Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
by Rosalyn Schanzer
January 11, 2012

This is a non-fiction book from National Geographic publishing.  The book is small and illustrated with black, white and red drawings, similar to what's seen on the cover.  In judging this book by its cover, I thought I was going to read a narrative of the Salem witch trials.  Instead of a interesting true-life story, Schanzer presents a series of facts and anecdotes.   The book was written for a much younger audience than it appears to target.  I expected a book for upper elmentary, if not middle school.  The writing style makes this suitable for 3rd grade and up. However, I am not sure that most 3rd graders would be ready to hear about the confusing and inexplicable behavior of the Puritans who tortured others because they feared witchcraft.

Update:  This book was named a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book  for 2012.  I am not too sure it deserved that.

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