WICKED GIRLS by Stephanie Hemphill
Kirkus Star


A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials
Age Range: 12 & up
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In this superbly wrought fictionalized account of the Salem Witch Trials, Printz Honor winner Hemphill offers a fresh perspective on an oft-told tale by providing lesser-known Salem accusers with a variety of compelling motivations that will resonate deeply with contemporary teens. Twelve-year-old Ann Putnam is starved for her brusque mother’s love. Her older cousin Margaret is jealous of anyone her betrothed Isaac’s wandering eye falls upon. And 17-year-old pretty, blond servant Mercy Lewis is tired of the surreptitious touches of pious Puritan men. When two other girls in their village fall prey to fits, Ann, Margaret and Mercy recognize the opportunity to be seen in a society that brands them invisible. But as their confidence grows, so does their guilt. They know exactly what they’re doing, but the rewards are too sweet to stop: “…our elders shrivel and shrink, / and we girls / grow spine tall.” In subtle, spare first-person free-verse poems, the author skillfully demonstrates how ordinary people may come to commit monstrous acts. Haunting and still frighteningly relevant. (thumbnail bios, author’s note, further reading) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-185328-9
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2010


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