The Salem Witch Trials

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Enid Portnoy
This is part of the "Essential Library" series and deals with an essential event in U.S. history which remains an important topic in the school curriculum. The Salem Witch Trials are one of the more dramatically volatile events to which young readers are attracted. Short chapters describe the story of witches from 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. Young girls began to have unexplainable emotional seizures which doctors could not explain. The Puritan villagers believed the girls were being controlled by the devil. Persecutions of witches were not uncommon in many other cultures. Witch symbolism, details of witch trials, hangings, and church actions are explained. Many of these types of happenings are highlighted pictorially in the text, which also explains their historical significance and relation to Salem. Pictures depict the people caught in the emotional web of the witch trials. Although the last witchcraft executions in England were in 1716, the execution of witches throughout Europe did not end until the mid eighteenth century. The Massachusetts trials served to heighten both the fears and doubts of the people and those accused unjustly. Eventually, through the intervention of legal and religious leaders, formal apologies and monetary compensation were offered to families of the accused, after the trials. Today scholars are still attempting to construct new theories to explain the extreme behavior of the young girls which led to the executions of twenty people. The book's author admits to enjoying writing both historical fiction and nonfiction for children and youth. The book is well researched and written with mature young readers in mind. A time line, additional resources,glossary, source notes, essential facts and an index are included. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604530490
  • Publisher: ABDO Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Essential Events Set 2 Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Turning Point     6
Social Context     14
Historical Persecution of Witches     26
Afflictions Emerge     36
Naming Witches     46
Hangings     56
Apologies, Amends, and Reparations     68
What Really Happened at Salem?     78
What Does Salem Mean to Us Today?     86
Timeline     96
Essential Facts     100
Additional Resources     102
Glossary     104
Source Notes     106
Index     108
About the Author     112
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