Camille's Reviews > Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem

Witches by Rosalyn Schanzer
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's review
Mar 05, 12

bookshelves: book-club, histories
Read in March, 2012

I've always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, and have watched several documentaries and films about it, but this book is the first piece of literature I've ever read about it and I'm glad. I've mentioned it a couple times in my reviews of other books, but I LOVE PRIMARY SOURCES! And this book is chock full of quotes from trial transcripts, letters and public documents and wouldn't you know, the bibliography has web links so I can look them up! This book is perfect for people (kids especially) who like history, or who need to read a nonfiction book, but would rather it read kind of like a novel.

I did have a problem, though. I often found the storyline buried in too many facts at once. I really like how the author wrote the history in chronological story format and I obviously really like facts, details and information, but at times I felt bogged down, when I really wanted to know what happened next. I'd much rather have had several breakouts of information on adjoining pages.

I looked at a couple of different websites and they all recommend this book for 10+. I don't agree. The middle schoolers I worth with would not be able to pass the five-finger test for this book. I also disagree with the lack of glossary. There are a lot of old, maybe even archaic words included and not everyone has access to an instant dictionary, nor would want to always have to paw one.
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