Anne Hutchinson’s Way

Illustrated by Michael Dooling

I’ve lived in Massachusetts and loved its history almost all my life. As a kid, I used to play that I was one of the many people who’d eaten Massachusetts apples, swum in Massachusetts lakes, and watched my step as I walked on cobblestone streets in Boston. I thought it was great that Louisa May Alcott wrote a famous book called LITTLE WOMEN, but before I read the novel, I liked knowing that she 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 her mark in Massachusetts, partly by getting banished from the state. I wrote the book 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 mom.

Questions for Discussion

Anne Hutchison had many ideas and opinions. What do you personally think was her most important idea?

What ways would Anne Hutchinson’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?

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