Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi

A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi
Historical Fiction

The year is 1691 and Susanna is an outcast because her family is richer than most of the rest of Salem, MA. She wants to join a group of girls that meet at the Reverand's house but knows that they won't accept her. A neighbour tells her that there is suspicious activity going on in the house, including the slave reading palms to tell the future. Since Susanna's brother is lost at sea, she asks the slave Tituba to read her palm and finds out that she will see her brother again.

Shortly after this, the group of girls start acting afflicted by convulsing and wrestling with invisible people. They claim that witches have put curses on them and start naming names. So starts the Salem Witch Trials. Susanna knows that these girls are just acting to get attention but she was they threatened to name her family if she told anyone. In the end, as we know from history, nineteen people died before the witch hunt came to an end.

This isn't the best written book, and the story isn't the most captivating, but it really gives you an idea of how quickly things can spiral out of control. This book is meant for a younger audience but I'm sure there's better literature out there for young teens to read.

First Line: "I have come early this afternoon to sit, before anyone else arrives, in the quiet of the Salem Meetinghouse."


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