Study Guide

A Break With Charity Genre

By Ann Rinaldi

Genre

Young Adult Literature; Historical Fiction; Tragedy

When our narrator is a teenage girl, we know we're reading young adult lit. Our storyteller, Susanna English, is fourteen years old and her teen years are filled with some serious drama. In fact, most of the time Susanna has to act like a full-grown woman herself. But just because this book is written with teens in mind doesn't mean adults won't hop on board, too.

So what makes folks want to hop on the Break with Charity train? Well the history, of course. This book takes us through the Salem Witch Trials, which really took place back in 1692. It was a rough year for Salem, and we get to see it all through Susanna's eyes. And get this: even Susanna is a real historical person. With all these historical facts, we've definitely got a historical fiction on our hands here.

So we've got a book about some big historical events, but the real question is: how do these witch trials turn out? Sadly for the so-called witches, lots of hangings are afoot. And that puts this novel in the tragedy genre. It's not a classical old-school tragedy because our main character stays alive, but a bunch of characters die, and there's just sadness all over the place in Salem.

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