A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

by Ann Rinaldi

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she "break charity" with the group—and risk having her own family members named as witches?
Reader's guide included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152046828
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 06/07/2003
Series: Great Episodes Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 127,305
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. She has received numerous starred reviews and awards, as well as widespread recognition for her historical novels. Ms. Rinaldi lives in central New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Prologue--1706 1(4)
1. THE WOMAN WHO WASN'T THERE
5(11)
2. TITUBA
16(11)
3. FOUR CREATURES
27(7)
4. MY FATHER'S HOUSE
34(10)
5. BEYOND THE CAULDRON'S BUBBLING CONTENTS
44(8)
6. THE GIRL WHO LIVED IN THE WOODS
52(11)
7. THE EVIL HAND
63(7)
8. APPLE TARTS AND CONVERSATION
70(8)
9. CHOOSING SIDES
78(8)
10. NAMING THE TORMENTORS
86(12)
11. TITUBA'S TALE
98(6)
12. MAMA TAKES A STAND
104(11)
13. OUR LAST GOOD HOPE
115(10)
14. THE SHIP IN THE SKY
125(10)
15. THE CAT AND THE WHEEL
135(12)
16. ANOTHER CIRCLE IN SALEM
147(11)
17. WHEN I HEAR THE OWLS CALL AT NIGHT
158(8)
18. HOW MANY MORE, SUSANNA ENGLISH?
166(12)
19. MY DARK TALE
178(11)
20. THE WITCH ON THE WINDLASS
189(14)
21. A PROMISE IN MOONLIGHT
203(10)
22. UNDER THE HANGING TREE
213(8)
23. THE TIME HAS COME
221(14)
Epilogue--1706 235(10)
Author's Note 245(10)
Bibliography 255

Reading Group Guide

1. Why does Susanna feel she is as guilty as Ann Putnam and her circle of girls? Do you think she shares their guilt?

2. Father English advises Susanna: "Think for yourself, daughter. But know when to speak and when to remain silent." Susanna had many chances to tell what she knew about Ann's circle. Why didn't she break charity with the girls? Would you have spoken up in her situation?

3. Why did the magistrates believe the girl accusers?

4. Susanna claims that "ideas were never encouraged in Salem." Why might ideas be discouraged?

5. John Indian says, "If we waited all our lives to do what was allowed, we would never do anything." Is it ever a good idea to do things that aren't allowed?

6. Why would Ann and her friends fake possession by the devil and accuse innocent people of witchcraft? How do you feel about their reasons? Do kids today do cruel things for sport and attention? Who could you turn to if you knew about kids creating trouble?

