Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth is written in the first person, with Elizabeth serving as the narrator. Two children, Jennifer and Elizabeth, participate in ongoing imaginative play about being witches. The story does not focus on witchcraft or any of the darker elements that are sometimes associated with stories about witches. Instead, the focus is on the growing friendship between two girls.

Elizabeth first meets Jennifer as she is walking alone to school one day. Jennifer hops out of a tree and asks about the cookies in Elizabeth’s lunch bag. After discussing how she knows that there are cookies in the bag (witches know everything), Jennifer, who is a self-declared witch, permits Elizabeth to become her apprentice. From then on, each trip to and from school becomes an adventure for Elizabeth because she may have contact with Jennifer. At least once or twice a week, Jennifer leaves notes for Elizabeth tacked to the tree where they first met. These notes arrange Saturday meeting times, mostly at the library, for the two of them to learn more about becoming witches. Jennifer, however, has some of her own rules for her apprentice witch, such as eating nothing but hot dogs one week and then the next week eating at least one onion a day. As the relationship between the two girls grows and changes, Elizabeth becomes more self-confident, and eventually the two are able to have an equal friendship as partners.


(The entire section is 463 words.)