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Salem Witch Trials

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Foucart
A part of the educational "Turning Points in U.S. History" series, this volume discusses the topic of the Salem Witch Trials in an appropriate way for younger readers. It provides background information on the history of witchcraft, and devotes chapters to the beginning of the scare, the hunt, and the trials. The executions are also discussed, but they are not dwelt on in detail, only in historic fact, and time is also spent on what has been learned since then. There are a few details in the first chapter, which might cause some confusion with younger readers. In one illustration, a sorcerer is described as being "surrounded by eerie symbols," yet unfortunately some of those symbols include the Star of David, and there is no mention made of the discrimination against the Jewish people during those old world witch trials. Also, another illustration in that same chapter is from early in this past century, which does not accurately portray how witches were seen in the old world, as the chapter describes the persecutions which took place between the 1400s and 1600s; however, the information pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials specifically is detailed and well-documented, and, therefore, this volume should be included for any library looking to expand their collection of works on the happenings of colonial America. Reviewer: Kathleen Foucart
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Anecdotes highlighting the human element make these standard history topics more memorable. For example, Yorktown explains why General Washington had to schedule battles around certain dates-most men only enlisted for short periods. However, the authors have isolated the events in order to keep the narratives short, and the tight focus necessitates a loss of detail, so that additional resources will be needed to present the events in context. Fradin explains that the United States received help from France and highlights General Rochambeau's assistance to Washington, but Lafayette is not mentioned. In Gold Rush , a highlighted box describes the effects of the population influx on Native Americans, but does not say that many California immigrants were Chinese. Salem maintains an objective tone. It notes the relatively recent theory that contaminated food may have caused hallucinations in people throughout the area. In all three books, the stock images include reproductions of period paintings, woodcuts, engravings, and documents, as well as modern maps. They share an oddly colorized quality (perhaps brightened from the originals?), but they are plentiful and add some visual appeal.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761430131
  • Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Series: Turning Points in U. S. History Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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