I recently came across a copy of A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi at our library booksale. I really enjoy Rinaldi’s historical fiction for young adults and have read many of her YA novels. A Break with Charity tells the story of Susannah English – a teenage girl living in Salem at the outbreak of the witch trials. While at first Susannah longs to be part of the group of girls who are secretly meeting together at the parsonage, she soon comes to fear them, and her efforts to stop them result in her own family being accused of witchcraft.
I enjoyed reading this novel, especially since I recently re-read Miller’s The Crucible. Rinaldi does a great job of blending historical fact and fiction. Readers should remember, though, that there is fiction in historical fiction, and realize that Susannah’s story is not true. Many of the surrounding facts and characters are based in fact, though, and this book serves, in my opinion, as an excellent introduction to the Salem Witch Trials, particularly for young readers. I’d recommend it to those who like historical fiction, especially those who are in middle school and up.
I’d rank it 4 Stars.