Synopsis: The spellbinding diary of a teenage girl who escapes persecution as a witch–only to face new intolerance in a Puritan settlement.

Enter the world of young Mary Newbury, a world where simply being different can cost a person her life. Hidden until now in the pages of her diary, Mary’s startling story begins in 1659, the year her beloved grandmother is hanged in the public square as a witch. Mary narrowly escapes a similar fate, only to face intolerance and new danger among the Puritans in the New World. How long can she hide her true identity? Will she ever find a place where her healing powers will not be feared?

Just two weeks after publication, Celia Rees’s WITCH CHILD spirited its way onto the Book Sense Children’s Only 76 list as one of the Top 10 books that independent booksellers like to handsell. Within a month, this riveting book sold out its first two hardcover printings. 

Release Date: 3rd September 2020 (this version) 4th June 2000 (original version)

Format Read: Ebook

Genres: Historical, Teen, Witch Craft, Young Adult, Fiction, Magic, Paranormal

Pages: 240

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury kids and NetGalley for the ebook to read and review.

Review: This was such an interesting book, it’s an area that I’ve been wanting to read more on such as the mayflower travellers and the Salem witches so this book was great to give me some of that. 

Mary was a very unique character she wrote her journal in a very odd way in my opinion and didn’t overly feel natural. I also found it interesting with the fact she started it stating she was a witch, how very dangerous to write such a thing back in that era. She was always getting herself into a situation that was bound to end her in trouble, she seemed like she didn’t think or consider her surroundings once in the whole story. 

The story itself was very fascinating we got such an interesting adventure with her, from her grandma being tried and killed, being taken away and then trust onto a journey to a new world with total strangers and then starting that unusual new life with these said strangers. 

I really liked that she had managed to make friends and create a family all of her own whilst there, I was sad that we didn’t get anymore of Jack they were so sweet together. The whole time reading once she landed in Beluah I kept wanting her and her friends to keep moving and keep going until Boston, I wanted her out of their grasp and judgment so she was safe. It never happened though. 

The characters we meet were pretty horrible for the most part, the villagers were all so stuck in their ways and contradicting of themselves and of the bible. They preached and preached and condemned but didn’t use the other parts of the bible that state only God can judge. Said a lot about them instantaneously. I really liked the Rivers family, Martha, Tobias and Jonah plus the natives as you are expected too. 

This wasn’t as I was expecting this story to be, but it was still a very interesting story and I did enjoy reading it.


Synopsis: It came to Agnes unbidden: a vision of Mary Newbury, a young woman driven from her Puritan settlement, accused of being a witch. It is an image of a life about to change radically, as Mary defies all accepted norms — embracing independence, love, and loyalty to a Native American community that accepts her as one of their own. The two women’s lives are separated by almost four hundred years, but they are linked by more than blood. For, like Mary, Agnes has special powers — powers that Mary seeks to ensure that the rest of her story is told.

Release Date: 3rd September 2020 (this version), March 20th 2002 (original version)

Format Read: Ebook (Extract only)

Genres: Historical, Teen, Witch Craft, Young Adult, Fiction, Magic, Paranormal

Pages: 352 (full book), Extract: 10-20

Review: Wow this was only a few chapters of story and I was hooked, I liked the way this story was told many many years later and we were to find out the full of Mary’s story after Witch Child ended. I certainly want to get this story and read it in full now as it was so very interesting. It was just enough of a teaser to hook you perfectly. I also really liked Agnes she had a story of her own to share too.

Thank you to Bloomsbury kids and NetGalley for having this small extract available to read.


About the Author: Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children’s, YA and Adult fiction. 

She was born in 1949 in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics. After university, she taught English in Coventry secondary schools for seventeen years, during which time she began to write.

Since then, she has written over twenty YA titles. Her books have been translated into 28 languages. She has been short listed for the Guardian, Whitbread (now Costa) and W.H. Smith Children’s Book Awards. She is a regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation. She has been Chair of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group and on the Society of Authors’ Management Committee.

Her first book for adults, Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook, was published by HarperCollins in July, 2020. 


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