Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem


  • History related title
  • Age Range: Grades 5-high school
  • Author: Rosalyn Schanzer
  • Title: Witches! : The absolutely true tale of disaster in Salem
  • Publisher: Washington, D.C. :, National Geographic Society
  • 2011
  • 144 pages.
  • ISBN: 978-1-4263-0869-7
  • Awards: Society of Illustrators Gold Medal for Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2011~2012 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award~ALA Notable Children’s Book~School Library Journal Starred Review and Best Book of the Year~NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book~A Junior Library Guild Selection for Fall 2011~NY Public Library’s 25 Best Nonfiction Titles of 2011~A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book~Fuse #8 list of 100 Magnificent Children’s Books of 2011~Kid Lit Frenzy top 5 Middle Grade Picks of 2011~Included in Communication Arts Magazine’s May/June 2012 Annual Illustration Issue
  • Author’s website: http://www.rosalynschanzer.com/, Author’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD3sI0LgKSM

Strong black and white graphics compliment vivid, rhythmic and colorful language that details the story of the Salem witch trials. Accused of deviltry, hundreds had their reputations, livelihoods and lives ruined; more than twenty lost their lives.

Schanzer’s excellent illustrations both set the mood and help keep the many characters straight in the reader’s mind. Her well-researched account seamlessly blends background material, authorial exposition and primary sources to create a vivid and unforgettable account that is enhanced by effective book design.

An index, portrait chronology of accused and accusers, and a preface set the stage. Back matter includes notes, an extensive bibliography, index and an author’s note that describes how she clarified and abridged some primary documents: original text can be found through the notes.


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