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Witness Paperback – March 1, 2003
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All, however, are galvanized towards action when a shadowy figure shoots at Esther and her father right through Sara's front door. Who would commit such an evil act? And is it too late to remove the poison that has insidiously leaked into their once tight-knit community? Part mystery, part social commentary, Hesse's historically accurate chronicle is a riveting catalyst for discussion that thoughtfully explores race and identity from every possible point of view. The free verse format and distinct characterizations also make Witness a perfect choice for library or classroom reader's theater productions. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book proved to be interesting and the content was apppropriate for a nine year old to be exposed to. It was a time of parent-child sharing. It has provoked discussion and will cause us to further expolore these issues and even look up a bit more about some of the details. The 'free verse format' actually worked out very well as the book moved quickly and could be read in a few settings even by a nine year old. By reading it out loud there were lots of opportunities to learn about new words and practice pronunciation. I highly recommend this book.
As a 5th grade teacher well-read in trade books for children ages 9-12, this is really disconcerting. Author and publisher are overconfident about historical background knowledge they presume children possess at the time of accessing a book. Appreciation and insight is limited.
In OUT OF THE DUST, references to the Lindberg kidnapping, the Canadian Quintuplets, and even FDR go right over children's heads. It will be the same in WITNESS--Clarence Darrow; the Loeb trial; Prohibition and "rum-running"; the allusion to the death of the son of the president who was Coolige's predecessor; minstrel shows; the racist Hollywood movie endorsed by President Wilson; hoods, burning crosses, and the KKK--even the quaint jargon of the 6 year old female protagonist--all are foreign material for children without background. Many literate adults (myself included) would have to refresh their memory by futher reading of some of these oblique references in Hesse's narrative. I may recall that the KKK enjoyed its highest appeal in the 1920's and made its entry into non-Southern states but I cannot recall the reasons.
The antidote to my criticism--include an Afterward with historical and biographical sketches. At least give children a picture of a KKK rally or even a hate lynching of a "Negro!" And if you can present a historical photo of a KKK meeting in Vermont--all the better!Read more ›
The voices are distinct and interesting -- I especially like those of Esther Hirsch and the Pettibones. The "plot" is compelling and not at all predictable. The photographs at the front are a nice touch -- they really create the community and flesh out the voices.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My 7th grader had to read this for Social Studies, and although the topic is difficult, I'm very glad he had the opportunity to read it and understand racism -- especially in this... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Heidi L. Rafferty
Well, it was a great book, but also the word choice is also great. I couldn't understand a few words but look it up in the dictionary and it will make sense.Published 7 months ago by Andrew
I am an adult who loves to read children's books -- especially children's book that enlighten and educate. I may be in my 50's, but I still have a lot to learn. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Vick
Even though it is written for young adults, the layers, allusions, and figurative language make this an excellent read for any age.Published 10 months ago by Marino Mangini
I love this story at first it is a little confusing but then it clears up this is a great bookPublished 12 months ago by Hailey
Brook was very interesting when Ira Hirsh was shot. Also, I didn't expect to see Johnny Reeves to do this to himself.Published 14 months ago by Dawn Smith
Very engaging, intriguing, short play. Easy to read. There doesnot seem to be a moral or reason for the play, but wriiten well enough that enjoyed reading it anyway.Published 16 months ago by Heidi Bell