Witches And Witch Hunts

3.69 avg rating
( 61 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780590485173: Witches And Witch Hunts

Offers a factual account of witch-hunts of the past while exploring the motives that led people into their wild frenzies of fear and accusation.

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Review:

In Milton Meltzer's study of all things witchy, it's all uphill from the first line, which reads simply, "Witches, witches, witches!" A person could get the impression that the author doesn't really have a feel for the possibilities of his subject. Keep reading, though, as this is a humanistic and well-researched history... if a little dry. Meltzer has clearly set out to debunk witch mythology, revealing the way that a community's marginal figures often become persecuted by society. While this is a fine theme, Meltzer seems to have little sense of the kind of gory details that make people, and especially young people, interested in witches in the first place. His book works best when rooted in the specific, as with the chapter "Lady Alice from Kilkenny Town," in which he recounts the folktale of a 14th-century Irish witch, and then shows, through historical research, how her story may have been distorted. While the dry tone may be off-putting to those not already engaged in the subject, kids interested in the occult and in America's colonial history (there's a chapter on Salem, naturally) will find sophisticated explanations of the people we call witches and the witch-hunts we subject them to. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

BARRY MOSER is the prize-winning illustrator of many beautiful books for children and adults, including Harcourt’s Telling Time with Big Mama Cat and Sit, Truman!, both co-illustrated by his daughter Cara Moser and written by Dan Harper. He has won the American Book Award and earned accolades from the American Library Association and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Mr. Moser lives in western Massachusetts. TONY JOHNSTON’s numerous books for children include It’s About Dogs, illustrated by Ted Rand, Very Scary, illustrated by Douglas Florian, and The Day of the Dead, illustrated by Jeanette Winter. She lives with her family in California.

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Milton Meltzer, Barry Moser (Illustrator)
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