May 11, 2011

#TheList, No. 965: Witch Child

Rees, C.  (2002).  Witch Child.  Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.

This book has taken me far too long to read.  It's horribly embarrassing because I adore the Salem Witch Trials.  I used to read anything and everything about the SWT.  There were books from my library that I'm pretty sure remained in my possession for a full year because I would constantly renew them.   My obsession with witches is 1/2 the reason I was am obsessed with Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the other 1/2 is my love for Clarissa Explains it All).  I even did a project on them recently because of my love for that history.  So I should have loved this book, right?

It is such a SNOOZEFEST.  I'm fairly certain that some pages were copied and sporadically repeated throughout the novel.  There are parts I only vaguely remember reading because watching ants march down the sidewalk was a far more interesting experience than paying attention to what was written on the page.  Speaking of ants, read this terrifying zombie ant story. 

But Witch Child tends to get favorable reviews: it's on the List (but so is Twilight...), it received rave recommendations from a bunch of literary magazines and journals, teens love what am I missing?  The main character, Mary, is apparantly a real witch, which is kind of a twist for this type of historical fiction, but nothing fun happens with that revelation.  That's not even a spoiler because you find out almost immediately.  It's followed by horribly boring descriptions of people sewing and gardening and nothing remotely exciting occurs until there are only about 40 pages left.  ZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZ. 

The historical aspect of the novel is slightly interesting, but the fiction part of historical fiction is sorely lacking.  The Witch of Blackbird Pond and even Gallows Hill, by Lois Duncan, which is only indirectly about about SWT, are far more entertaining reads. 


  1. I respect that you didn't like the book, I understand that not all people have the same reading tastes. After all, some people consider putting that dishrag called Twilight on bookshelves when there's wonderful, incredible, book-report-worthy authors like J. K. Rowling, Wendy Mass, and Lois Lowry out there. Anyway, I wouldn't put Mary on the same level as Harry Potter, Rory Swenson, and Littlest One, but the book is okay and I don't think it's all that bad. Just putting my two cents in. Peace, Love, Happiness! :)

  2. I definitely agree with you about Twilight (it's horrific)! Witch Child was a semi-interesting book, I was just never fully grasped by anything that happened. It certainly captured the historical aspects well enough, but I think I was hoping for more concentration on witchcraft.