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The Sacrifice



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About The Book

In the year 1692, life changes forever for ten-year-old Abigail Faulkner and her family. In Salem, Massachusetts, witches have been found, and widespread fear and panic reign mere miles from Abigail's home of Andover. When two girls are brought from Salem to identify witches in Andover, suspicion sweeps the town as well-respected members of the community are accused of witchcraft. It isn't long before chaos consumes Andover, and the Faulkners find themselves in the center of it all when friend turns themselves in the center of it all when friend turns against friend, neighbor against neighbor, in a desperate fight for the truth. At the heart of this gripping story are Abigail and her sister, Dorothy, who together must find a way to persevere during a period marked by terror, adversity, and ignorance.
Told from Abigail's point of view and based on actual events in the author's own family histoy, The Sacrifice offers a unique perspective of the Salem witch trials by delving into the devestating effects the trials had not just in Salem but throughout Massachusetts.

Reading Group Guide

By Kathleen Benner Duble
In 1692, life changes forever for ten-year-old Abigail and her family. Abigail and her sister are accused of being witches when fear and panic spread from Salem to their hometown of Andover, Massachusetts. They await trial in a prison while their mother desperately searches for some way to obtain their freedom.
Mothers and daughters; Sisters; Witchcraft; Puritans; Family life
• What beliefs of Puritan life in 1692 do you think we still hold on to today?
• Can you think of another situation either now or in the past (such as the McCarthy era), where fear has overcome reason? What were the consequences of this?
• If you had lived during that time, what entertainment might you have substituted or how might you have expressed yourself artistically to make up for the lack of theater, museums, TV, computers, movies, etc.?
• Abigail's world was one where conformity to the group was important-and yet she wanted to be an individual. Do you think this is still true today? Why or why not?
• What situations (such as riots after a sporting event) in today's world reflect a lack of reason and a "mob mentality"? What would you do if you were faced with this situation?
• Create a dramatic reenactment of the Salem witch trials.
• Design and create a memorial for the victims of the Salem witch trials. Use the information to find actual names of people involved in the trials.
• Write a feature article (with a headline) that tells the story of the book as it might be found on the front page of a newspaper in the town where the story takes place. Make sure it is appropriate for the time period.
This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Prepared by Barb Bahm
© William Allen White Children's Book Award
Please visit for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Kathleen Benner Duble is the author of such books as Hearts of Iron, The Sacrifice, Bridging Beyond, and Pilot Mom. She lives in Boxford, Massachusetts with her family.  You can visit her online at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (August 28, 2007)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780689876516
  • Grades: 5 - 9
  • Ages: 10 - 14

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Awards and Honors

  • Keystone to Reading Book Award Reading List (PA)
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
  • William Allen White Children's Book Award Reading List (KS)
  • Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee
  • Great Stone Face Book Award Nominee (NH)
  • Pennsylvania School Librarian Association (PSLA) "Top Ten (Or So)" Young Adult Books
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Starred Junior Title
  • Nevada Young Readers' Award Nominee
  • Virginia Readers' Choice Award List
  • Sunshine State Young Readers' Award List (FL)
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Jeffer Cup Award Overfloweth Title (VA)

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More books from this author: Kathleen Benner Duble