Based on the true account of serving maid, Anne Green, sentenced to death for infanticide in 17th century England, Newes from the Dead, by British author Mary Hooper, is disturbing, captivating and suspenseful. I would recommend this book for older teens and adults. A practice generally reserved for lower-class unmarried women in early England, Anne is standing trial for murder after giving birth to a stillborn premature infant. If that isn't shocking enough, after death by hanging on December 14, 1650, Anne is subsequently revived! Written imaginatively from Anne's point of view as she lies in a coffin "in some sort of trancelike state," her reflections introduce the reader to the events leading up to this point. In alternating chapters, the perspective of the physicians preparing to dissect Anne's body for medical research is told compassionately. Rich historical detail about medicine in its infancy and the vast inequities between the privileged and poor during the Puritan era emerge in this unique love story. Mary Hooper has written more than 60 books for children and young adults, most of which were published in the United Kingdom. Newes from the Dead was chosen by United States' libraries as one of the "Outstanding International Books" of 2008.
Recommended by Valerie Owens