Since my Teaser Tuesday this week featured this years Newbery Medal winner, I thought I’d continue the trend with my favorite of the week. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare was the1959 winner of the Newbery Medal and is without a doubt my favorite book of all time.
I was probably 8 when I read this book for the first time. My mom assigned it to me for a school project, and I fell in love with the story of Kit Tyler, a young woman forced to move from Barbados to a Puritan colony in Connecticut when her grandfather dies and she must live with her aunt and uncle in New England.
Kit, with her silk gowns and awkward ways, can’t figure out how she fits in with her cousins Judith and Mercy. Instead she befriends Hannah, a lonely Quaker widow, who lives on the shores of Blackbird Pond. Kit also befriends a young girl, teaching her to read despite the wishes of her parents.
Through a failed courtship and ultimately a trial as a witch, Kit’s mind goes back to Nat Eaton, a seaman on the ship that took Kit to New England. Nat appears and rescues her at his own risk at every turn.
Next to Gilbert Blythe, Nat was one of my first literary crushes, and so I’ve read this book over and over again. In fact I borrowed–of course, I mean that I stole, as I have no intention of giving it back–my mom’s copy of the book. It has this orange cover, and pages are bent and wrinkled and it’s seen many years of love on my shelf.
Then, a couple years ago, my mom bought a new copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. She tried to trade me for my–obviously, I mean her–old copy, but I just couldn’t part with it. How could I ever get used to a new book? I’d have to memorize the pages of favorite passages all over again. I’d have to find the scene where Nat and Kit thatch Hannah’s roof and the one where Nat sails down the river and appears out of the mist to rescue Hannah and the one … Well, you get the point.
If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait. It’s a quick read and worth every minute. Remembering why she loves Nat until next time. -LJ