The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
From Library Staff
Honor Book 2012.
Sibert Award Honor Book 2012 for excellence in nonfiction.
Immerse yourself in the world of 1600s Salem with this revealing portrait of the famous, tragic community. Spooky red-and-black scratchboard artwork adds an eerie note to this unusually objective and detailed account.
Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer- The riveting, true story of the victims, accused witches, and crooked officials that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more.
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The invisible world surrounds us. It's everywhere. Things happen that are unseen. We can feel their presence but we can’t see that unknown entity that lurks in the shadows. Is it demons or witches that are causing the hot flashes or cold sweats that we occasionally feel? What about violent fits? Do you know anyone whose had any of those? If so, you can be sure that witches are nearby, casing spells upon you with a single touch.
In the mid 1600's Puritans were experiencing all sorts of pain, visions, fits and bizarre contortions, to name a few. The Puritans felt the natural world had been infiltrated by the Invisible world. These fears of the witch created new laws that made witchcraft punishable by death. Three women who were accused of casting spells were placed on trial. Hordes of crowds gathered to watch and witness the occasion. Midwives and homeless beggars were the first to be tried.
Schanzer takes readers on a trip back to early Salem where history set the stage for the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Bible thumpers wreaked havoc accusing everyone and anyone who was pointed out. So many were pointing a finger to save themselves from accusation. It was so out of control that the King of England sent Governor Phips, who then established a Court of Oyer and Terminer. The new trials had begun.
Black, white and red scratch board illustrations will have readers flipping and examining the pages and reading all of the researched facts that created such mass hysteria and death.
When 9-year-old Betty Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams began to twist and turn in the home of the Reverend Samuel Parris there was only one possible reason for it: witchcraft. And why not? This was Salem, Massachusetts where the Puritan populace knew anything was possible. What they didn’t know was that the afflicted girls would be joined by fellow accusers and launch the town, and even parts of the state, into a series of witch trials the land of America had never seen before. Rosalyn Schanzer tells it like it is, recounting many of the details, giving information on what happened to all the players when the dust settled and things got back to normal. Notes, a Bibliography, an Index, and a Note From the Author explaining how she abridged, updated, and clarified some of the original texts follow at the end.
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