Book Info: The Sacrifice
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age group: 8-13
Jacket illustration: © 2005 Kamil Vojnar.
Genre: Historical Ficction
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Discussions and Activities:
- What beliefs of Puritan life in 1692 do you believe we still hold on to today?
- How was Abigail’s relationship with her mother and father the same as children’s today and how was it different?
- Do you believe Abigail’s mother asking her to lie was right or wrong? Why?
- In a similar circumstance, do you believe you would have lied as Abigail did to protect yourself?
- 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 in today’s world reflect a lack of reason and a “mob mentality”? (e.g. riots after a sporting event) What would you do if faced with this situation?
- What similarities or differences do we have today from Abigail’s world of 1692 in the following:
- Trials and Evidence
- Jail Conditions
- Every day Life
- Can you think of another situation either now or in the past, where fear has overcome reason? (e.g. the McCarthy era) What were the consequences of this?
- Define the following words in the novel:
- Characterization is a critical component to any good story. Can you list personality traits of the characters in the book that help define them? How is Abigail different from her sisters and brothers? How is she different from Mama? From Papa?
- Dancing was forbidden in Puritan society, and there was little time for art or music. How do you think the lack of these arts affected the people of that time?
- 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, computer, movies etc.
- Spectral evidence or “unseen” evidence was permissible during Puritan times. How would you, if you were on trial, scientifically prove that spectral evidence was unreal?
- Witchcraft was often the answer to unexplained scientific phenomena. Can you think of any examples where we have since found a scientific answer for events they may have attributed to “acts of the devil” in the past. (One example is weather)