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Beyond the Burning Time (Point Signature) Paperback – January 1, 1996

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Beyond the Burning Time (Point Signature) + A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Series: Point Signature
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590473328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590473323
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The evocative cover illustration of a Puritan woman in chains silhouetted against a flaming sky promises a high historical drama about the Salem witch trials. What Lasky (Sugaring Time; The Night Journey) delivers instead is a soap opera with shoe buckles. Despite the author's research (described in a note at the end), this overblown narrative is riddled with anachronisms and just plain howlers. An awesome mom of 1692, for example, spouts such pronouncements as "All parents must learn to let go of their children." The foulest witchcraft in the book goes unremarked by Lasky, whose protagonist Mary Chase has worked with her mare since it was "just a colt." It is wondrous, too, that a Salem resident carries a kerosene lantern and that Mary's mother wears drawers, neither item having been in use until the 19th century. The writing isn't much sturdier than the scholarship: Lasky tosses in some rock-'em, sock-'em fight scenes, a ghost and an imperilled woman of virtue rescued at the 11th hour-as if the hysteria of the Salem villagers wasn't excitement enough. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9?Mary Chase's sense of foreboding grows as, one by one, her friends fall prey to evidence of witchcraft and the innocent are identified as witches. She is horrified by the growing hysteria, and dismayed when her mother, who is a widow working a farm without a man, is cried out upon and arrested. Characterizations of Mary and her brother, Caleb, apprentice to a ship's carpenter, are sturdy and complex. The young people are placed squarely in the milieu of 1691 Salem, and their intelligence and healthy disbelief in witchery make them likable. Their bravely engineered rescue of their mother from execution is stirring. Interestingly, Lasky examines the social, religious, and economic forces that affected Salem Village and the Massachusetts Colony. Elements as diverse as two neighbors' feud over property and Cotton Mather's satisfaction that the governor should spend his time pursuing the French and the Indians (leaving the Puritan minister in charge of "the witch business") are included. Well researched and documented with extensive notes, the book also interweaves information about colonial ship construction and the effect on the colony of being charterless. Written in fairly formal language and diction, as befits the 17th-century setting, Beyond the Burning Time is a readable, engrossing, and sometimes exciting tale of an important era in American history. In spite of the fact that its interest and reading level are quite similar to Ann Rinaldi's A Break with Charity (Harcourt, 1992), Beyond the Burning Time merits purchase where the subject is popular.?Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Hi Readers! Thanks for coming by my author page. I've written all sorts of books - from fantasy about animals to books about science. One of my favorite animal fantasy series, Guardians of Ga'Hoole, is a major motion picture. I liked writing about Ga'Hoole so much that I decided to revisit that world in a different series, Wolves of the Beyond. I've recently added a new Guardians book: The Rise of A Legend, the story of Ezylryb, the great sage of the Ga'Hoole Tree. Another new book just came out, the first in the Horses of the Dawn series. I think of it as an equine retelling of the Spanish conquest of the New World. Visit my website, www.kathrynlasky.com for the latest news. All my best, Kathryn

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Library Binding
Beyond the Burning Time is a great book. This historicalfiction is not only educational, but it is very interesting. Beyondthe Burning Time is a book about the Salem Witch Trials. As most people know, the Salem Witch Trials took place in the late 1600's. To be more precise, they took place in the year of 1692. It tells a story about a girl named Mary Chase who watches all the horrible things going on in her once quiet town. All of the "afflicted" girls cause many people to be hanged because they are accused of witch craft. All of the afflicted girls are Mary's age, and she wonders and worries all of the nasty seizures that the afflicted girls have will happen to her. Then, when her mother becomes of witch craft, Mary and her brother Caleb have to try to put an end to all these deaths. Can they save their mother in time, or are they too late? Well, you will just have to read this book to find out. I'm sure you will enjoy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RGandhi on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Beyond the Burning Time
By: Lasky, Kathryn
Reviewed By: R. Gandhi
Period: P.1
It starts out in the village of Salem. Mary Chase and her widowed mother, Virginia Chase, tend a farm with the help of a friend named Gilly. Gilly is soon chased away because he was caught spying on Virginia Chase. Caleb is Mary's brother and works as an apprentice nearby at a shipyard. Soon rumor spreads around that witchcraft is going on in Salem. Innocent people are wrongly accused, taken away for a dehumanization exam, given a trial, and later hung. Mary Chases' family isn't affected until Virginia was accused. Caleb is frightened and takes Mary to Boston where Mary works in a tavern. However, Boston is where Gallows Hill is located. Also, the new governor wants to continue the witch trials. Therefore, Caleb and a new character, Captain Coatsworth chart a plan and save Virginia Chase before her hanging. Virginia gets her foot amputated and later marries a Captain in Jamaica.
