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Dear America Wiki

"Why confess what could not have happened? I have given that much thought. Unless the direction of the court changes completely–and that is about as likely as the Ipswich River changing directions–those convicted of witchcraft will hang. Everyone knows this. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
Deliverance Trembley[2]

I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials is the thirty-fifth book in the Dear America series. It was written by Lisa Rowe Fraustino; her only entry in the series. The book was first published in October 2004 and reissued in September 2011 with new cover art. It was followed by Hear My Sorrow.

Twelve-year-old Deliverance Trembley is living in Salem Village in 1692, when the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials sweeps across the village.


"To my daughter, Daisy Fraustino"

Book description[]

"Tuesday ye 1st of March, 1692
The four afflicted girls...were brought in to the front of the room, screeching and crying out as they laid their eyes on the prisoner. Their fear flooded the room....
When it was quiet again, Mr. Hawthorne asked them to look upon Sarah Goode, and see if she were the person that hurt them. They all said yes, yes!....
Sarah Goode looked shocked and confused. She denied that she had...even been near the children. At that, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam twisted and cried out that the witch was pinching and biting them....
It was terrifying to witness, and I felt a hot passion against Sarah Goode. Someone behind me muttered, "The woman should hang for this."

"My name is Deliverance. This is my story....
Deliverance Trembley lives in Salem Village, where she must take care of her sickly sister, Mem, and finish her daily chores to avoid the wrath of her cruel uncle. But after four young girls from the village accuse some of the local women of being witches, the town becomes caught up in a witch hunt. When the villagers realize that Deliverance is a clever girl who possesses the skills to read and write, whispered accusations begin. Suddenly, Deliverance has more to worry about than just her uncle's temper, her ill sister, and the fate of the other women in town. Within the pages of her diary, Deliverance captures the panic, terror, suspicion, and hysteria that swept through Salem Village during one of the most infamous eras in American history.


In late 1691, twelve-year-old Deliverance "Liv" Trembley lives with her seventeen-year-old sister Remembrance "Mem" in Salem Village, Massachusetts. Their uncle, whom is their legal guardian, is away on whaling ship. The girls are forced to keep his being away a secret, which quickly proves to be a hard task. Liv finds a blank book and starts to use it as a diary, but keeps it a secret from Mem whom will want to know the parts about her. During a blizzard, Jones Darcy Cooper and his son Darcy knock on the girls' door. Due to propriety, the men accept their invitation but sleep in the barn. Mem develops an infatuation on the handsome father, while Liv starts to like Darcy, despite his pockmarks and limp.

Some days later, Martha Corey invites Liv to come and read to her since she likes her voice. Liv reads her a captive narrative by Mary Rowlandson, which reminds her of her stepmother. Mem soon falls ill and several villagers come to visit, apparently expecting a show. It turns out that Abigail Williams and Betty Parris are "afflicted" with something, causing them to have "fits." Meanwhile, Liv continues reading to Martha whom introduces strange new ideas to her. She does not usually agree with Martha, but finds herself loving her more and more. Darcy and his father visit Salem Village a few times on business. They want to meet with the girls' uncle, forcing them to make excuses for his absence.

Abigail and Betty receive no diagnosis on their "affliction," leading the local doctor to declare that the "Evil Hand is on them." Not long after, two more girls, Ann Putnam and Elizabeth Hubbard, start suffering from the unknown illness. The girls soon start claiming that others are sending their "specters" to torment them. They accuse the Parris's slave, Tituba, and an already accused "witch", Sarah Goode. The women are put through examinations, but everyone already believes them guilty. Liv attends the examinations with Mem and gets swept up in the hysteria of the crowd. Martha speaks out against the proceedings, which eventually causes her to be named a witch. Liv now realizes the truth.

In late March 1692, Darcy asks Mem for permission to court her. She agrees, thinking he is speaking for his father. Mem despairs at her mistake, but Liv does not sympathize. The girls' brother Benjamin finally comes home after they wrote to him about their uncle. Liv confides in Darcy and he learns that their uncle likely died at sea. Soon, there are even more "afflicted" girls whom accuse several more people of witchcraft. Liv stops attending the examinations, which disturbs Mem. Finally, after finding her diary, she accuses Liv of being a witch. She reads the diary out to Mem, changing her mind about the witch hunt and Darcy as well. Darcy invites their family to come to Haver'il, which Mem accepts.


