Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch T

I walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch T

Lisa Rowe Fraustino
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic Inc., 2011   ISBN: 978-0545311656

Life is not easy for Deliverance and her sister Mem. Orphaned some time ago during the Indian Wars, the girls now live with their uncle who recently left them to get work and who has not been heard of since. Uncle “Razor Strap” insisted that the girls not tell anyone in nearby Salem Village that he is gone for the girls will surely be taken away from the uncle if it is known that they are living alone. So, Mem and Liv maintain the charade of normalcy hoping that their uncle will come home soon.

Unfortunately normalcy is very elusive these days on more than one front. In the village a group of girls have started to behave very oddly and it is believed that they are possessed by the devil. There is only one way to explain all this – there is a witch in the village who is doing her evil work and who is obtaining souls for her terrible master. Liv believes all she sees and hears at first. Being a good god-fearing girl she accepts that there are witches in the village who should be punished for her sins. When Liv’s special and dear friend, Goody Corey, is accused, she starts to wonder. Is it possible that the girls are making the whole thing up? Is it possible that witches are just a superstitious belief with no founding in reality?

This often disturbing account about what happened in Salem Massachusetts in the late 1600’s is beautifully written and it truly captures the mood of the times. Readers will see how much the people of those times were ruled by their religious beliefs and how they followed their religious leaders, at times without daring to think things through for themselves. Readers will also discover how hard life was in these days; how food and clothing was precious, how danger was everywhere, and how necessary it was to have neighbors who could help in times of trouble.