Study Guide

A Break With Charity Chapter 8

By Ann Rinaldi

Chapter 8

Apple Tarts and Conversation

  • Susanna shows up at the Putnam palace of evil. Okay, it's just a house, but we're pretty sure that Ann Sr. and Ann Jr. are up to some crazy scary business inside this place.
  • Susanna chats with the twelve-year-old Ann, and she asks her evil pal to tell the truth so that the witch madness stops. But Ann has some bad news for our girl Susanna: it's not going to stop anytime soon. Sheesh, now we're really worried.
  • Ann explains that the ministers have been praying over the afflicted girls, and now the ministers want these gals to name the folks who are tormenting them. Basically they're going to say that some people in the town are witches. Oh Ann—this is so not cool.
  • Susanna is horrified, obviously, and she asks Ann not to be so evil… But Ann thinks evil is her middle name and she likes it that way.
  • So Susanna probes more to find out how all this witch hullabaloo started. (Super Important Historical Side Note: Historians don't really know why the young girls in Salem started behaving so strangely. Or why they blamed witches. So Rinaldi takes her own guess at what happened… And here goes.)
  • Step One: Ann Sr. sends Ann Jr. to join the secret clique. The mom wants Tituba to get in touch with her dead sis because she's been having nightmares filled with dead babies. Now that's some creepy stuff.
  • Step Two: Tituba works her magic, but in the midst of a trance Betty gets super freaked out, and that's how the whole Betty-acting-like-a-possessed-chick thing starts.
  • Step Three: Ann threatens Betty to keep her quiet.
  • Step Four: With all her fits, Betty starts getting special attention from her parents. And when her cousin Abigail notices, you know she wants to get in on the fun too.
  • Step Five: Ann and her gal pals decide to join the party, and they make a pact to keep their lies a secret.
  • So now these girls are ready to cause some major mayhem: they're going to call innocent people witches, and Susanna can't do a thing about it. You know why? Because Ann threatens to call Susanna's parents witches if she doesn't keep her mouth shut.