What started out as girls' games became a witch hunt. Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials told from the perspectives of three of the real young women living in Salem in 1692.
Ann Putnam Jr. plays the queen bee. When her father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann grasps her opportunity. She puts in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of the people around her forever.
Mercy Lewis, the beautiful servant in Ann's house, inspires adulation in some and envy in others. With a troubled past, she seizes her only chance at safety.
Margaret Walcott, Ann's cousin, is desperately in love and consumed with fiery jealousy. She is torn between staying loyal to her friends and pursuing the life she dreams of with her betrothed.
With new accusations mounting daily against the men and women of the community, the girls will have to decide: Is it too late to tell the truth?
A Printz Honor winner for Your Own, sylvia, Stephanie Hemphill uses evocative verse to weave a nuanced portrait of one of the most chilling and fascinating times in our nation's history.
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Stephanie Hemphill is the author of Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath and Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems. Your Own, Sylvia was a 2008 Michael L. Printz Honor Book. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up–Wicked Girls weaves a fresh interpretation of the events put forth in Arthur Miller's The Crucible and revisited more recently by Katherine Howe in The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (Voice, 2009). Mercy Lewis, Ann Putnam, and Mary Walcott (in this story, called “Margaret”) point their fingers, lift their eyes, and cry “witch” once again. Elderly Goody Nurse appears, Mary Warren (here called “Ruth”) recants her accusations, John Proctor is accused and hanged, and Giles Corey is pressed to death. The verse format is fresh and engaging, distilling the actions of the seven accusing girls into riveting narrative. In Hemphill's village of Salem, Mercy Lewis (age 17) and Ann Putnam, Jr. (age 12) vie for control of the group of girls who quickly become swept up by their celebrity. Their accusations become self-serving: the merest look or shudder from one of the “afflicted” means the offender (an inattentive lover; someone who has done a parent wrong) risks being branded a witch or wizard. Eventually, the group fractures and the girls turn on each other, leading to cruelty and death. In the author's note, Hemphill outlines the historical background, with source notes for further reading. As in Your Own, Sylvia (Knopf, 2007), she bases her book in fact, but acknowledges that “certain names and accounts have been changed, amended and altered” in the construction of her novel. Teens may need some encouragement to pick up this book, but it deserves a place in most high school collections.Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
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