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Conversion
by Katherine Howe

Published: 2014-07-01
Hardcover : 432 pages
4 members reading this now
2 clubs reading this now
3 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.
 
It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ ...
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Introduction

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.
 
It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.
 
First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
 
Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .
 
Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

P R E L U D E

SALEM VILLAGE, MASSACHUSETTS

MAY 30, 1706

How long must I wait?

His tongue creeps out the corner of his mouth while
he writes, the tip of it black with ink, the blacking in his gums staining his teeth. He looks like he’s got a mouthful of tar. I’ve been waiting for some time, but Reverend Green’s still writing. His quill runs across the paper, scratching like mouse paws. Scratch scratch, dip, scratch, lick, scratch. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Colleen is very close with her girl and guy friends, but she’s also often competitive with them, and they are competitive with each other. Do you think the tension between loyalty and competitive instincts is stronger for girls or for boys? Why or why not?

Colleen seems to be keenly aware of the gradations of class status between her and her classmates. What are some of the ways that Colleen expresses that awareness? Is that awareness a good thing, or a bad thing?

Some historians think that class tensions played an important role in the web of accusations during the Salem crisis. How does the representation of social class in the 2012 story differ from the representation of it in 1692?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by AmyOgden (see profile) 03/30/16

 
  "Brilliantly Fun Story"by mommaof5 (see profile) 10/11/14

So I went to a YA fan event sponsored by a bookstore in our area. It was a great time. We got to meet so many authors - including Katherine Howe. She is well, just amazing to talk to.
Her b
... (read more)

 
by jmbays (see profile) 08/28/14

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