Friday, October 31, 2014

Time of the Witches by Anna Myers

Drucilla Overbey thinks she’s found a home with the Putnam family. However, her loving expectations sour when Dru notices Ann Putnam's obsessive and paranoid behavior. Meanwhile, a new minister moves into town with the Barbados slave, Tituba. Soon many of the local girls, like Dru, secretly visit Tituba to have their fortunes told. But when the minister’s daughter becomes oddly lethargic, the other girls mimic her behavior to cover their interactions with Tituba. Their strange stupor ignites Ann Putnam’s paranoia, causing her to accuse community members of witchcraft. Again, to cover their tracks, Dru and the girls go along with her false accusations. But when Dru’s friend is accused of witchcraft, it's up to Dru to stop the maddness the Salem witch trials.

Myers creates a hauntingly rich and real perspective of the 1692 Salem witch trials through the eyes of Drucilla Overbey. From her research, Myers believes that the witch trials occurred because of groupthink: an unthinking acceptance of majority behavior. Because of this unthinking acceptance, the girls blew everything out of proportion, which included falsely accusing others of witchcraft. Along with the enlightening read, Drucilla’s narrative is painfully heart wrenching but boldly courageous. Time of the Witches can be a great resource in studying the Salem witch trials. Good for ages 12 and up.

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