Monday, June 13, 2011

Salem Witches Week: Introduction

This week we're going to do something a little different.  We are going to spotlight fiction books that feature or relate to the Salem Witches.  319 years ago, on June 10, the first woman was hanged as a witch.  18 more men and women would follow, including Giles Corey who was crushed to death.  It was a terrible time in American history and there are a lot of books that discuss the events that became known as the Salem Witch Trials.

For this first day I'm going to have to do something a little unusual for a book blogger.  There were a few books that I wanted to read, but I just didn't have time to get to them before this came up in the schedule.  I'm going to point them out and maybe you'll have some time to read them!

by:  Rose Earhart
published by:  Pendleton Books
publish date:  April 2000

Dorcas Good, the four year old daughter of Sarah Good, who was hanged as a witch in Salem, MA, is arrested and taken to prison, herself being accused of being a witch. Mistreated by her cruel father and others in Salem, she learns to endure physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Befriended by the pirate Jack Quelch, Dorcas is finally rescued from the dark dank prison, but not before suffering permanent emotiional damage.

The novel, written in diary form, allows the reader to experience the flavor of life in 1692 Salem, and finally tell the real stoiry of the savagery and terror of the Salem Witch Trials. It is probably the first recorded case of child abuse in this country.

This book was fairly difficult to track down.  My local libraries didn't have it and it wasn't in the interlibrary loan system.  I managed to get it from the main library in the next city over.  It's a very large book and I still have it, I just haven't gotten a chance to read it.

by:  Brunonia Barry
published by:  Flap Jacket Press
publish date:  July 2007

Look into the lace . . . When the eyes begin to fill with tears and the patience is long exhausted, there will appear a glimpse of something not quite seen... In this moment, an image will begin to form . . . in the space between what is real and what is only imagined.

Can you read your future in a piece of lace? All of the Whitney women can. But the last time Towner read, it killed her sister and nearly robbed Towner of her own sanity. Vowing never to read lace again, her resolve is tested when faced with the mysterious, unsolvable disappearance of her beloved Great Aunt Eva, Salem's original Lace Reader. Told from opposing and often unreliable perspectives, the story engages the reader's own beliefs. Should we listen to Towner, who may be losing her mind for the second time? Or should we believe John Rafferty, a no nonsense New York detective, who ran away from the city to a simpler place only to find himself inextricably involved in a psychic tug of war with all three generations of Whitney women? Does either have the whole story? Or does the truth lie somewhere in the swirling pattern of the lace? 
Obviously, this one is not directly related to the Salem Witches.  It supposedly has something to do with their descendants living in modern day Salem.  This one was much easier to find.  I located it in most libraries.  It looked like a fairly interesting read and I hope to get to it one day.

by:  Ann Rinaldi
published by:  Gulliver Books
publish date:  September 1992

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.

This one is a YA book, and we will be featuring YA books on Wednesday.  This one looks to be fairly similar to Time of the Witches as that one focuses a lot on Ann Putnam as well.    I do have this book at home so it'll be interesting to see how the two book compare. 

Of course, there's also The Crucible and who didn't have to have to read that in high school?  I know I did, but I need to reread it.  I hope you'll stick with us the rest of the week to see what else we have going on.  Tomorrow will be the writings of Kathleen Kent.  Make sure to check back!


Unknown said...

I love the idea of this event! I'd been wondering how many books based on the Witch Trials were out there...I've read A Break with Charity which, being an Ann Rinaldi book, is an excellent book for middle grade/YA readers and contains a lot of great historical information.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Thanks for the list! This is very helpful and they sound very interesting.