A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials by Ann RinaldiA Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi

A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials

byAnn Rinaldi

Paperback | August 15, 2003

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Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she break charity" with the group - and risk having her own family members named as witches? Reader's guide included. "
ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. A self-made writer and newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast. She lives with her husband in central N...
Title:A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch TrialsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7 × 4.5 × 0.79 inPublished:August 15, 2003Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0152046828

ISBN - 13:9780152046828

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not that great The year is 1691 and Susanna is an outcast because her family is richer than most of the rest of Salem, MA. She wants to join a group of girls that meet at the Reverand's house but knows that they won't accept her. A neighbour tells her that there is suspicious activity going on in the house, including the slave reading palms to tell the future. Since Susanna's brother is lost at sea, she asks the slave Tituba to read her palm and finds out that she will see her brother again. Shortly after this, the group of girls start acting afflicted by convulsing and wrestling with invisible people. They claim that witches have put curses on them and start naming names. So starts the Salem Witch Trials. Susanna knows that these girls are just acting to get attention but she was they threatened to name her family if she told anyone. In the end, as we know from history, nineteen people died before the witch hunt came to an end. This isn't the best written book, and the story isn't the most captivating, but it really gives you an idea of how quickly things can spiral out of control. This book is meant for a younger audience but I'm sure there's better literature out there for young teens to read.
Date published: 2011-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting Susanna English sees a group of girls meeting at the pastor's house and desperately wishes she were included. The year is 1706 and the place is Salem. Mass. Susanna lives in the Puritan colony where there is little fun and life is arduous, tedious and boring. The group of girls continues to grow but Susanna is still not included. The pastor's slave is from the Caribbean and the girls have been listening to her stories when their parents are not around. The girls start to have 'fits' and carry on and tell the village folk it is the fault of witches. Therein starts The Salem Witch Trials. Susanna figures out that this is all a hoax and her family is threatened if she breaks charity (tells) with the girls. Of course, anyone who has done harm to these girls or their families or is different is named as a witch. Eventually Susanna's own family is named. I found this story to be truly interesting, especially how an action can get so out of control. I did not know about the Witch Trials and truly wonder how so many people could have been taken in. Susanna is not a particularly likable character as she is such a wimp even to the extent of causing her own family grief.
Date published: 2010-12-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Intriguing A Break with Charity is set in the 1690's in Salem, Mass. home of the Witch Trials. Susanna English is the narrator an through her we learn of Ann Putnam, who becomes a leader to the group of girls that goes to visit Tituba, the servant of the local Reverend. She is said to beable to read palms etc. Susanna at first wants tojoin the girls, but Ann soon tells her she is not welcome. Susanna is soon glad that she didn't become friends with the girls, because they start calling people of Salem witches. Things spiral out of control in no time, leading to innocent people being hung. Very well written although meant for young adult readers, anyone could enjoy it. The author does a good job of using "old english" without making it complicated. I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in the Salem Witch Trials. Even though this book is fiction, the author incorporates facts into it.
Date published: 2009-08-15

Editorial Reviews

An enthralling, authentic story . . . Rinaldi at her best." - Kirkus Reviews "A graceful blend of fiction and history . . . Finely tuned, well researched and very accessible, this novel ranks with Rinaldi's finest work." - Publishers Weekly "