Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth

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Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She's also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is...well, different. She's read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says "Please" or "thank you." And she says she is a witch.

It's not always easy being friends with a witch, but it's never boring. As first an apprentice and then a journeyman witch, Elizabeth learns to eat raw eggs and how to cast small spells. And she and ...

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Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth

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Overview

Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She's also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is...well, different. She's read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says "Please" or "thank you." And she says she is a witch.

It's not always easy being friends with a witch, but it's never boring. As first an apprentice and then a journeyman witch, Elizabeth learns to eat raw eggs and how to cast small spells. And she and Jennifer collaborate on cooking up an ointment that will enable them to fly. That's when a marvelous toad, Hilary Ezra, enters their lives. And that's when trouble starts to brew.

Two fifth-grade girls, one of whom is the first black child in a middle-income suburb, play at being apprentice witches.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
It is not easy being new in town, tiny in stature, an only child and the loneliest girl in the USA. Elizabeth is all of these, but life changes dramatically when she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is not like other children, as a matter of fact, she is a self-proclaimed witch. Elizabeth readily becomes her apprentice, and although she is a picky eater, she goes through weeks of food trials. One week she must consume a raw egg daily, then comes the raw oatmeal, followed by a week of raw hot dogs. After the week of onion sandwiches the girls begin to work on creating a flying ointment. Enter Hilary Ezra, a much-loved toad. Both girls vie for the affections of the toad (which does not seem to love them back) and haul him everywhere in a little red wagon. Elizabeth is horrified when Jennifer teaches her about Macbeth and she realizes that the first ingredient for the flying ointment is a toad. Things really start to jump and spells are flying! From the perspective of a ten-year-old comes an engaging and timeless story. Konigsburg's loveable characters have been around for decades and are sure to be as appealing today as they were when first published. Black pen-and-ink sketches accompany the story.
—Laura Hummel
From the Publisher
"An entertaining tale that has staying power."
School Library Journal, starred review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440441625
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 12/1/1984
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

E.L. Konigsburg is the only author to have won the Newbery Medal and be runner-up in the same year. In 1968, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was named a Newbery Honor Book. Almost thirty years later she won the Newbery Medal once again for The View From Saturday. She has also written and illustrated three picture books: Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Colors, Samuel Todd’s Book of Great Inventions, and Amy Elizabeth Explores Bloomingdale’s. In 2000 she wrote Silent to the Bone, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among many other honors.

After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls’ school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.

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Read an Excerpt

This is the way Jennifer operated: 1. She left the wagon outside the door of the house and out of sight of her victim. 2. She rang the bell. 3. Instead of smiling and saying "trick or treat," she said nothing when the people came to the door. 4. She half fell against the door post and said, "I would like just a drink of water." 5. She breathed hard. 6. The lady or man who answered would say, "Of course," and would bring her a drink of water. 7. As she reached out to get the water, she dropped her big, empty bag. 8. The lady or man noticed how empty it was and said, "Don't you want just a little something?" 9. The lady or man poured stuff into Jennifer's bag. 10. The lady or man put a little something in my bag, too. 11. Jennifer and I left the house. 12. Jennifer dumped the treats into the wagon. 13. Jennifer clop-clopped to the next house with the bag empty again. 14. I walked.

Jennifer did this at every house. She always drank a glass of water. She always managed to drop her empty bag. I asked her how she could drink so much water. She must have had about twenty-four glasses. She didn't answer. She shrugged her shoulders and walked with her head up, eyes up. I sort of remembered something about a water test for witches. But I also sort of remembered that it was something about witches being able to float on water that was outside their bodies, not water that was inside their bodies.

I asked Jennifer why she didn't wear a mask. She answered that one disguise was enough. She told me that all year long she was a witch, disguised as a perfectly normal girl; on Halloween she became undisguised. She may be a witch, I thought, and, of course, she was a girl. But perfect never! And normal never!

