Synopses & Reviews
Susanna English desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage, but she doesnt 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 authors 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
"An enthralling, authentic story . . . Rinaldi at her best."--Kirkus Reviews
"A graceful blend of fiction and history . . . Finely tuned, well researched and very accessible, this novel ranks with Rinaldi's finest work."--Publishers Weekly
Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she "break charity" with the group--and risk having her own family members named as witches?
Reader's guide included.
Susanna wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. But these girls will soon set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of innocent people.
A frightening portrait of the mass hysteria behind the notorious Salem witch trials--based on historical accounts.
About the Author
ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. A self-made writer and newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast. She lives with her husband in central New Jersey.
Reading Group Guide
Q> Why does Susanna feel she is as guilty as Ann Putnam and her circle of girls? Do you think she shares their guilt? Q> Father English advises Susanna: "Think for yourself, daughter. But know when to speak and when to remain silent." Susanna had many chances to tell what she knew about Ann's circle. Why didn't she break charity with the girls? Would you have spoken up in her situation? Q> Why did the magistrates believe the girl accusers? Q> Susanna claims that "ideas were never encouraged in Salem." Why might ideas be discouraged? Q> John Indian says, "If we waited all our lives to do what was allowed, we would never do anything." Is it ever a good idea to do things that aren't allowed? Q> Why would Ann and her friends fake possession by the devil and accuse innocent people of witchcraft? How do you feel about their reasons? Do kids today do cruel things for sport and attention? Who could you turn to if you knew about kids creating trouble? Q> Why did Tituba and other prisoners confess to a crime they didn't commit? Q> Susanna believes the townspeople will forgive Ann when she asks for forgiveness. Why would they? Would you?
Copyright (c) 2003. Published in the U.S. by Harcourt, Inc.