). If you enjoy reading historical novels in order to learn new things about people in different time eras, you definitely should read this book. The historical details never drag down the pacing, but instead are seamlessly incorporated into the plot.
Have I convinced you to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Or do you need a little more prodding? If so, then I have a giveaway just for you! The first person to comment on this post who hasn’t read/doesn’t own Witch–and wants to–will get a free copy shipped to them! (As long as Book Depository ships to your country.) All you have to do is comment, telling me why you want to read Witch, and you’ll get a free copy! That’s how awesome I think this book is (and now I sound like a YouTube influencer). So comment!!!
And for those who’ve already read Witch, what did you think of this post? Do you have any reasons to add? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. Go check out these illustrations by Christy Tortland! So good. ❤