Thursday, December 26, 2013

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

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

Release Date: September 13th 2011
 National Geographic Children’s Books
Format: H
Pages: 144
Genre: Juvenile Non-fiction
Website | Goodreads
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In the little colonial town of Salem Village, Massachusetts, two girls began to twitch, mumble, and contort their bodies into strange shapes. The doctor tried every remedy, but nothing cured the young Puritans. He grimly announced the dire diagnosis: the girls were bewitched! And then the accusations began.

The riveting, true story of the victims, accused witches, crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more unfolds in chilling detail in this young adult book by award-winning author and illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer.

With a powerful narrative, chilling primary source accounts, a design evoking the period, and stylized black-white-and-red scratchboard illustrations of young girls having wild fits in the courtroom, witches flying overhead, and the Devil and his servants terrorizing the Puritans, this book will rivet young readers with novelistic power.

Taught in middle and high schools around the U.S., the 17th-century saga remains hauntingly resonant as people struggle even today with the urgent need to find someone to blame for their misfortunes. 

In addition to the Sibert Honor, Witches! has been honored by the Society of Illustrators with their Original Art Award Gold Medal, has been named a Notable book by both the American Library Association and the National Council for the Social Studies, and was chosen one ofSchool Library Journal's 100 Magnificent Children's Books and one of Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Children's Books.

This is a children’s non-fiction book about the Salem Witch Trials. This book tells the stories of the victims and their families, the corrupt officials, and everything that went along with the trials. Over 20 people lost their lives, including 3 dogs, not to mention all the families whose lives were ruined because of it.

The whole witch trial fisasco started when two young girls came down with a strange illness that caused them to contort their bodies into strange shapes. The doctor tried everything to make it stop but had no success. He then decided that the girls were bewitched. The girls and many of their friends started pointing out people that they thought were witches. Then came people who had grudges against someone else. All these people were tried and decided they were guilty all from evidence that couldn’t be seen.

There is a lot of information crammed into this tiny book. The first few pages are pretty dense and could potentially lose a child’s focus but if they powered through that then they would probably like the book. The drawings are amazing. They are all black, white, and red and sort of a wood carving look. They are pretty creepy too. I actually learned quite a few things from this book. I highly recommend it if you are interested in the Salem Witch Trials! If not then at least for the drawings.

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