Susanna English desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage, but she doesn’t realize the leader of the group, the malicious Ann Putnam, is about to set off a torrent of false accusations that will lead to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people—victims of a witch-hunt panic.
“The author’s skillful manipulation of the conventions of the young-adult novel—particularly the rich exploration of being an outsider and going against the mainstream—makes this book a superb vehicle for examining the social dynamics of this legendary event.” —The Horn Book
Boredom and frustration in a small Puritan town provide fertile ground for a band of teenage girls to incite and nurture deadly mischief. Susannah English, caught between the desire to be a part of the group and her revulsion toward their wickedness, finds herself an unwilling party to what would become the Salem witch trials. A graceful blend of fiction and history, Rinaldi's incisive and thoughtful narrative brings to life a dark period in America's past. The reader is confronted with conflicting and disturbing issues: lies masquerading as divine truth, courage, trust and the terrifying power of a rising tide of hysteria. The artful placement of Susannah as an observer provides a 360-degree view of the causes and effects of inexplicable mass persecution. At the same time, the author's quiet, factual style stands in a soothing contrast to her inherently shocking and histrionic subject matter. Finely tuned, well researched and very accessible, this novel ranks with Rinaldi's finest work. Ages 10-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Break With Charity
I like this book because it gets really interesting and I'm glad I read it!
This is a wonderful book. Anybody who frequently reads books by Ann Rinaldi should read this. It is very heartfelt and inspiring.
I would give this book zero stars if I could. It was horrible. This book had no sense of adventure or doing what is best for everyone else. It didn’t make any sense at all. Don’t waste your time and money.