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Wicked Girls


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About the Author

Stephanie Hemphill is the award-winning author of Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein; Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Sisters of Glass; and Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.


"An excellent supplementary choice for curricular studies of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, this will also find readers outside the classroom, who will savor the accessible, unsettling, piercing lines that connect past and present with timeless conflict and truths."--Booklist (starred review)
"In subtle, spare first-person free-verse poems, the author skillfully demonstrates how ordinary people may come to commit monstrous acts. Haunting and still frighteningly relevant."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The expressive writing, masterful tension, and parallels to modern group dynamics create a powerful and relevant page-turner. "--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The verse format is fresh and engaging, distilling the actions of the seven accusing girls into riveting narrative."--School Library Journal (starred review)

Gr 9 Up-Stephanie Hempfill's novel in lyrical verse (Balzer + Bray, 2010) offers a fresh fictionalized account of the 1692 Salem witch trials through the perspective of three teenage girls. What emerges is a slow but gripping look into the minds of the group and the way their dynamics shift as power is gained and lost throughout the course of the events. From the first fits where they swear they see the spectral world to the final scenes and their eventual undoing, it is easy to see how things quickly grow out of control. ÅAlthough multiple narrators are used, the voices and accents don't always to match the characters. The girls, who range in age from 12 to 17, all sound too adult. The accents, while affected by the Puritan formality of language, rarely reflect any trace of New England or the British heritage of the colonists. While the free-verse format is clearly defined in the printed text, listeners may need to acclimate to the rhythm of the tale. Pair this audiobook with Arthur Miller's The Crucible and also have students discuss the psychology of group dynamics.-Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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