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Witch Child [Paperback]

Celia Rees
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

4 April 2009
When Mary sees her grandmother accused of witchcraft and hanged for the crime, she is silently hurried to safety by an unknown woman. The woman gives her tools to keep the record of her days - paper and ink. Mary is taken to a boat in Plymouth and from there sails to the New World where she hopes to make a new life among the pilgrims. But old superstitions die hard and soon Mary finds that she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity, and once more she faces important choices to ensure her survival. With a vividly evoked environment and characters skilfully and patiently drawn, this is a powerful literary achievement by Celia Rees that is utterly engrossing from start to finish.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408800268
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800263
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Celia Rees was born in Solihull, West Midlands, UK. She studied History and Politics at Warwick University and then went on to teach English in city comprehensive schools for seventeen years. She now divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, and teaching creative writing.

She has written over twenty books for older children and teenagers, and has become a leading writer for Young Adults with an international reputation. Her books have been translated into 28 languages and she has been short listed for the Guardian, Whitbread and W.H. Smith Children's Book Awards, as well as numerous regional awards in the UK and America. Witch Child won the prestigious Prix Sorcières in France in 2003, and the Di Cento Prize in Italy, 2001. Her latest book, The Fool's Girl, is published, April 2010.

Celia lives in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, with her husband, Terry. Her daughter, Catrin, now lives and works in London.

Celia has a Fan Page on Facebook and her own website: www.celiarees.com

Product Description

Amazon Review

Age 10 and over

She was locked in the keep for more than a week. First they walked her up and down, up and down between them, for a day and a night until she could no longer hobble, her feet all bloody and swollen. She would not confess. So they set about to prove she was a witch...

Mary's grandmother is executed for witchcraft, and Mary is forced to leave her home to avoid the same fate. At first she flees to the English countryside, but when the atmosphere of superstition and suspicion becomes all consuming she leaves on a boat for America in the hope that she can start over and forget her past. But during the journey, she realises that the past is not so easy to escape.

Witch Child is a complex, absorbing novel, told in the form of pages from a journal found loosely sewn into an old quilt many years later. From the moment the story begins, the tension is tangible, and the reader is drawn into a world of mistrust and uncertainty that shakes to the core. All this is cleverly conveyed through the eyes of Mary, whose first sense of wide-eyed wonder gradually develops a mature understanding of her situation, drawing the reader in to a dark and dangerous world where the tiniest slip could mean death.

Celia Rees, always a fine writer, tackles her subject with serious and sensitive aplomb, bringing together a sense of history with an extraordinarily powerful and thrilling story that is unforgettable.--Susan Harrison --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


