Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thompson, Paul B. The Devil’s Door

Thompson, Paul B. The Devil’s Door: A Salem Witchcraft Story
Enslow 2010 160p 27.93
978-0-7660-3387-0 ms/jr Witchcraft VG-BN
Historical Fiction Adventures(Enslow)

Sarah Wright and her father move to Salem Village, Massachusetts in 1692 during the witchcraft hysteria.Sarah and her father escape from an attack from the Wabanaki Indians after they kill Sarah’s mother and brother. Ephraim Wright and his daughter land in Glouster and set off for a place to live. In time they hear of some possibilities in Salem Village. Times are tough in the area, but Ephraim is willing to work for room and board. He found work at the home of Goody and Dr Griggs. He was to build the new addition on the doctor’s house.
Sarah tried to fit with the household. The Griggs’ indentured servant, Betty, had other ideas. Betty was friendly with some other girls in the community. These girls started having spells and declaring members of the community to be witches. Before long the community was in a state of hysteria with the girls constantly denouncing members of the community as witches. At one point Sarah’s father was arrest as a witch because he refused to work as a sheriff unless he was paid in real coinage.
In this book it is easy for the readers to see how hysteria spreads widely without discretion in such situations. Sarah’s thoughts and feelings give the readers an understanding of what it was like to live in such a trying time in history.
The author included the facts concerning the real history of the time period for comparison. Also included were bibliographies and websites for further information.
Historical McNeil, Linda

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