Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
Another Favorite Love Match...
Like Stephanie, I am looking back to one of my favorite childhood books for my "literary" love match. THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, by Elizabeth George Speare, was published in 1958 and won the Newbery medal in 1959. I read and loved it in the early 60s, and it's also my character Annie Winter's favorite book in ROAD TO TATER HILL. Last summer, while working on my screenplay of RTTH, I reread THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND and was not disappointed these many years later! My first edition copy of the book is a bit worse for wear--in fact it survived a fire in my grandparents' home back in 1975. The bookjacket was singed, and the book itself still smells of smoke.
The 16-year-old heroine, Kit Tyler, has traveled from Barbados to the Connecticut Colony in 1687 aboard the Brigantine "Dolphin." On the first page, we meet both Kit and Nathaniel (Nat) Eaton, the captain's son. "She had noticed him often, his thin wiry figure swinging easily hand over hand up the rigging, his sandy, sun-bleached head bent over a coil of rope."
I don't want to give away the entire story because I hope you'll read it. But, suffice it to say, Kit, with her untamed spirit, challenges the puritan ways, defies social norms, befriends an outcast Quaker woman (Hannah the so-called witch), and teaches a young girl to read. When Kit is ultimately tried as a "witch" herself, Nat comes to her rescue. "For the first time she dared to look back at Nat Eaton where he stood near the door. Across the room their eyes met, and suddenly it was as though he had thrown a line straight into her reaching hands. She could feel the pull of it, and over its taut span strength flowed into her, warm and sustaining." (p. 220)
But Nat has been banished from the village, himself, and slips away as soon as Kit is acquitted. Will he return? Will Kit come to terms with the puritan ways and continue to live in the village of Wethersfield, or will she return to Barbados where she was raised? That's for you to find out...
And, yes, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm an incurable romantic. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!