This book was very intoxicating! Since I am deeply interested in the supernatural world, I thought the book was great! The author was also descriptive. I could see a movie of the book in my head as I was reading. One great example is, "The girl's tongue lolled out, long as an eel. Her eyes widened. She began making the most piteous cries." Another great example is, "...dusk had settled thickly on the land. They moved quietly through the deepening shadows to the lilac bush. Inside the house they could see the glow of several candles and kerosene lamps."
This book was not very dislikable. At times it got somewhat boring. However, you could read on without falling asleep. Also, directly after the tedious part came something that was quite interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Beyond the Burning Time is an example of life during the Salem witch trials. It follows the story of Mary Chase and her family who live in Salem Village during the time of the witch trials. These girls are being afflicted and there is gossip going around that some people might be the witches. Mary knows the girls who are being afflicted by the "witches" supposedly haunting Salem. Mary doesn't think much of it until her mother is accused of witchcraft. Mary gets her brother, Caleb from the shipyards where he works and they conceive a plan to save their mother.
Soon the madness spreads and Mary was forced to move out of Salem Village with Caleb. Caleb knew his surroundings in Salem because he would walk around sometimes after his daily shift was over at the shipyard. That was where Caleb and Mary began their journey. Their goal was to speak to the Governor about their mother and all the other people accused of being witches. They had made it to the Governors office, and Caleb said that his boss had sent him from his shipyard to get in to see him. So they talked, and Caleb couldn't get to the part that innocent people were being accused of witchcraft. So they left, and Mary started to have her doubts on how she was to get her mother out of jail. They had put her in chains. That night Mary started to think of a plan, but she needed someone else to help her.
While they stayed, Mary found a job at a restaurant and Caleb worked at the shipyard. At the restaurant, the captain for one of the ships in the shipyard, Captain Coatsworth, came in and heard Mary's story of her mother from another waitress and offered to help Mary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
How would you feel if someone betrayed you and said that you are something that you are not? In the novel Beyond the Burning Time, by Kathryn Lasky, the people of Salem Town thought that Ann Putnam, Mary Walcott, or Mercy Lewis were saviors because they were supposed to the gift to spot witches. These girls would say they saw something and then they would accuse someone of witchcraft. Their word alone was enough to put people in jail and on trial for witchcraft. It was thought that there were five witches in Salem. The Chase family of Salem Town did not believe in witchcraft. Imagine the surprise of Mary and Caleb Chase when the three girls look closer to their own family. Are the accusations of the girls real?
I liked this novel because it taught me about a specific time in American History. The witch-hunts in Salem are not one of the proudest moments in our history. They are an example of how hatred and fear can destroy innocent peoples lives. One thing that I disliked about the novel was how arbitrarily people made accusations. There was no way to verify whether the accusations made against the people were justified.
When I compare this book to other books that I have read, this one of my favorite books. I liked this book because it was interesting to read. It interested me because I could never imagine living in a situation like Mary did. It is hard to imagine living at a time when life could be a living hell.
This was an enjoyable book for me to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning about American history. This story gave more than the facts of what happened in Salem Town. It gave us a glimpse of the experience through the eyes a person who lived through it.
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