Monday, June 1, 2015

Beyond the Burning Time

Title: Beyond the Burning Time
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Number of Pages: 272
Date Read: 5/31/15
Genre: Historical Fiction, Witches, History

Synopsis (Found on

They say something very strange is happening to some of the people of Salem. That some of the young girls have become - troubled. And the fear is beginning to spread. Mary and her mother don't hear about the rumors right away. They don't know that many of the villagers believe that some of Mary's friends have had spells cast on them - by witches. Or that one of the accused is Mary's mother.

Now Mary and her brother, Caleb, have a decision to make: Are the villagers right? Or is their mother innocent? And if she is - can they help her escape before it's too late?

My Review:

wow I haven't read this book since I was in seventh grade! I decided to re-read it and I'm glad I did. I still like it alot. I had remembered a few plot points but some I had completely forgotten and was surprised to read about. 

This book is about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Many of the characters were real people who participated in the trials. The main character and her family are fictional characters. The events that occurred were real and mainly in the order they appear in the book. I have always loved reading about the Salem Witch Trials; even though they were a tragic event they are very interesting to read about. This was my first book about the Salem Witch Trials. 

I loved the main character, Mary Chase. She is a very spunky 12 year old. She is very responsible, helping her mother take care of the farm her father left after he passed away. Her brother Caleb, is a shipbuilder's apprentice so he can't be at the farm to help. Its just Mary, her mother Virginia and Mary's father's friend Gilly. Mary is very practical and has no time for girly nonsense. Instead of thinking about boys she is thinking about if the barely she planted will grow. MAry has had to grow up faster due to her father's sudden death. The witch trials scare Mary and she is very worried about her mother, who is very outspoken against the trials and notion of witches. Mary can be a bit bold with her mouth but she also knows when to keep quite. She is usually a calm good girl. We see Mary change later on due to some circumstances where she becomes violent and wants to hurt people because of what has happened to her. She can be a sweet girl but can also be vicious when she needs to be. I really liked her. I also admire her and her mother, for taking on the job of keeping up the farm. It is hard work and the two females do it all and run the farm well. 

While I liked to read about the witch trials and find them interesting, reading about them also gets me angry. I get angry about the unfairness of it all and angry about the poor people that were hung because some girls decided they wanted attention and pretended to be possessed and tortured by witches. People were so ignorant back then that I just want to slap them all. Also I'm not a big fan of the Putnam family. I dunno but to me it seems as if they were the bad guys encouraging the girls to name their rivals and enemies as witches to get rid of them. They were twisted, ruthless and money/land hungry people. At least that's how many books portray them as. Anyway I don't really like them in any story i've read so far and the mother is creepy in the stories. 

Anyway reading this book makes me want to learn more about the trials so I guess I'll get some nonfiction books to read !


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