What Do I Read Next?
- Like The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible (1952) dramatizes the New England witch trials. Also like The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Crucible was written in the 1950s, when the McCarthy anti-Communist “witch hunts” occurred.
- Calico Captive (1957), another of Elizabeth George Speare’s novels for young adults, follows young Miriam Willard and her family when they are captured by Indians.
- Elizabeth George Speare published The Bronze Bow in 1961, and it won her a second Newbery Award the following year. Like her other historical novels, this features a young protagonist trying to fit into a community in flux. However, this one leaves Speare’s favorite setting of early New England behind: it is set in the time and place of Jesus, and deals with the period’s religious and political upheaval.
- John Holbrook reads Anne Bradstreet’s poems aloud to the Wood family one evening. Bradstreet was one of the first major American writers and was the first major American poet. Her works will give glimpses into the mind of a Puritan woman from that period.
- Jerry Spinelli’s young adult novel Stargirl (2000) has a contemporary setting, but it also features an unconventional heroine who is shunned by her community. Like Kit, Stargirl is compassionate to those whom the community would have her ignore, has magical powers attributed to her, and is shunned for her actions.
- If you can find some of them, the works of Cotton Mather will give another useful point of view on the Puritan mind. A major Puritan religious leader, Mather wrote several hundred books and pamphlets, including some against witchcraft, and was friends with some of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials.
- William Bradford sailed over on the Mayflower and was one of the leaders of the colony at Plymouth. He kept diaries, and his book History of Plymouth Plantation gives a firsthand account of the first decades of life in colonial New England.
- This New Land by G. Clifton Wisler (1987) is another fictional account written for young adults focusing on a child protagonist (narrator Richard Woodley is 12), and like The Witch of Blackbird Pond, This New Land follows the Pilgrims as they came over on the Mayflower.
- Beyond the Burning Time (1996) by Katherine Lasky is another novel for young readers about the seventeenth-century witchcraft scares. This one focuses on an even younger protagonist than Kit; Mary, age 12, goes through the witch scare in Massachusetts.