A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

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9780152001018: A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials
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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

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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. Visit her online at www.annrinaldi.com.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Why, in 1692, did Salem execute 22 citizens accused by hysterical girls? Various causes--political, economic, scientific--have been advanced; Rinaldi makes a plausible case for a combination of these with the repression of a society with few amusements, late marriages, and young adults treated as children. As a wise old woman says here, ``...the spirit it took to tame this wilderness is so strong it would not bow to the authority of the Puritan covenant...They see this...as a failure of their vision. So they seek to lay blame.'' Rinaldi chooses as narrator Susanna English, ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne, fictionalizing her role of a fascinated, horrified observer who's told, early on, by ringleader Ann Putnam that the girls are deliberately seeking attention and power; Susanna keeps silent lest her own family be accused. The device works well as Susanna tries to negotiate with Ann; sees her parents accused despite her promise; falls in love with Magistrate Hathorne's son and persuades him of the ``witches' '' innocence; is taken in by Joseph Putnam, who is secretly encouraging opposition; and finally shares her knowledge, only to have her certainty challenged by prophecies that, amazingly, come true: ``...the line is thin between what is fanciful and what is real.'' Rinaldi's characterizations aren't subtle, but she has done her research well and fashioned an enthralling, authentic story that makes the results of compounding malicious lies with false confessions of terrified victims tragically believable. Fine historical fiction; Rinaldi at her best. Bibliography; excellent note sorting out fact and fiction. (Fiction. 11-17) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780152046828: A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0152046828 ISBN 13:  9780152046828
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2003
Softcover

9780439810715: A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

Gulliv..., 1992
Softcover

9780152003531: A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

Gulliv..., 1992
Hardcover

9780439872188: A Break With Charity

Schola..., 2005
Softcover

9780606062497: A Break With Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials (Great Episodes)

Demco ..., 1994
Softcover

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