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Paperback The Witchcraft of Salem Village Book

ISBN: 0394891767

ISBN13: 9780394891767

The Witchcraft of Salem Village

(Book #69 in the Landmark Books Series)

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Book Overview

Stories of magic, superstition, and witchcraft were strictly forbidden in the little town of Salem Village. But a group of young girls ignored those rules, spellbound by the tales told by a woman named Tituba. When questioned about their activities, the terrified girls set off a whirlwind of controversy as they accused townsperson after townsperson of being witches.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A very good preface to the subject of the Salem witchcraft trials

There were two reasons for my interest in this book; one is the fascinating issue of the Salem Witchcraft trials, a subject that has intrigued me for years (I first encountered this topic while reading articles dealing with matters of child testimony in court and children eyewitness in general) and the second is the writer, Shirley Jackson, whose work I try to read in full. It is no wonder Shirley Jackson has chosen to write about this chapter in American history. Shirley Jackson, as her biography notes, was interested not only in witchcraft and the supernatural, but more in the power of the community, especially a small one, on an individual person. Jackson experienced this power as an evil force and she describes it as such in her work (a good example would be the book "We have always lived in the castle"). Several efforts were made to link Jackson's personal life with her work. After reading much of her work and biography one realizes how she must have sympathized with the accused in the Salem Witchcraft Trials, as a person who was also an outcast or a "strange" member of the community. It seems that the issue of the Salem Witchcraft Trials was more then just an historical chapter for Shirley Jackson. But beyond the author herself, this is a description of a dead end situation for those wrongly accused of witchcraft and nothing they may possibly do could prove them innocent. Jackson does well in her effort to describe the political and religious atmosphere of the time before getting to the story itself. This is the horrible tale of a group of girls, who in their fear for themselves wrongly accuse other people in witchcraft. One event leads to another and pretty soon they are many steps beyond return. The atmosphere of the time enabled such misdeeds to happen. As the book is intended for kids, the language and terminology are rather simple, yet Jackson manages to be clear and precise and does not let her thoughts and feelings (which we can only imagine) evade the writing. Even though Jackson describes the wrongdoings she does not dwell on the suffering of the accused when blamed, in prison, or the after come of the hanging itself. Jackson tries to stick to the historical details and facts and gives an objective description of the events themselves. However, Jackson does not wish to leave her historical story to mere facts, as facts are rather scarce in this case. The author tries to supply reasons and semi-explanations as to how something as terrible as this could have happened. Besides the court summaries, names and details of living people there are no real facts to hang on to, and what could be the facts in this case? The mere facts were only the tales and actions of the "Afflicted children" and the atmosphere in the country during the time of the Salem trials. I found the book very clear and interesting although as an adult I feel I would like to further dwell into this issue. This is a good job of describing the episode to children ( I

Witchcraft Truth

Jackson shows me what it is like to live in 1692 and have magic on your hands! I definitly recomend this book for 12- adult!Jackson ROCKS!

Excellent History Lesson for Children

This book was an excellent educational book and an easy read for children to understand and learn from. It is clear that this Martha Nassaer has an egotistic issue (arrogance) and has filled her review with what she believes to be impressive words; however, all were meaningless and unimpressive to this reader. It is unfortunate that people would use such a forum to dissuade others from reading such a wonderful book. Obviously, she is not an educator. I highly recommend it for children 8 and up.

An excellent introduction to the Salem witch hysteria

This book introduces young readers to a fascinating and complex incident in American history, and does so with clarity, accuracy, and very good writing. It is suitable for middle readers, but I've also recommended this book to middle and high school students, as it provides the best concise introduction to the topic that I've yet come across. If you've got a term paper looming, start with this book. Each review has a context -- the background and personal bias of the reviewer. I'm a former history teacher, now a full time writer, and the Salem incident has fascinated me since childhood. Social history, especially the history of witchcraft and witchcraft accusations, is a particular interest. I have a library of several dozen books on the topic, and have read many more. The focus and clarity of this book made it stand out, even against this extensive background. The straightforward storytelling and lack of speculation and moralizing are refreshing, and a fine antidote to ponderous tomes. Historians often forget that storytelling lies at the heart of history; Ms. Jackson has not. Even if your interest is scholarly and you intend to delve into more detail, this book is well worth reading. I recommend this book to a wide spectrum of readers. Middle readers will be able to absorb the story. Students looking for an overview will find this provides an excellent foundation. For teachers, librarians and parents seeking good nonfiction, this book is far superior to any other young reader treatment I've seen. History teachers who want to cover the subject and need a refresher on the facts -- and a lesson in style -- will find this book useful. In fact, persons of any age and education with an interest in this subject are likely to find this book worthwhile.

I love this book! Great story of witch craft in a small town

If you're into witch craft, not spells like witches, but books and stories I suggest that you read it. It's a wonderful true story of the 1800's or 1900's(can't remember to tell the truth)in a small village where these girls pretend to be controled by demons, and the town is going through havok, she's a witch and she is too! And so they end up killing several women. There are more details, so read the book!
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