Dozens of more women and men were arrested for suspicions of witchcraft. The first trial commenced on June 2, 1692. Those who confessed lived, but those who refused were found guilty and sentenced to death. Martha was convicted on September 9 and later hanged. Her husband, Giles, refused to enter a plea. Thus the court ordered for heavy stones to place on his chest to "make him talk," but he died two days later. After twenty executions, Governor William Phips ordered that spectral evidence should not be used anymore. The remaining cases were tried in May 1693, resulting in no convictions. After the trials, the "afflicted" were ignored as everyone returned to their normal lives.

Liv settled with Mem and Ben in Haver'il, where he was able to run a successful farm. Mem and Darcy married in June. The newlyweds and Liv stayed with Ben until having their home built. Liv began keeping the accounts for the Cooper family's barrel shop. Mem had two children, Remembrance and Darcy, before passing away in 1698. Two years later, Liv and Darcy were married. Ben accompanied them to reclaim the Trembleys' former homestead. They had seven children and later sixty grandchildren. Liv's children and grandchildren would sometimes ask her about the trials, which she spoke little about. One of granddaughters went to dig up Liv's diary only to find a shoemaker's shop built on the spot.

Historical Note[]

As a result of the Salem witch trials, some one hundred and forty people were suspected of witchcraft, nineteen of which were hanged, and one pressed to death by rocks. Though the community of Salem Village eventually came to their senses, several questions regarding the time remain unanswered. Much of the written personal accounts and even court documents no longer exist. As such, many believed "facts" are actually "myths" which countless authors have since drawn from for their works. The note then discusses the Puritan religion, and their beliefs that "God controlled everything" and that "every ill event was the work of Satan and his witches." Their religion and a variety of other factors, such the place of Puritan women and children, are discussed by scholars as influencing the witch hunt.

Salem Village exists today as the city of Danvers, Massachusetts, though little actually remains of the original village. On the three hundrendth anniversary of the trials in 1992, the Witchcraft Victim's Memorial was erected across the street from the site of Salem's former meeting house. The section concludes with six illustrations depicting the events as well as a map of the United States.


Main article: List of I Walk in Dread characters


Main article: Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Lisa Rowe Fraustino is an author, editor, scholar, and visiting associate professor at Hollins University. She has written several books for children and young adults. I Walk in Dread is her only book for Dear America. In the "About the Author" section, Fraustino wrote about her early fascination with the occult, which was one of the reasons she was excited about writing about the Salem witch trials. She spent three years researching for I Walk in Dread, shifting through "facts and fictions."



"I thank the Star Pants critique group–Sue Bartoletti, Han Nolan, and Ann Sullivan–for listing to multiple drafts of this book. Thanks go to my friend Dianne Hess for all of the Saturday walks in Central Park during which we brainstormed ideas for projects, including this one. To my kids, Daisy, Dan, and Olivia: Thank you for turning down the TV so I could concentrate. I really appreciate the support and careful attention of Beth Levine and the other editors, and especially the vetter at Scholastic who helped me improve the manuscript and saved me from mistakes. Finally, I am deeply indebted to all of the historians and scholars without whose painstaking research I could not have written this book, particularly Mary Beth Norton for In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2002); Marilynne K. Roach for The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2002); and Bernard Rosenthal for Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692 (New York: Cambridge UP, 1993)."


  • The portrait on the cover of the first edition is a detail from the 1897 chromolithograph A Fair Puritan by E. Percy Moran. The background is an engraving titled There is a flock of yellow birds around her head by Howard Pyle and licensed from the Bettmann Archive.[5][6][7]
  • The portrait on cover of the second edition was illustrated by Tim O'Brien. The background is the same engraving used for the first edition.


See also[]

File:I Walk in Dread Discussion Guide.pdf

Dear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links[]