Only the Stars Know Her Name- by Amanda Marrone

Published on March 29, 2023

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Only the Stars Know her Name: Salem’s Lost Story of Tituba’s Daughter- by Amanda Marrone

Reviewed by Elizabeth DeVincenzo

It is April 1693, one year after the Salem Witch trials. This middle-grade historical fiction book is told from the perspective of Violet Indian, daughter of Tituba, the enslaved Arawak woman who was accused of witchcraft then sold after her confession along with her husband John Indian. Violet is devastated having both her parents sold and not knowing where they are. She meets two other teenage girls in Salem, Tammy Younger and Elizabeth Prince. Elizabeth is the daughter of Sarah Osborne who died in jail after being accused of being a witch. Tammy is an angry orphaned teen-ager originally from Gloucester, Mass. who makes her way to Salem as a servant. In Gloucester, Tammy was tutored to be a folk woman to use magic as a healing art by Martha Wilds. However, Tammy’s motive is to use magic to gain power and avenge those who have wronged her and others, not to help or heal people. Violet wants to use magic to locate her parents. Tammy convinces Violet to join their coven and then she can use magic to find her parents. The three girls write their names in blood in a book and wait for names of the people who need to be punished to appear on the pages. Names of people in Salem begin to appear in the book. First Sheriff Corwin, who signed all the warrants for those accused and convicted of witchcraft in Salem and then Ann Putnam, one of the accusers. Both die soon afterwards. The next name to appear is Betty Parris, one of the young girls who accused Tituba of practicing witchcraft. After her name appears in the book, she contracts the pox and is dying. Violet knows this cannot go on and wants to destroy the book, so no more will be named and die. Using her familiar, a crow, Violet communicates with Martha Wilds who tells her how to destroy the book. Eventually Violet and Elizabeth convince Tammy to sign her name in the book after a new spell is written. The book is then able to be destroyed, ending the deaths. Violet also learns that her parents are in Maine from Martha Wilds. Violet and all who had family members accused of witchcraft receive money from the governor of Massachusetts. She uses this money to buy her freedom from the Parris household and set off to Maine with Elizabeth to be reunited with her parents. While this book is a historical fiction work, there are also elements of fantasy. Recommended for those who are interested in the Salem Witch trials and stories about witchcraft. Included is a list of characters, quotes from Tituba at her trial, and a list of further reading. An author’s note explains the theories behind the causes of the witchcraft hysteria and points out that there was nothing supernatural or related to the occult that caused the behaviors of the “afflicted girls”. Target audience- Ages 10-14

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