Witch Child | Teen Ink

Witch Child

July 20, 2022
By Natitoon GOLD, Washington, District Of Columbia
Natitoon GOLD, Washington, District Of Columbia
12 articles 0 photos 2 comments

This story is set in England and the United States of America in the year 1659. The protagonist, Mary Newbury, is a young witch (pagan) who goes to Salem after her grandmother is killed by a mob.  A woman who she thinks is her mother pays for her trip.

On the ship she is taken in by Puritans, who were extremely devoted people. In order to survive she has to pretend to be like them. Mary is supposedly a teenager because she is described as being between woman and girl.  She looks about 14 or 15.

It is mentioned a lot of times in the story that Mary can read and write in both Latin and English which at the time was something only rich folks could do. The people who let her stay with them are a nice couple called Martha and Tobias Moorse, who want to help her even though she tells them she isn't really Christian.  They first meet her on the boat and decide to keep her because God didn't give them kids of their own.

Once she gets to Salem she finds a job as a medicine woman/midwife thanks to a lady called Rebecca. She also scribes for a young man named Elias Cornwell who is the nephew of the local minister, Reverend Johnson. Mary describes Elias as a thin and sickly 20 something year old with dark eyes and a zealous personality.  At first they just have a professional relationship, but when she cures him when he gets sick they start getting closer.   He thinks she's a good Christian and she goes along with his ideas for a time. Reverend Johnson is suspicious of her because she is too smart for her age and doesn't like her always being around his nephew.

Mary spends months with the community, but then she gets discovered as a witch after strange things start to happen around town like a cow dies a day after she looks at it.  Martha and Thobias hide her from the angry mob (which includes Elias who turned on her after he sees she is not Christian). She escapes being burned at the stake because Martha hides her at the home of a woman who is about to give birth, because men were not allowed there.   Eventually Mary goes to live with Natives in the woods and changes her name to EYES OF A WOLF.

The only thing that she doesn't take with her when she runs away from the settlement is a quilt with a journal inside of it.  Martha ends up keeping both things with her until she dies. The journal (which is fictional) serves as a basis for the book.


The author of this book is a British woman named Celia Rees who writes books for teens.   I like this book because it has interesting characters, lots of drama, and shows how people lived at the time.  Example:  they believed everything that happened to them was because God or Satan did something.  Both groups, natives and settlers, had different ideas about how to act and what was good and bad. The protagonist has the ability to move between both worlds because she doesn't fit in just one.

Mary is extremely smart and outspoken but can act the part of a normal meek girl when she feels she has to survive.  When she lives with the natives she is finally free to do as she wishes because she knows a lot of stuff about plants and spirits, which means they treat her like some kind of goddess.  There is a sequel called Sorceress that came out in 2002 and tells the rest of her life through the eyes of her modern descendant named Agnes Herne.



Information: this book came out in 2000 and was published by Bloomsbury Publishing House in London England.

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Book cover


 About the books.









The author's comments:

i really like this book

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