Monday, September 10, 2012

Middle Grade Monday-- Invisible World

One of our time travel destinations last week was going to be the Salem Witch Trials, because the 8th graders are currently studying that. There are a number of books on the topic, but I liked this one because my time travel outfit is not that much different from what the girl on the cover is wearing!

Weyn, Suzanne. Invisible World.
28 August 2012, Scholastic. Paperback from Scholastic Bookfairs.

Elsabeth has the power to read other people's minds, and her grandmother was a healer and midwife. Her father is trying to scientifically study her abilities to prevent her from being persecuted as a witch, since these powers are not understood in England in the 1690s. When the family decides to relocate to America with their faithful nursemaid Bronwyn, Elsabeth is ready for the opportunity, but the ship goes down in a terrible storm and her father and sister are killed. Elsabeth washed up in South Carolina and is taken in by slaves on a plantation, where she comes to feel very fondly toward Aakif, the boy who finds her. Things go well until the weather cools and the owners of the plantation come back. Elsabeth is no longer allowed to talk to the slaves, and is packed off to a relative of the owner's in Salem. On the ship there, she meets Bronwyn, who is in the throes of demonic possession, and a young Catholic nun. Things are difficult in Salem in the house of Reverend Parris, especially since Bronwyn is loose on the community, and the evil force within her starts to attack young girls. Can Elsabeth work with Tituba, the young nun, and others to save not only the community, but herself?
Strengths: Interesting twist on the run of the mill Salem story, because it combines historical facts (like the ergot of rye) with fantasy elements of the supernatural.
Weaknesses: This got a bit confusing with all of the moving about, and there were some things that didn't ring true for the historical period.

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  1. Hi Miss Yingling, thanks for sharing the parts that worked for you and those which didn't. I was actually reminded of Stephen King's Carrie (hehe), with the telekinesis and such. Have a great week ahead.

  2. I haven't seen this book anywhere (maybe because it's Scholastic Book Fairs?), but I've read another book by the same author (a YA called DISTANT WAVES).

    Time travel always appeals to me (but maybe not if it's confusing!).

  3. Wow, this sounds like a pretty intense book....I think it might be a bit much for my sixth graders but I may have a go at it!

  4. This looks like an interesting read. Have you read Rosalyn Schanzer's Witches? That was one of my favorites from 2011.

  5. Anonymous12:08 AM EDT

    Will be doing a Scholastic Book order and work and will check for this one. Subject sounds great. Too bad on the historical issues.