7. Why did Tituba and other prisoners confess to a crime they didn't commit?

8. Susanna believes the townspeople will forgive Ann when she asks for forgiveness. Why would they? Would you?

Copyright (c) 2003. Published in the U.S. by Harcourt, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Break with Charity 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
Stefie1980 More than 1 year ago
If you love historical fiction about the Salem Witch Trials, then this is the book for you. Although it is written for children 10 to 14 years of age (yes, I am almost 30), I still found it very interesting. I even learned some things. The author did a great job bringing the characters to life. I also enjoyed the Authors note at the end of the novel (which I dont usually read). She included some great facts and explained which characters were real and who was fictional. I read the book in 1 day!! I plan on reading more by this author!! 2 thumbs up!!
hockey22 More than 1 year ago
Awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love all of Ann Rinaldi's books but this one was the best. It is very historically accurate and kept me interested the whole time. I read it in a day it was so good! I will definitely keep reading historical fiction books by Ann Rinaldi and would recommend them to anyone even if they don't like historical fiction.
Sassy_Seshat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great, well researched fictional story about the events of the Salem Witch Trials. Includes a great authors not that separates fact from fiction.
SadieReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"A Break with Charity" is an historical novel that takes place during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. It begins in 1706 with Susanna English returning to Salem to hear the apologies of Ann Putnam, one of the girls foremost responsible for the trials. The majority of the book is Elizabeth's reflection on the events surrounding the trials, starting with the forming of a girls' circle in the reverend's house. In the beginning, Elizabeth desperately wanted to be part of the girls' circle. However, their shunning her turns out to be somewhat of a blessing when the girls take to falsely accusing people in the community whom Ann and her mother don't like of being witches. Although Elizabeth wants to tell her parents and the elders of Salem what she knows about the girls, she is fearful of Ann's threats to name her parents as witches next. As the community is torn apart by the trials which begin leading to hangings, will Elizabeth build up the courage to tell what she knows and try to put a stop to the injustice?This is a great novel for high school sophomores and juniors. It would be especially appropriate for American History classes and as an alternative or companion to The Crucible. Two of the things I truly appreciated about it were the bibliography and the author's note at the end. The bibliography gave full citations of 11 references the author, Ann Rinaldi, used as research for her story, several of which were primary documents. The author's note explains the inspiration for the story and shows that many of the characters are true historical figures. The author is careful to relate exactly what is fiction and what is fact. The only complaint I would have about he book is that the author tried to use Puritan language for some of the dialogue and it did not sound authentic. However, I did enjoy this story and the look it gave me into the perplexing history of the Salem Witch Trials.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"A Break With Charity" is my personal favorite Ann Rinaldi book ever. The Salem Witch Trials were a fascinating part of history, and Rinaldi has truly brought them to life.The characters, setting, and over-all dark, foreboding feel to the book make it so realistic that it is almost eerie. I would love to re-read it on Halloween... But don't get the idea that this is a horror book. Infact, it isn't even suspense or a thriller, it is historical fiction that very vividly portrays a dark time in American history.This book is amazing! Rinaldi at her best.
coffee.is.yum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great historical novel about the Salem Witch Trials. Rinaldi gives the readers the insightful perspective through a protagonist who has witnessed the Salem Witch Trials from the very beignning--from the meetings of the Circle to the confession of Ann Putnam followed years after everything is put to rest.The character development was wonderfully done with all the character included in the story, and all the major events regarding the history of the Salem Witch Trials (and even minor ones) are included. It was interesting to see the group of girls have a reason behind their "sickness" of calling out wiches rather than just making the reader speculate and come up with his/her own opinion of the story. Instead, we get a behind-the-scenes account with the protagonist as Ann Putnam reveals her sinister motivations.Overall, an interesting read.
CozyLover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first Rinaldi book I ever read, picked up while on a day trip to Salem. She did such a good job with the story, making her version of the Witch hysteria entirely plausible, that I become hooked on her as an author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Me and the rest of my classmates love it so far, today we finish up chapter 10 and we are exited to finish it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im on pg 60 and so far it is pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can not belive that susana went to ticuba for help about william its so sweet to think that some siblings get along but alo when betty parris was talking in chapter 5 she sounded pusesd like a ghost or something i mean get this girl so advil or something call 911 shes crazy!!!!!!!!!!!! No just kiding he is just really sick like your dieing sick but other than that weard/scary pary its a real good book -read this book :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Ann Rinaldi has created a masterpiece! This book is not only very informational, but also has a great deal of romance and suspense. If you can't handle slight tragedy/violence, then this isn't a great choice for you. I, however, like horror stories as well as drama, comedy, etc... so the touch of scariness was great. If you are anything like I am and like most genres of book, this will be great for you. And I can guarentee a five star rating for everyone.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is amazing. It might be a bit frightening in some parts but you get over it pretty quickly. I had to read this for school (well I did not have to but I chose to) I think this book is for fifth or sixth graders. I have not finished it yet but I probably will today because it is so good!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful source for life in the salem witch time. I think this is a great book when you need to read historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to purchase this book for school and it is a perfect resource for information in the Salem Witch Trials. This is a captivating, spine-chilling novel that everyoe should read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice, easy read. A touch of fiction to get you to see this story from a different perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so suspenceful. I loved it because i like reading historical fiction and the salem witch trials. I really liked this novel.