Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

Wicked Girls
Stephanie Hemphill
YA Historical
Published: 2010

image: Goodreads
Wicked Girls is a fictional account of the girls who stirred up the Salem Witch trials. I read a review where someone mentioned they were the original Mean Girls, which is definitely fitting.

This novel is written in verse--not quite poems, but not straight narrative. It's told in alternating points of view, so three girls' perspectives are shown. The author uses the historical setting to show how powerless the girls were at the start, and once this lie of becoming afflicted, where they would collapse into invented seizures when they encountered a supposed witch in their town. The fact that powerful men running their community believed the girls, led them to unleash their accusations on anyone who slighted them. Seeing each girl's reactions helped to empathize a bit, despite how out of control they became.

This book creates an interesting way to look at this historic time period, through the girls themselves. Although it's fiction, the author put together notes at the end to connect the real life figures to their storied counterparts. I was fortunate to see this author for an SCBWI event, and she spoke about the intensity of her research.

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