"What a pity every child couldn't learn to read under a willow tree, Kit thought a week later. She and Prudence sat on a cool grassy carpet. A pale green curtain of branches just brushed the grasses and threw a filigree of shadows, as delicate as the wrought silver, on the child's face."
I love this book by Elizabeth George Speare. I loved it the first time I read it aloud, several years ago to Jesse, and I loved it even more the second time around. The story, set in 1687, centers on Kit Tyler, who must make the terrible transition from sunny Barbados to Connecticut Colony--from her kind grandfather and life of freedom to her Puritan relatives and the abundant rules of that society. Kit is thrown into a life of hard work and confusion, but her life of drudgery is transformed when she meets an old Quaker woman, known in the community as The Witch. When the people of the community suddenly embark on a witch hunt, Kit puts her own life in danger to save Hannah Tupper.
The books is full of information about life in Puritan Connecticut; the reader gets a great sense of the difficulties faced by these early settlers--constant work, illness, uncertainty, political unrest--as well as customs, beliefs, and traditions. This is one of my favorites in our American History studies.