Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials (Hardback)
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Short Description for Wicked Girls A Printz Honor winner presents a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692--Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.
- Published: 01 August 2010
- Format: Hardback 408 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780061853289 ISBN 10: 0061853283
- Sales rank: 461,953
Reviews for Wicked Girls
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
If you are looking for a story about some of the original "mean girls," look no further. WICKED GIRLS by Stephanie Hemphill is about a group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts, who began identifying their own village neighbors as witches. They accused many and the result was the hanging deaths of countless innocent victims.
Led by Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr., this group of girls, aged 8-18, devised a game to accuse various village members of witchcraft. The girls became known as the Seers and were said to be afflicted and given to fits and fainting whenever a witch was present. The girls all reported pinches causing bruises and welts, saying those they accused had used the Devil's power to inflict the injuries.
Amazingly, the men of the village church and the village council believed the girls and set about holding hearings and trials for the accused. Upon the testimony of the girls, innocent people were found guilty, imprisoned, and later put to death.
According to Hemphill's author's note, research didn't really reveal the reason behind the girls' plan, so in this fictionalized account, she speculates as to the motivations for their behavior. Much like modern day, the story illustrates the power of the bully and the mindless followers that become part of such groups.
Readers interested in this era of our history will find the book a unique presentation of the topic. Even if history is not a reader's area of interest, the story is still a fascinating one. Written in verse that alternates from one girl to the next, WICKED GIRLS presents the events of a year in a small village and the amazing craziness that will forever be known as the Salem Witch Trials. by TeensReadToo
Wicked Girls by Stephani Hemphill Review
I'm not normally a historical fiction enthusiast and not that Wicked Girls is supposed to be an accurate capturing of this period in history per say, but there was something about the cover and description of this book that had me really wanting to get my hands on it. I will admit that while I still don't consider myself to be a big fan of historical texts, I was glad I gave this book a chance.
Stephanie Hemphill took me by surprise by writing the entire book in verse (which had me about as excited as I would be to go to the dentist) but actually turned out to be a great thing. She turned my opinion around immediately. It may have been in verse, but to me it wasn't like the daunting verse I read in school, this read more like a diary entry from each of the girls. From the perspectives of three of the young girls who were accusers during the Salem Witch trials it was almost spellbinding. I can't imagine it being as powerful if it had been written any other way.
I've read the historical accounts from the Salem trials in many classrooms, and who didn't see Winona Ryder in The Crucible? So I knew what to expect in some way from this book, but just like before, as soon as the action started I couldn't believe these young girls could possibly have wielded so much power and such extremes as controlling the very lives and deaths of others. All sparking from the desire to be noticed, jealousy of others, and outright greed and malicious natures, these girls held and controlled the lives of an entire village. It terrifies me every time I think about it. Once the girls get things moving, everything quickly gets way out of control, but what now? The only way to set things right would be to confess all, and how can they do that? I admit I'd be scared to come clean too.
I found my first experience with Hemphill's writing to be surprising and very dramatic. She has an amazing ability to bring out feelings and overall portrays the haunting words of the three girls like no one else I've seen or read could. I may not be a historical fiction convert but I was entertained the whole way through. by Katelyn