Witness by Karen Hesse

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Leanora Sutter. Esther Hirsh. Merlin Van Tornhout. Johnny Reeves . . .

These characters are among the unforgettable cast inhabiting a small Vermont town in 1924. A town that turns against its own when the Ku Klux Klan moves in. No one is safe, especially the two youngest, twelve-year-old Leanora, an African-American girl, and six-year-old Esther, who is Jewish.

In this story of a community on the brink of disaster, told through the haunting and impassioned voices of its inhabitants, Newbery Award winner Karen Hesse takes readers into the hearts and minds of those who bear witness.

About Karen Hesse

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Karen Hesse is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books for children. Her titles include WITNESS, THE CATS IN KRASINSKI SQUARE, and the Newbery Medal winner OUT OF THE DUST, among many others. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two teenaged daughters.
Published March 1, 2013 by Scholastic Press. 179 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Witness

Kirkus Reviews

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What Copeland created with music, and Hopper created with paint, Hesse deftly and unerringly creates with words: the iconography of Americana, carefully researched, beautifully written, and profoundly honest.

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Publishers Weekly

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PW wrote in our Best Books citation, "Hesse weaves together 11 distinct narrative voices to create a moving account of the Ku Klux Klan's encroachment on a small Vermont town in 1924.

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Publishers Weekly

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Their chorus of hatred rings loudly at first, but is tempered by their dawning realization of the severity of the Klan's punishment to their targets as well as the more rational, compassionate strains of the Klan's opponents.

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Teen Reads

It takes place in 1924, in Vermont, as the Ku Klux Klan begins to move into a quiet town.

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