Title: Hexenhaus
Author: Nikki McWatters
Published by University of Queensland Press
RRP: $19.95 (AUD)

This book was supplied for review by Magpies. A longer, more in depth review can be found on page 42 of Magpies: Talking About Books for Children, Volume 32, Issue No. 1, March 2017.

Hexenhaus contains the stories of three different women in three different times and locations, all with a very definite association. Veronica lives in Bamberg, Franconia in 1628, Katherine in Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1697 and Paisley in Bundanoon, Australia, present day. All characters are suspected of witchcraft, some being convicted or having their lives changed forever through the conviction of family members. The document Systir Saga, Sister Story makes an appearance in each girl’s story, however it is not as predictable as one would think.

The narrative is built around these three strong female characters in alternating chapters, making for compelling reading. Each girl’s story, based on historical events, is gripping and personal. The persecution of people believed to be witches serve the purpose of covering up the misdeeds of those in power. While Paisley’s story shows the modern version of a witch-hunt, all show the process and dire consequences of mass hysteria. The well-worked text is compelling with unexpected twists to keep readers enthralled.

This is one of my favourite YA reads. It appears to be well researched and written with passion of the topic. It would make an excellent companion read when researching this topic, or for readers interested in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

Teacher Notes can be downloaded here. (Link to PDF download.)