Cover image for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth
Konigsburg, E. L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Atheneum, [1967]

Physical Description:
117 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Two fifth-grade girls, one of whom is the first black child in a middle-income suburb, play at being apprentice witches.
Reading Level:
680 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.9 5 Quiz: 06075 Guided reading level: R.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic Jennifer, Hecatate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth .

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. At 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.

Author Notes

Elaine Lobl Konigsburg, noted children's writer and illustrator, was born February 10, 1930 in New York City. She received a BS in chemistry from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in 1952. She did graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh.

Her best-known titles included A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, The Second Mrs. Giaconda, Father's Arcane Daughter, and Throwing Shadows. She won the Newbery Honor in 1968 for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and the William Allen White Award in 1970. She won the Newbery Medal again in 1997 for The View from Saturday.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was adapted into a motion picture starring Ingrid Bergman in 1973 and later released as The Hideaways in 1974. It became a television film starring Lauren Bacall in 1995. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth was adapted for television as Jennifer and Me for NBC-TV in 1973.

She died on April 19, 2013 from complications of a stroke that she had suffered a week prior at the age of 83.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-By E.L. Konigsburg. Being the new kid in town isn't easy for 10-year-old Elizabeth until she meets Jennifer-a witch. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



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. Excerpted from Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.