A Break With Charity

By Ann Rinaldi

Historical Fiction







Answer each of the following questions in a Word document.

1.   Ann Rinaldi chooses to tell the story of the Salem Witch Trials through a fictional narrator, Susanna English, rather than from the point of view of one of the girls involved. What effect does this have on the story?

2.   Imagine that you were in Susanna English's place. Would you have spoken out against the girls knowing that they were pretending and that they were accusing innocent people? Would you have remained quiet in order to protect your family? Explain your reasoning.

3.   One possible explanation for the girls' behavior is that they ingested mold from bread. In the novel, Rinaldi provides several reasons why the girls may have acted out, including economic and social motivations, among others. Discuss one of these reasons in depth using examples from the novel.

4.   At the end of the novel, Ann Putnam asks the townspeople for their forgiveness. She is surprised to see Susanna, and asks for her forgiveness as well. What reasons would the townspeople have for forgiving her after her part in the trials? Would you forgive her?

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Rinaldi, Ann. A Break With Charity. Harcourt Brace Inc. 1992.295.9780152046828.