Sunday, January 22, 2006
Duble, Kathleen Benner. 2005. THE SACRIFICE. New York: Margaret K. McElderry. ISBN 0689876505 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-9]
In 1692, everything changed for the Faulkner family and the people of Andover. In the nearby town of Salem, Massachusetts, witches have been found. Not much time passes before two girls are brought to Andover to determine whether or not each person in the town is a witch. “They claim they are tormented by the devil, pinched by him, and made to suffer to him. They claim they that they are tortured until his witches lay their hands upon them. Then and only then does the suffering end.” Though the Faulkner family passes the initial accusations, it isn’t long before ten-year-old Abigail and her older sister Dorothy are arrested for being witches. The two girls are taken to Salem and exposed to the horrific conditions of the packed jail. A mother’s love and devotion to her children, however, proves to be life saving.
Duble began writing this story when she learned a group of her own ancestors had been accused and jailed of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of 1692. The events in THE SACRIFICE are based on the actual events of Duble’s family history, even so far as the sacrifice that was made. Since some changes occurred in the telling, Duble includes an author’s note explaining the similarities and differences to the actual account. The story is told from Abigail’s point of view and allows readers to feel what the “witches” would have experienced during the accusations, the time in jail, and the trial.
Duble wrote THE SACRIFICE after learning more about her ancestors. Have readers research their own family histories by conducting interviews with relatives or reading any diaries or journals written by family members. Encourage readers to share interesting stories that they learned about their families.
Other books about the Salem Witch Trials:
Rinaldi, Ann. A BREAK WITH CHARITY: A STORY ABOUT THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS. ISBN 0152046828
Wilson, Lori Lee. SALEM WITCH TRIAL: HOW HISTORY IS INVENTED. ISBN 0822548895
By Mary D. Buckalo