Kit Tyler knew, as she gazed for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home would never be like the shimmering Caribbean islands she left behind. In the stern Puritan community of her relatives, she soon felt caged as well, and lonely. In the meadows, the only place where she could feel completely free, she meets another lone and mysterious figure, the old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. But when their friendship is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger as she herself is accused of witchcraft!
Winner of the Newbery Medal
Gr 5-8-Mary Beth Hurt gives an excellent performance in this reading of the Newbery Award-winning novel by Elizabeth George Speare (HM, 1958). The setting is the Colony of Connecticut in 1687 amid the political and religious conflicts of that day. Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler unexpectedly arrives at her aunt and uncle's doorstep and is unprepared for the new world which awaits her. Having been raised by her grandfather in Barbados, she doesn't understand the conflict between those loyal to the king and those who defend the Connecticut Charter. Unprepared for the religious intolerance and rigidity of the Puritan community, she is constantly astounding her aunt, uncle, and cousins with her dress, behavior, and ideas. She takes comfort in her secret friendship with the widow, Hannah Tupper, who has been expelled from Massachusetts because she is a Quaker and suspected of being a witch. When a deathly sickness strikes the village, first Hannah and then Kit are accused of being witches. Through these conflicts and experiences, Kit comes to know and accept herself. She learns not to make hasty judgments about people, and that there are always two sides to every conflict. There are several minor plots as well, including three romances, which help to bring this time and place to life. Hurt's use of vocal inflection and expression make this an excellent choice for listening whether as an enrichment to the social studies curriculum or purely for pleasure.-Maureen Cash Moffet, St. Anne's Catholic School, Bristol, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.