I’ve lived in Massachusetts and loved its history almost all my life. As a child, I felt proud to be one of the many people who’d eaten Massachusetts apples, swum in Massachusetts lakes, and watched my step on Boston’s cobblestone streets. Even before I read and loved Little Women, I liked knowing that Louisa May Alcott and her sisters performed plays for their family, just like I did, not so far from my house.
Anne Hutchinson was another person who made a mark in Massachusetts, partly by getting banished from the state. I wrote Anne Hutchinson’s Way from the point of view of one of her eighteen children. I imagined Susanna was proud of her brave mother, but also spent quite a lot of time missing her, and maybe fretting about her choices. I tried to write a book about courage, but also the difficulty of having a hero for a mother.
Awards: Amelia Bloomer Project/Feminist Task Force; Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year; Booklist Top 10 Religious Books for Youth
Questions for Discussion
Anne Hutchison had many beliefs and opinions. What do you personally think was her most important idea?
What ways would Anne Hutchison’s story be different if told from the point of view of another character in the book? Can you write a paragraph about what Anne’s husband, oldest daughter, a neighbor, minister, or Anne herself thought?
Some people, like Governor John Winthrop, thought a new nation needed many rules so that a peaceful place could develop. Anne Hutchinson thought that most people could be trusted to establish their own good rules. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each line of thought?
What do you imagine Anne Hutchinson would think if she were to see your school or place of worship? How have her times and our times changed? For more information, please visit macmillan.com or Michael Dooling's website to learn about this book and others celebrating history.
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