Sunday, September 2, 2012

Librarian's Pick of the Week: Witch Child

Title: Witch Child
Author:  Celia Rees
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: 2000
Age:  13+

Synopsis: The year is 1659, a time of fear and lies. For Mary Newbury, it is a time of desperation. While she watches, unable to intervene, her wise and beloved grandmother is falsely condemned, tortured, and hanged as a witch. Soon the relentless crowd may turn upon Mary. When a mysterious stranger offers her a way out -- safe passage to America -- she knows she must go. But she doesn't know that the turbulent voyage will bring her to yet another society where differences are feared and defiance is deadly.

Review: "I am Mary. I am a witch." Thus begins the journal of Mary Newbury, writing in the spring of 1659 as she watches her beloved grandmother being tortured and hung as a witch in her English village. Before the crowd can turn on Mary, she is whisked away and placed on a ship headed for America. Although Mary finds a new "family" and friends who understand and believe in her, her new surroundings are not a safe harbor. Witches are blamed for every death, every poor harvest, every strange phenomenon, and the lovely, aloof young Mary who finds solace in the forest and her few friends is immediately suspect. The terrifying, insidious climate of fear and blame is palpable in this work of historical fiction. The journal format is so convincing that teens may believe that Mary actually existed, and the story opens the way to ponder such issues as the destructive nature of fear and the power of a mob. - Booklist

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!


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