Beyond the Burning Time (Point Signature)

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9780590473323: Beyond the Burning Time (Point Signature)

When young Betty Parris contracts a mysterious ailment that spreads to other girls in her Puritan village of Salem, Betty and her family must confront the deadly superstitions that will change their lives. Reprint.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9?Mary Chase's sense of foreboding grows as, one by one, her friends fall prey to evidence of witchcraft and the innocent are identified as witches. She is horrified by the growing hysteria, and dismayed when her mother, who is a widow working a farm without a man, is cried out upon and arrested. Characterizations of Mary and her brother, Caleb, apprentice to a ship's carpenter, are sturdy and complex. The young people are placed squarely in the milieu of 1691 Salem, and their intelligence and healthy disbelief in witchery make them likable. Their bravely engineered rescue of their mother from execution is stirring. Interestingly, Lasky examines the social, religious, and economic forces that affected Salem Village and the Massachusetts Colony. Elements as diverse as two neighbors' feud over property and Cotton Mather's satisfaction that the governor should spend his time pursuing the French and the Indians (leaving the Puritan minister in charge of "the witch business") are included. Well researched and documented with extensive notes, the book also interweaves information about colonial ship construction and the effect on the colony of being charterless. Written in fairly formal language and diction, as befits the 17th-century setting, Beyond the Burning Time is a readable, engrossing, and sometimes exciting tale of an important era in American history. In spite of the fact that its interest and reading level are quite similar to Ann Rinaldi's A Break with Charity (Harcourt, 1992), Beyond the Burning Time merits purchase where the subject is popular.?Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The evocative cover illustration of a Puritan woman in chains silhouetted against a flaming sky promises a high historical drama about the Salem witch trials. What Lasky (Sugaring Time; The Night Journey) delivers instead is a soap opera with shoe buckles. Despite the author's research (described in a note at the end), this overblown narrative is riddled with anachronisms and just plain howlers. An awesome mom of 1692, for example, spouts such pronouncements as "All parents must learn to let go of their children." The foulest witchcraft in the book goes unremarked by Lasky, whose protagonist Mary Chase has worked with her mare since it was "just a colt." It is wondrous, too, that a Salem resident carries a kerosene lantern and that Mary's mother wears drawers, neither item having been in use until the 19th century. The writing isn't much sturdier than the scholarship: Lasky tosses in some rock-'em, sock-'em fight scenes, a ghost and an imperilled woman of virtue rescued at the 11th hour-as if the hysteria of the Salem villagers wasn't excitement enough. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Lasky, Kathryn
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