Reviews for Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? : And Other Questions About the Witchcraft Trials

Booklist Reviews 2012 February #1
The Six Questions of American History series investigates events in our nation's past in the same way a journalist might--through the framework of who, what, when, where, why, and how. As a result, readers uncover the past rather than memorize it. Plentiful photos and maps, as well as supplementary material--presented on ripped-out notebook pages in lieu of text boxes--makes for a highly readable format. (Also used less successfully as information devices are the immediately dated images of cell phones and GPS.) Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem? delves into the ever-fascinating world of 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, when witch hysteria led to accusations, trials, and hangings. Back matter here is superb: each title includes a primary-source document (e.g., "Notes from Thomas Jefferson"), as well as an activity (e.g., "Imagine that you are a reporter at one of the witch trials"), time line, source notes, and bibliography, plus further reading and websites. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Informative sidebars and colorful graphics enhance these lively narratives. Salem and Oregon Trail especially stand out because they give young readers an understanding through the eyes of people who lived at the time. Articles is a more linear, factual account, clearly showing the development of the American federal system of government. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., ind.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

Gr 5-8--This accessible guide is attractively designed and concisely written. Courtroom terms such as "evidence," "jury," and "innocent" are briefly defined. Chapters conclude and set up the following chapter with who/what/where questions, such as "Who was the first person accused of being a witch?" and "When did the first witch trial take place?" Several nuggets of information take this beyond a recitation of facts and figures about the trials. Young women's role in Puritan society is discussed in relation to the trials, and the aftermath of the trials, including the institution of a day of remembrance, a public apology, reparations to victims, and overturning of guilty verdicts, concludes the text. Waxman writes in a conversational tone that will engage readers. Further questions and answers are contained in text boxes, while contemporary illustrations and examples of primary sources are featured throughout the text. Students are encouraged to write an article about the witchcraft trials using the six who/what/when/where/why/how questions. Several images are cleverly presented as if appearing on a smartphone or other modern electronic device, which are effective attention-getters. A solid, informative title.--Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

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