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The Sacrifice Paperback – August 28, 2007
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–Set in Andover in the late 17th century, this novel describes one family's experiences with the Salem witchcraft hysteria. As the story opens, 10-year-old Abigail is sitting in the stocks wearing a sign that says Sinner. She constantly questions the limits placed on her by her community and does not regret her crime–racing her male cousin, which is considered inappropriate for girls. Expecting her preacher grandfather to condemn her actions from the pulpit on Sunday, she is surprised when he speaks instead on bearing false witness–comments targeted to those who were accusing others of being witches. The madness spreads and before long, Abigail's Aunt Elizabeth is charged and jailed. Eventually, Abigail and her sister are also denounced and imprisoned, sharing her filthy, rat-infested cell. After their aunt dies, the girls' pregnant mother, believing that her condition will protect her, asks her daughters to claim that she is really the witch so that she can take their place in jail. In the end, Abigail speaks up about the evil of false accusations and helps bring the insanity to an end. Based in part on family history, Duble's narrative clearly captures the sweeping effects of community fear and shows how one youngster's bravery can bring about change. Well written with accessible language, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers.–Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. What was it like to be accused during the Salem witch hunts in 1692? Duble brings the history close through the viewpoint of Abigail, 10, who is accused of working with the devil, imprisoned, and tried along with her older sister. The social history is intensely dramatic: the spread of fear and hatred; the horrific conditions in the packed jail; the public meetings, with the accusers "moaning and groaning and screaming for the accused to stop tormenting them." But it is the story of one young girl and her family that will grab readers. Abigail is always in trouble for not knowing her place as a woman, and the book opens with her in the stocks for daring to run and raise her skirt above her knees. Her strong mother supports her irrepressible nature, unlike weak Father, who is mentally ill and whose "fits" frighten people (Is he in the devil's thrall?). The surprising climax of family sacrifice is heartrending. The author's note adds another surprise: some of Duble's own Puritan ancestors were accused of witchcraft, and this novel imagines their story. Arthur Miller's The Crucible and Ellen Levine's Catch a Tiger by the Toe (2005) are excellent fiction connections; suggest Marc Aronson's Witch-Hunt (2003) for factual perspective. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The idea that this particular retelling of the hysteria has some basis in fact helped me to embrace the story. The author discovered that she was a descendent of Abigail Faulkner, and built her story around her research. While I found some of Abigail's actions a bit questionable for a young lady in such a strict Puritan society, I did enjoy her character and felt the author did a good job weaving fiction into the tale. I do believe that this novel is marketed older than its intended audience; the reading style and level clearly work more for pre-teen than for the young adult market. I also at times found the dialogue a bit stilted, though I suspect the author was attempting to capture the atmosphere of the times.
Overall this is an excellent introduction into a time in our nation's history that leaves many of us bewildered at how easily a group of young girls managed to send so many innocents to their deaths. Enjoyable and fast reading.
I have always been fascinated by this time in history and wondered how people could have been so easily swept into this madness. The author, a descendant of the real Abigail Faulkner, based the story on some of her ancestors who were accused of withcraft.
Excellent read, especially for middle schoolers.
Most recent customer reviews
The Sacrifice is a very interesting book, the book is taking place in 1962 in Salem Massachusetts.Read more