Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

 

Book Summary

When Kit Tyler, of sunny Barbados, arrives in the Puritan Connecticut Colony in 1687, it is immediately apparent that she does not fit in.  Her dresses are too expensive and too colorful, and she is too outspoken and impulsive.  She can swim, she teaches the school children to read by acting out plays, and she befriends an old Quaker woman who lives outside of town.  Does that make her a witch?
 
The Witch of Blackbird Pond book cover
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Book Review

This is an excellent book that brings to life the austere expectations of Puritan life.  Any reader who has ever visited a place with different cultural expectations will relate to Kit's struggle to fit in to her new life in Connecticut. The book alludes to some complex issues, including politics, slavery, and religion's role in the culture of the time period, but its focus is about relationships between the memorable, richly-drawn characters.

Topics and Themes for this book:

 
  • Life in Puritan New England
  • Choosing Between Right and Wrong
  • Standing Up for People Who Need Help
 
  • Family Relationships
  • Politics and Religion
  • Conformity vs. Individuality
  • Freedom
  • Romance

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions Coming Soon**

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