Friday, April 26, 2013

Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer

When you think of witches, you might think of them as having the bumps on their noses, flying around on brooms, green faces, familiars like cats or dogs, and cauldrons. But what if witches were those that were close to you? They could be your mother, sister, sibling, husband; they could also be as normal and as plain as possible. This was the case of the Salem Witch Trials during 1692.

Now there is not much that I can reveal about the plot, due to how much it would truly give away but here is a short forthcoming of it: young girls, the daughter and niece of the town's reverend, start falling prey to a "sickness".  The young girls start blaming their sickness on witches torturing them. These witches just so happen to be some woman (and some men) of the town. As the accusations from others who are starting to get the sickness start getting "sick," more and more people are being thrown into jail, with the possible, and for some inevitable, chance of getting hung for their actions. Some are accused of using apparitions, others are accused of making pacts with the Devil. The craziness of Salem only just begins there...

Now, the book was great, and I am sorry if the description was a little lackluster. Giving a full description would give away too much of the main plots of the book. The historical aspects, though, were exactly what would be great for adults and children alike, trying to figure out what happened during this time. Rosalyn Schanzer keeps her own style and voice, without making it seem extremely dry, bland, and she keeps it unbiased. The only problem I had with the book was the length: it was a whopping 144 pages. This could work for teachers of English and History teachers in a few ways; it is short enough to where students would probably not complain and they could add this in as a companion to The Crucible. This would give it a great historical aspect and a great way to get children to understand the writing of plays, alongside a normal novel. The other great thing the book does is it adds pictures that could help the visual learners within the class.


Here is a book preview



6 comments:

Tom Philion said...

Well done, Sean! You have a great voice in your posts, and provide information well and efficiently. My only revision comment is that you should go back and place your commas within the quotation marks, like this:

"I am the man," he said.

Cheers,
Tom

Leslie Shambo said...

Ooh, Sean, I am excited to read this book! I have long been fascinated with the Salem Witch Trials (and have been trying to convince my fiance to go to Salem for years, without luck). This book wounds like a really interesting read - I am intrigued by the pictures it includes.

I think your idea of using it as a companion to The Crucible is a great one!

Tess said...

I agree with Leslie. I like how you mentioned that this book would be a good compainion to The Cruicible. As I was reading my novels, I didn't really think about linking the stories to other books or cirriculum. Great review too! I'm adding this to my summer reading list.

Jessica Pagliara said...

This topic has always interested me. And your review has me interested in this book. It amazes me how the trials took place and how everyone went crazy about this. I often wondered what would happen today if something like this were to happen. Good job!

Alexandra Klitz said...

I love The Crucible, but I was one of the very few in my class that actually did. It can be very dry at times, and I think this could be a great companion to such an interesting chapter of American history.

Olga Cruz said...

Like many of the other comments, this was a very interesting topic in the classroom setting. Did you feel that the book had accurate history incorporated to it? I would like to read this book especially because you left us intrigued with your review.