I can say that Jennifer collected more treats on that Halloween than I had in all my years put together including the time I was a mouse in my sleepers with the feet in. Because I was with Jennifer each time she went into her act, I managed to collect more treats on that Halloween than I ever had before but not nearly as many as Jennifer. My bag was heavy, though.

Jennifer and I parted about a block from my apartment house. My bag was so heavy that I could hardly hold it with one hand as I pushed the button for the elevator. I put the bag on the floor while I waited. When the elevator arrived, I leaned over to pick up my bundle and heard my Pilgrim dress go r-r-r-r-r-r-i-p. I arrived at our apartment, tired and torn, but happy. Happy because I had had a successful Halloween; happy because I had not met Cynthia on the elevator; and happy because my costume had ripped. I wouldn't have to be an itchy Pilgrim another Halloween.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2011

    You'll love this book!

    A review from my 4th graders: "We really enjoyed this book! Fourth and fifth graders would love it because it's fantasy full of witchcraft and magic. It is also full of mystery. If you like Harry Potter then you'll like this book. The author did a fantastic job of describing characters and giving such great details you felt like you were really there. We would highly recommend this book!"

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2008

    I Love It

    This Book is an amazing tale. It Tells about a girl witch and her new Best Friend. They don't think they are friends in the beginning, but over time, the charcters blend. I've read this book to many times to count. But the ending never fufils its self. If this book had a sequal, it wouldnt be nearly as great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Great book.

    Worth every cent.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me Elizabeth

    This Newberry Medal winner is extremely worthy of this award. This novel would be age appropriate for ages eight to twelve years. This novel would be classified as the contemporary realism genre. This novel is about a story of imagination and a growing of friendships. It is a very moving story about a girl named Elizabeth who moved into an apartment with her family. Elizabeth met Jennifer who thought she was a witch. Elizabeth wanted to be a witch also s she obeyed Jennifer`s every command. Middle school students can relate to this novel in many ways. For instance, in finding new friends, how to make the best of a bad situation, or problem solving. This novel is guaranteed to catch and keep the reader¿s full attention. The author and illustrator of this novel is E. L. Konigsburg. E. L. Konigsburg has written many novel of which some of which are Newberry Honor and Award winners. Konigsburg, E. L. Jinnifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me Elizabeth. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2002

    The cover Might Look Dum but this is awsome!

    I dont like to read becase I can Never finish the books becase they are boring but this book was very interesting and it was so good that I finished it in a day I couldnt stop reading!E.L Konsiburg is now my favorite author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2002

    creame de la creame

    Jennifer is an ordinary girl who pretends to be a witch dressed as an ordinairy girl on all of the days excpt halloween when a girl named Elizabeth met her they become friends and soon stirr up much mischief.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    Amasing work by E.L.Koningsburg

    I found this book very intresting for my age, 12! i loved the way E.L. showed the characters discripition! If you or you're child is doing a author study on E.L. Konigsburg then this is the book that you should read! GREAT JOB E.L. KONIGSBURG!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    Elizabeth a Witch?

    The book I read was called Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth. This book was written by E.L. Koningsburg, you may have read her book called The View from Saturday. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, elizabeth was about a girl named Elizabeth that didn't have any friends. She walked alone everyday to school but one day she saw a girlin a tree on her way to schooland that's where it all started. Then Elizabeth and her new friend, Jennifer, would go everywhere together on the weekends.(they didn't talk at school.) There was something strange about her new friend. The theme int his book was Elizabeth taking the steps to be a witch. the lesson I learned from this book is if you try to be what you want to be you may make it. The setting was mostly at 'thier tree'. I would definitely give this book five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2000

    Cute and Fun

    I read this about 2 years ago and I remeber it being very interesting and fun to read about a girl who is a witch and takes a lonely girl up for an apprentice. It's a funny and a cute story. If you're 8-12 years old I would recommend this book. I liked it a lot and maybe I'll read it again some day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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