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Salem Witch (My Side of the Story) Paperback – October 4, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: My Side of the Story
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher (October 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753459914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753459911
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,821,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—An unusual format brings a fresh angle to this historical event. Elizabeth and George live in 1692 Salem. When teen girls suddenly start claiming that they have been possessed by townspeople who are witches, the two friends are not sure what to believe, and their opinions diverge as the community puts the women on trial. Elizabeth and her family believe that the women are innocent, whereas George's father is vehement in his condemnation of the accused, and his son begins to be persuaded as well. The ultimate test of their friendship comes when Elizabeth herself is targeted. The opportunity to read Elizabeth's side of the story first and then flip the book over to read George's fleshes out the characters and gives them distinct voices. This book demonstrates that there is often more than one version of history.—Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

An unusual format brings a fresh angle to this historical event. . . . The opportunity to read Elizabeth's side of the story first and then flip the book over to read George's fleshes out the characters and gives them distinct voices. This book demonstrates that there is often more than one version of history. (School Library Journal)

"..powerful novel...Original." -Books for Growing Minds

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
My side of the story books make the story sooo much more interesting.
LexiJane
The reader then flips the book over to read another perspective of the same story, told by a different child.
Jennifer Robinson
Her best friend, George, has a father who's job is a judge for court trials.
Fiona

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on October 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Salem Witch by Patricia Hermes is the first book that I've read from Kingfisher's My Side of the Story series, and I quite enjoyed it. This series features turbulent times from history (the 1665 London plague, the settling of America, World War II, etc). A story is told from the perspective of a child living during that time. The reader then flips the book over to read another perspective of the same story, told by a different child.

Salem Witch is set, as you might expect from the title, during the Salem witch trials of 1692. Elizabeth is the only child of relatively affluent and educated parents. Her father is a merchant who owns several ships, and her mother, atypical for the time, knows how to read. Because of her slightly unconventional upbringing, Elizabeth is more independent and free-thinking than most of the other Salem girls. Her best friend is a boy named George, the son of a local magistrate. George loves art and drawing, but is being pressured by his father to put aside such frivolous pursuits and take on the more practical career of law. Although the two are close friends, their different views on the witch trials put them at odds with one another.

I've always had an interest in the Salem witch trials, having grown up 20 miles from Salem. I think that Patricia Hermes did a nice job in this book of creating a fictional story, but populating it with actual people and events (and even dialog from trial transcripts) from the time. The story begins as several young girls start having fits, and claiming that witches are tormenting them. The first "witches" accused are social outcasts: a slave, a homeless woman and child, and a cantankerous old woman, all of whom have no one to speak for them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LexiJane on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
My side of the story books make the story sooo much more interesting. You get to hear about two peoples different opinions and views on the same subject, conversations, and dillemas.The author writes the book in such a way that you feel like you are involved in everything that is going on. Educational and interesting, I love historical fiction. The discriptions and dialouge are ingeniusly written giving you every ounce of information thats needed to make the story come to life. I would reccommend this book to anyone who likes history, witches, and drama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. E. ader on December 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
In children's literature, you are led to believe that there are good, and there are evil. The good are always the right ones and that is what you should be. No one ever decides to put themselves in the so-called "evil" side's views. The accused witches really thought they were doing right by protesting their innocence, and the townsfolk thought they were right for getting rid of those terrorizing their town. Though Patricia Hermes strays off at the end, she really does show us the mistakes we have been making, living in the illusion of pure good and evil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
SALEM WITCH: MY SIDE OF THE STORY is told from two different perspectives.

Elizabeth is a young girl living in Boston who unfortunately angers the wrong people: her cousin and her cousin's friends. Suddenly, Elizabeth finds herself being accused of being a witch! And this isn't good news since the town of Boston recently hung a few accused "witches."

Can Elizabeth prove her innocence before she is hanged? What will happen if no one believes that she's innocent of these charges?

George is the son of a very prominent Bostonian. He is around for all of these witch accusations and becomes increasingly afraid of the horrors happening throughout the town. When his best friend, Elizabeth, is accused of being a witch, George knows this witch business might not be truly legit.

Can George save his friend from the horrors of being named a witch? Or will George stick to his family ties, mainly his father, and persecute all women accused of being a witch?

Patricia Hermes writes about an interesting and controversial historical event through the eyes of two youngsters. Her ability to tell this gruesome story through a shield of innocence is amazing. Overall, this book is a good read that is both entertaining and informational.

Reviewed by: Steph
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fiona on November 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are two sides in this incredible book, of the same story that is. Books with two sides are good, it lets you get all the information. The TRUE plot in this book happened a while ago in 1692, but in my opinion, that is a good thing. I love books with a non-fiction story that happened years and years ago. A girl named Elizabeth lives in the small town of Salem. Her best friend, George, has a father who's job is a judge for court trials. Strange things start happening. People getting bewitched, having fits and saying the devil tried to make them sign his book. Georges father runs court trials with the bewitched and the people whom the bewitched said were the witches bewitching them, so Elizabeth goes and watches the trials, she thinks this is all kinda, until it gets scary when the bewitched say that she is a witch! With horror, tears, and some happiness she makes it through, well almost, they must escape get away from horrible Salem! Georges side is different and you must read it after Elizabeth side of the story. You can find out Georges side by yourself, it is very awesome! I HIGHLY recommend this book to people who like the olden days and intensifying moments!
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More About the Author

Patricia Hermes is the author of almost fifty books for readers from early middle grades through young adult, as well as two nonfiction books for adults. Her books have won many awards and recognitions: American Library Association Best Book, Smithsonian Notable Book, C.S. Lewis Honor Book, Ira Children's Choice, as well as many state awards, four of them for the novel,You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye.

As a lecturer and speaker at schools and libraries, she engages her audience with her lively presentations, underscoring key qualities of good writing, and, of course, good rewriting. (She has been known to revise her books ten times!) She has researched and written six historical novels in the Scholastic Dear America/My America series.

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