Wednesday, September 06, 2006

RfP Wednesday: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Ok, so never have I been so happy to realize that it's Reading for Pleasure Wednesday, as I was struggling to come up with something about which to post, and then, realizing it's Wednesday, I realized I didn't need to struggle! Yay! Reading for Pleasure Wednesday is working exactly as I'd hoped it would! So, I've decided to talk about The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, because last week I decided to buy myself another copy of it so that I could read it again. I'm sure that I've got a copy of it at my mother's house somewhere, but I figured that I could afford to own two, as it is one of my top favorite books in my whole life, right?

I first encountered the book when I was nine or ten. It was a book that I ordered through the Weekly Reader, if I remember correctly, and I had no idea that it was a classic or a Newbery Award Winner or anything. See, I didn't come from the kind of family where "classic" literature was emphasized. I was not one of those kids whose mother had read all of the Anne of Green Gables books and thus made sure I had copies of them, or the Wizard of Oz books, or the Chronicles of Narnia. I only read the Little House books because of the TV show. I was one of those kids who came from a working class household where as often as not my mom would actually stop me from reading and tell me to go play outside. I mean, reading was seen as a good thing, but nobody wants too much of a good thing, right?

So in choosing The Witch of Blackbird Pond, I was very much choosing based on my own personal interests - witches, colonial times, spunky protagonist who meets handsome sailor - I mean, how can you go wrong with those? And I remember reading the book for the first time and being ENGROSSED in it. In fact, I seem to recall that it was one of the first books I read where I stayed up past my bedtime with the flashlight under the blankets just in order to keep reading.

So, the thing that was great about rereading it this week was the following:
1) Once again, I was engrossed, and I stayed up past my bedtime to finish it, although it was awesome to be allowed to do so.
2) The book is just SUCH a good book. Because it was written as historical fiction, it doesn't age in weird ways the way that some books for kids do, and it's romantic and exciting and just everything I enjoy in a pleasure read.
3) I really had some good taste as a kid. Who knew?


*statgirl* said...

Ooohh..I loved this book as a kid. Now I want to go get a copy and read it again, too.

michelle said...

Great RfP post. I love going back and rereading my favorites from when I was a kid. It's interesting to see how they hold up.

I never read this one but now I am going to put it on my to read list. You know, for the kids;)

I'm going to post my RfP soon. Maybe even on Wednesday this week!

AAYOR said...

I [heart] this book and now I totally want to read it again. Will have to rebuy it as well.

Also, [heart] the link that you gave us for it! What is that, an elementary school teacher's website?

Dr. Crazy said...

It's totally an elementary school teacher's website, but I thought it had such cool stuff on it that I thought it was a more fun link than the traditional amazon-y sort of a link :)

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, and to those of you who've read the book and loved it: Nat Eaton is totally hot even though I'm no longer 10 years old. Just FYI :)

Sarah said...

Wonderful! You made me smile today :)

Cats & Dogma said...

We had to read this in 6th or 7th grade, I think, and while remember little of the actual book, I do remember that my parents balked at the notion of witchcraft in the book, enough to talk to the teacher about it.

I'm sure they didn't read the book before calling the teacher, which is all the more shameful. The good news is that I'm sure I wasn't given an "alternate text" to read while everyone else read this one.

k8 said...

Wonderful wonderful book. FYI, though, if you want to have good memories of the Little House books, don't read them as an adult. The blatant racism in them, particularly in the book with the series title, is absolutely disgusting. I know people have wonderful memories of these books, but I could never give them to a child to read without first having a lengthy conversation about reading critically and explaining that representations of american indians within the series aren't exactly good or accurate.

Kate said...

Oooh, thanks for reminding me of this book! I loved it when I was little. Now I'll have to pick it up again; I borrowed it from the library when I read it the first time.

shrinkykitten said...

Did you read "Jane-Emily" by Patricia Clapp as a kid? I remember it being so so scary. I still have my copy - I should re-read it.

I was completely into books about witches as a kid - Zilpha Keatly Snyder ...and I remember a picture book from when i was very young with a wotch with striped socks (Dory?) who I thought was soooo cool.

JustMe said...

now i know i'm late, but i had to say I absolutely loved this book!

historical fiction was my favorite as a teen