`As psychologically acute account of moral panic as you could hope to read and a fine weapon with which to arm any child in the battle against all its modern forms'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Teenage Writing 25 Mar 2004
Witch Child is a gripping, harrowing read from author Celia Rees. I bought this as a Christmas present for my younger sister, and when she'd finished reading it, she insisted that I read it also. And I'm glad I did.
Set in the aftermath of Cromwell, Mary has seen her grandmother tortured and hung in front of her eyes on the accusation of witchcraft. Mary hoever, is rescued and sent to the New World, America, on board a ship of Puritan pilgrims. She does her best to hide her past and avoid drawing suspicion on herself, but secrets will out.
A great read, covering a truly tragic period in history when thousands of women (and men) were horribly murdered for no reason. You'll feel the emotions Mary feels as author Rees skillfully weaves the story. A thoroughly recommended book for young teenagers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent, compelling book 13 Sep 2003
I loved this book. It's thoughtful and extremely well-written. The description is so vivid that the story comes to life in front of your eyes. I could picture every small detail, and loved the way it was set out as a diary, which seemed to make it more personal and easy to relate to. It shows the way many people hated witches becasue they were different, rather like racism today. I found it very interesting, and I read it all in one go, as I couldn't put it down once I had begun. Recommended to anyone over the age of about 13.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brief outline of this fanastic book 26 Sep 2001
By A Customer
I recieved Witch Child as a 15th Birthday present and was a bit anxious about the content. My sister had heard of it and meant to buy it so I reluctantly read the first couple of pages and was immediatly addicted to it. I found the struggle of the young witches life abosorbing and deep. I felt as though I really knew Mary and i felt as though I was in the story watching over her. I pictured the environment Mary described so well. I think that Celia Rees has captured an amazing tail of voyage and discovery. I found it interesting the way Rees has described the medicines and such and I compare it to the modern world. I would recommend this to anyone betwee the ages of 13-19 years old. I feel it is a real eye-opener as to how early civilians set up living in America.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and keeps you hooked! 23 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Witch Child is such a good book, I'd wake up before school to finish it. It starts out with Mary descibing how the Englishmen took her Grandmother away, trying to prove she was a witch. The history books never really tell you how the accusers went about doing this, but you certainly find out here. Everything is through Mary's eyes, and you can practically feel the details that are described to you. As you meet one after another amazing characters that have such an impact on Mary, you begin to get an idea of what's going to happen. When Mary and Jaybird's friendship begins to bud, you think about what will happen should they be discovered. And then when Mary's accused of witchcraft, it's hard to think about what may happen to her. The only bad thing about the book is that it ends without any idea of what's going to happen next. Thank goodness Celia Rees wrote a sequel to Witch Child and you can continue to read about Mary's interesting story. I strongly recomend this book and hope that you like it as much as I did!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done Celia Rees 4 Nov 2006
A very good read exciting, gripping, heartbreaking an excelent book. It os just amazing full of suspense and heartbreaking surprises you won't want to put it down when you have started. Alot of wierd and wonderfull surprises in this book. What a great read, well done Celia Rees!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Right, crawl inside my brain and remain there and witness, see, think, feel, smell, swallow every thing I do. Cast yourself back 400 odd years to the times of good old religeous persecution in England. Your Gran gets burnt you hobble in the cold to a ship, you get on board, exist in squallor with umpteen other refugees and finally land in the good ol' USA. Guess what its even worse there than it is in England........this tiny brave little girl endires it all and more and keeps going......when you read this tale you'll be transported along with her, Thumbs up to Celia Rees for hitting the nail on the head.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Fantastic book! 6 Jan 2002
I really enjoyed this book. It is the best I have ever read and I read alot.
It is a gripping tale, when you read it you become Mary, you know her emotions, you know how she thinks, its amazing. I enjoyed also the history behind it as it's all very intesting!
I would recomed this book to anyone! especially people interested in Witchcraft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Atmospherifc 12 April 2002
By A Customer
This book really captured the essence of what life was like at the time in which this book is set. Celia rees has created a very strong and real carachter in Mary and makes you feel like you really know her. There is a lot of very powerful well structured writing in the book and you are left hanging onto every word even at the very end of the book. I was left awestruck and desperate for more at the end. All in all i would say this is a fantastic story told superbly by a BRILLIANT writer. I will reccomend it to everyone I know and get the sequel at once.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't grab me
Rather slow-moving by modern standards, but atmospheric nonetheless.
Published 1 month ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars begining of my reading obsession
at the age of 15 i bought this book in hard coppy and many years later i still think about this book from time to time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rachel Rowlands
5.0 out of 5 stars Witch child
I've read this book twice and given it to my daughter.I couldn't put it down I absolutely love it ...of all the books I've ever read this is my favourite...
Published 4 months ago by julie wallace
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I read this before giving it to my children to read. Started with promise but slow with little happening. Disappointing. I won't be passing it on.
Published 9 months ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Fondly revisited
I read this book first in the library of my secondary school when I was13 years old; 10 years later I find it just as captivating and thought provoking. Read more
Published 11 months ago by H.S.Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
This book was one of my favourites as a teenager and even now in my late twenties I still find it Avery enjoyable read
Published 11 months ago by Ms. C. L. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good
Really good book! Very good read! I started reading this at school and then I bought it on my kindle to finish reading over the holidays as I was hooked! Recommended age :11 1/2 +
Published 12 months ago by Ged H
4.0 out of 5 stars I still love this book after reading it over and over again!
'She was locked in the keep for more than a week. First they walked her up and down, up and down between them, for a day and a night until she could no longer hobble, her feet all... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Rebecca
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read!
An exciting and gripping read, `Witch Child' takes us back into the dangerous and unnerving world of the Witch Hunts, where fear of witches became a mania that spread worldwide. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sorcha O'Dowd
5.0 out of 5 stars Witch Child
Thoroughly enjoyable a well written read!! Will check out other books by this author. Kept me interested from beginning to end.
Published 17 months ago by Mrs. K. A. French
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