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?
The fascination over the events that led up to and surrounded the Salem Witch Trials continues to spark interest to old and young alike. While teaching social studies, it was always one of my students favorite aspect of the colonization of the New World. For years I have read just about every young adult fiction book written on the subject along with a few nonfiction too, so naturally I was extremely curious about Wicked Girls.
While Wicked Girls is a very accessible read for the YA audience, and I found the verse format well written, I was disappointed in the book. I wanted stronger characterization, and more facts related to the girls, and the other prominent people involved in Salem Village, such as Tituba, and Reverend Parris. I also would have liked more time spent on the testimony given by the girls and the actual trials.
This was my first experience reading a novel written in verse format, and I had trouble discerning the individual voices of each of the three narrators. I was constantly having to check the beginning of the verse to remind myself who was speaking. Having nothing else to compare the verse format with, I have to wonder if this is true of all verse novels or just this one.
My students have just finished writing a long paper for social studies about the causes of the witch trails, so I am anxious to get feedback from them about this book. As for me, I much prefer Ann Rinaldi’s novel A Break With Charity than I did Wicked Girls.