Cover of The Salem Witch Trials by Jane Yolen and Heidi E Y Stemple

History Mystery: The Salem Witch Trials

The History Mystery series:

When we were still in the research phase of this book, Heidi and her daughters and their friends, the Napiers of Myrtle Beach, went on a road trip to Salem to get the feel of the area and pick up more books. Heidi came back with a bumper sticker that said, “The last time we mixed politics and religion, people were burned at the stake.” What a fascinating subject. Intrigue, betrayal, mystery, love, envy, hatred, fear. The story is compelling. No wonder novels, movies, nonfiction–all continue to be produced about the trials year after year. It was a 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner.

What reviewers have said:

  • “The amazing illustrations bring this period in history to life.” KidsBookshelf
  • “… this effectively introduces an intriguing subject, and the mystery of what really happened is more than enough to whet kids’ appetites. Roth’s illustrations serve the text very well; big, bold, and reminiscent of the work of Trina Schart Hyman, they fit the oversize picture-book format and move things along. A bibliography and list of Web sites will lead readers to more.” — Booklist
  • “One of several books in An Unsolved Mystery from History series, this intelligent, fast-paced book provides facts as well as thought-provoking questions to encourage readers to find their own answers to this dark and troubling chapter in American history.” — Danbury News Times
  • “This is an innovative way to involve young people in the study of history.” — Children’s Literature
  • “There have been a number of books for this audience covering the Salem witch trials, Edward Dolan’s (Benchmark, 2001), Tamra Orr’s (Blackbirch, 2004), and Stephen Currie’s (KidHaven, 2002), among them. While these titles cover the facts more completely and may be better suited for reports, the investigative approach used here gives a different perspective and encourages readers to evaluate the evidence and draw their own conclusions.” — School Library Journal