Reading Group Guide
A GUIDE FOR READING GROUPS
By Kathleen Benner Duble
ABOUT THE BOOK
In 1692, life changes forever for ten-year-old Abigail and her family. Abigail and her sister are accused of being witches when fear and panic spread from Salem to their hometown of Andover, Massachusetts. They await trial in a prison while their mother desperately searches for some way to obtain their freedom.
Mothers and daughters; Sisters; Witchcraft; Puritans; Family life
What beliefs of Puritan life in 1692 do you think we still hold on to today?
Can you think of another situation either now or in the past (such as the McCarthy era), where fear has overcome reason? What were the consequences of this?
If you had lived during that time, what entertainment might you have substituted or how might you have expressed yourself artistically to make up for the lack of theater, museums, TV, computers, movies, etc.?
Abigail's world was one where conformity to the group was important-and yet she wanted to be an individual. Do you think this is still true today? Why or why not?
What situations (such as riots after a sporting event) in today's world reflect a lack of reason and a "mob mentality"? What would you do if you were faced with this situation?
Create a dramatic reenactment of the Salem witch trials.
Design and create a memorial for the victims of the Salem witch trials. Use the information to find actual names of people involved in the trials.
Write a feature article (with a headline) that tells the story of the book as it might be found on the front page of a newspaper in the town where the story takes place. Make sure it is appropriate for the time period.
This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Prepared by Barb Bahm
© William Allen White Children's Book Award
Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.