Who Were the Accused Witches of Salem?

And Other Questions about the Witchcraft Trials

From the Series Six Questions of American History

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 6   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

In June 1692, a jury in Salem, Massachusetts, found Bridget Bishop guilty of performing witchcraft. The only evidence against her was villagers’ testimony. As punishment she was publicly hanged. Meanwhile, local girls had been behaving oddly for months. They cried out of being pinched or choked by a witch’s spirit. The girls accused neighbors, outcasts, and respected community members of tormenting them. As fear spread through Salem, jails filled with the accused. In the end, nineteen people were hanged for witchcraft in one of the darkest moments in U.S. history.

But what led to this terrifying event?
Who was likely to be accused?
Why did the witchcraft fever finally come to an end?

Discover the facts about the Salem Witchcraft Trials and the mark they left on the U.S. justice system.

Format Your Price
Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Nonfiction
Category Social Studies
Copyright 2012
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Lerner Publications ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2012-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.3
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF025190, JNF053200
Dewey 133.4'3097445
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 7 x 9
Lexile 790
Guided Reading Level U
ATOS Reading Level 5.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 149019
Accelerated Reader® Points 1.0
Features Bibliography/further reading, Index, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, Table of contents, Teaching Guides, Timeline, and eSource


The Horn Book Guide

“Informative sidebars and colorful graphics enhance these lively narratives. Salem and Oregon Trail especially stand out because they give young readers an understanding through the eyes of people who lived at the time. Articles is a more linear, factual account, clearly showing the development of the American federal system of government.” —The Horn Book Guide

School Library Journal

“This accessible guide is attractively designed and concisely written…. A solid, informative title.” —School Library Journal


“The Six Questions of American History series investigates events in our nation’s past in the same way a journalist might—through the framework of who, what, when, where, why, and how. As a result, readers uncover the past rather than memorize it.” —Booklist

Author: Laura Hamilton Waxman

Laura Hamilton Waxman lives in Minnesota and has written many nonfiction books for young readers.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Six Questions of American History

Explore pivotal moments in US history, from colonial times to the Civil War. Discover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of important events such as the Pilgrims settling at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. Writing exercises at the View available downloads →