Synopses & Reviews
What started out as girls' games became a witch hunt. Wicked Girls
is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials told from the perspectives of three of the real young women living in Salem in 1692.
Ann Putnam Jr. plays the queen bee. When her father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann grasps her opportunity. She puts in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of the people around her forever.
Mercy Lewis, the beautiful servant in Ann's house, inspires adulation in some and envy in others. With a troubled past, she seizes her only chance at safety.
Margaret Walcott, Ann's cousin, is desperately in love and consumed with fiery jealousy. She is torn between staying loyal to her friends and pursuing the life she dreams of with her betrothed.
With new accusations mounting daily against the men and women of the community, the girls will have to decide: Is it too late to tell the truth?
A Printz Honor winner for Your Own, sylvia, Stephanie Hemphill uses evocative verse to weave a nuanced portrait of one of the most chilling and fascinating times in our nation's history.
"Hemphill (Your Own, Sylvia) plumbs the psychological underpinnings of the Salem witch trials in blank verse monologues from three of the main accusers. Two girls, eight and 12, fall violently ill, having seizures and singling out neighbors as witches. Seeing the weight the girls' accusations are given ('All that Betty and Abigail say in fit/ is listened to like it comes from the town council'), Ann, Mercy, and Margaret snatch the opportunity to join in and move to positions of influence as well, targeting those who have harmed them or their families. Neighbors are jailed and even executed based on the girls' testimony, and even as wiser heads question their credibility, the girls turn on each other, fueled by jealousy, peer pressure, blackmail, and the desire to dominate the group. Even those familiar with the historical events will savor the exploration of the underlying motivations, as Hemphill breathes life into those long dead and holds a mirror up to contemporary society. The expressive writing, masterful tension, and parallels to modern group dynamics create a powerful and relevant page-turner. Ages 12 up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Newbery Honor-winner Margarita Engle tells the story of Cuban folk hero, abolitionist, and women's rights pioneer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda in this powerful YA historical novel in verse.
“I find it so easy to forget / that I’m just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts.”
Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
As the Panama Canal turns one hundred, Newbery Honor winner Margarita Engle tells the story of its creation in this powerful new YA historical novel in verse.
One hundred years ago, the world celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, which connected the world’s two largest oceans and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower. It was a miracle, this path of water where a mountain had stood—and creating a miracle is no easy thing. Thousands lost their lives, and those who survived worked under the harshest conditions for only a few silver coins a day.
From the young "silver people" whose back-breaking labor built the Canal to the denizens of the endangered rainforest itself, this is the story of one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, as only Newbery Honor-winning author Margarita Engle could tell it.
About the Author
Stephanie Hemphill is also the award-winning author of Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Sisters of Glass; and Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.