The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

For Ages: 10 - 14
  • reading group guide
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In the year 1692, life changes forever for ten-year-old Abigail Faulkner and her family. In Salem, Massachusetts, witches have been found, and widespread fear and panic reign mere miles from Abigail's home of Andover. When two girls are brought from Salem to identify witches in Andover, suspicion sweeps the town as well-respected members of the community are accused of witchcraft. It isn't long before chaos consumes Andover, and the Faulkners find themselves in the center of it all when friend turns themselves in the center of it all when friend turns against friend, neighbor against neighbor, in a desperate fight for the truth. At the heart of this gripping story are Abigail and her sister, Dorothy, who together must find a way to persevere during a period marked by terror, adversity, and ignorance.
Told from Abigail's point of view and based on actual events in the author's own family histoy, The Sacrifice offers a unique perspective of the Salem witch trials by delving into the devestating effects the trials had not just in Salem but throughout Massachusetts.
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  • Aladdin | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439107126 | 
  • June 2008 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9
List Price $7.99

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Reading Group Guide

A GUIDE FOR READING GROUPS
SACRIFICE
By Kathleen Benner Duble
ABOUT THE BOOK
In 1692, life changes forever for ten-year-old Abigail and her family. Abigail and her sister are accused of being witches when fear and panic spread from Salem to their hometown of Andover, Massachusetts. They await trial in a prison while their mother desperately searches for some way to obtain their freedom.
THEMES
Mothers and daughters; Sisters; Witchcraft; Puritans; Family life
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
• What beliefs of Puritan life in 1692 do you think we still hold on to today?
• Can you think of another situation either now or in the past (such as the McCarthy era), where fear has overcome reason? What were the consequences of this?
• If you had lived during that time, what entertainment might you have substituted or how might you have expressed yourself artistically to make up for the lack of theater, museums, TV, computers, movies, etc.?
• Abigail's world was one where conformity to the group was important-and yet she wanted to be an individual. Do you think this is still true today? Why or why not?
• What situations (such as riots after a sporting event) in today's world reflect a lack of reason and a "mob mentality"? What would you do if you were faced with this situation?
ACTIVITIES
• Create a dramatic reenactment of the Salem witch trials.
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About the Author

Kathleen Benner Duble
Photo Credit:

Kathleen Benner Duble

Kathleen Benner Duble is the author of such books as Hearts of Iron, The Sacrifice, Bridging Beyond, and Pilot Mom. She lives in Boxford, Massachusetts with her family. You can visit her online at www.kathleenduble.com.

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Author Revealed

Kathleen Benner Duble
Q. how did you come to write The Sacrifice?

A. My father discovered the story of Abigail Faulkner when doing geneological research on my family. Abigail, my great-grandmother (nine times back) was ten years of age and accused of witchcraft. To make things even stranger, it turns out that I was living on land my great-grandfather (Abigail's grandfather) had owned - and I didn't even know it! Who could ignore the call to write this story!

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