Witness by Karen Hesse

Witness is a powerfully told story of how the residents of one small Vermont town reacted to the arrival and infiltration of the Klu Klux Klan in the early part of the 1920s. Written entirely in free verse (just as in her exceptional title Out of the Dust), Karen Hesse presents 11 different community members, each speaking in first person about their views and interactions at this tense time.

Each character has a different view about African Americans and a different approach to dealing with the changes they see in their town. And each character speaks with a distinct voice, making this a good book to use when teaching this trait in Six Traits lessons.

Reading Levels
Interest Level: Grade 6+ 
Reading Level: young adult

Topics Covered
-Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (Character Ed)
-Life after abolition--early 20th century (US History)
-Six Traits of Writing--Voice (Language Arts)
-Free Verse Novels (Language Arts--Poetry)

Awards & Rating
-ALA Notable Children's Book 2002
-National Council of Teachers of English Notable Book 2002