The Crucible

Try a teacher's guide that provides a synopsis of The Crucible, the classic play by Arthur Miller about the Salem Witch Trials. Also included in this literature guide are discussion questions and extended learning activities.
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Updated on: November 1, 2000
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This bibliography is designed to help in the construction of thematic units, to provide supplemental reading for students, and to suggest books appropriate for a wide range of reading levels. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the books are fiction.

Human cruelty in the name of righteousness
Brancato, Robin. Blinded by the Light, 1978. Bantam, 1979.
Cormier, Robert. The Bumblebee Flies Anyway. Pantheon, 1983. Dell, 1984.
Filipovic, Zlata. Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life In Sarejevo. Penguin, 1995.
Forbes, Esther. A Mirror for Witches. Dell, 1956, 1971.
Houston, Jeanne W. and James D. Houston. Farewell to Manzanar. Houghton Mifflin, 1973. Bantam, 1974. (nonfiction)
Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved. Harper & Row, 1980. Avon, 1981.

Community: Unity and Exclusion
Bonham, Frank. Viva, Chicano. Dutton, 1970. Dell, 1971.
Collier, Christopher and James Lincoln Collier. My Brother Sam is Dead. Four Winds, 1974. Scholastic, 1974.
Cande, Maryse. I, Tituba, Black Slave of Salem. Ballantine, 1993.
Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. Pantheon, 1974. Dell, 1986.
Forman, James. My Enemy, My Brother. Hawthorn, 1969. Scholastic, 1979
Guy, Rosa. The Friends. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1973. Bantam, 1974.
Highwater, Jamake. The Ceremony of Innocence. Harper & Row, 1985.
Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils. Follett, 1964. Grossett & Dunlap, 1964.
Means, Florence. The Moved-Outers. Houghton Mifflin, 1972.
Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. Scholastic, 1988.
Petry, Ann. Tituba of Salem Village. HarperCollins, 1991.

Justice vs. Retribution and Revenge
Avi, Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel. Orchard/Richard Jackson, 1991.
Cormier, Robert. Beyond the Chocolate War. Knopf, 1985.
Frank, Rudolf. No Hero for the Kaiser. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1986.
Hale, Janet Campbell. The Owl's Song. Bantam, 1991.
O'Dell, Scott. The Spanish Smile. Houghton Mifflin, 1966.

Godliness vs. Worldliness
Brooks, Polly S. Beyond Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc. Lippincott, 1990. (Nonfiction)
Hesse, Herman. Siddhartha. New Directions, 1951.
Newton, Suzanne. I Will Call It Georgie's Blues. Viking, 1983. Puffin, 1990.
O'Dell, Scott. The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt by Day. Houghton Mifflin, 1975.
Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. Simon & Schuster, 1967. Ballantine, 1982.
Tolan, Stephanie. A Good Courage. Morrow, 1988. Fawcett, 1989.

Ignorance vs. Wisdom
Borland, Hal. When Legends Die. Lippincott, 1963. Bantam, 1984.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. 1845. Penguin, 1968. (Nonfiction)
Hamilton, Virginia. M.C. Higgins, the Great. Macmillan, 1974. Dell, 1976.
Miklowitz, Gloria D. The War Between the Classes. Delacorte, 1985. Dell, 1986.
Paulsen, Gary. Canyons. Delacorte, 1990.
Steinbeck, John. The Pearl. Penguin, 1992.

The Puritan Myth
Clapp, Patricia. Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1968. Dell, 1975.
Fleischman, Paul. Saturnalia. HarperCollins, 1990.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Vintage, 1990. Penguin, 1983.
Speare, Elizabeth George. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Houghton Mifflin, 1958. Dell, 1978.
Zinner, Feenie. The Pilgrim and Plymouth Colony. American Heritage Junior Library, 1961. (Nonfiction)

Order vs. Individual Freedom
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Knopf, 1948.
Cormier, Robert. I am the Cheese. Pantheon, 1977. Dell, 1978.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Wideview/Perigee Books, 1954. J.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. Random House, 1959. NAL/Signet Classic, 1961.
Hentoff, Nat. The Day They Came to Arrest the Book. Delacorte, 1982.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. Harper, 1932.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Lippincott, 1964.
Malcolm X with Alex Haley. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Grove Press, 1965. (nonfiction)
Myers, Walter Dean. Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary. Scholastic, 1993. (nonfiction)
Paulsen, Gary. The Crossing. Orchard Books, 1987. Dell, 1990.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Little Brown, 1951.

Selected Works on Arthur Miller
Bigsby, C. W. E. Confrontation and Commitment: A Study of Contemporary American Drama, 1959-1956. University of Missouri Press, 1968.
Carson, Neil. Arthur Miller. Grove, 1982.
Miller, Arthur. Arthur Miller's Collected Plays, Volume II. Viking, 1980.
Miller, Arthur. Timebends: A Life. Grove, 1987.
Marton, James J. The Crucible: Politics, Property, & Pretense. Twayne, 1993.
Moss, Leonard. Arthur Miller. Twayne, 1967.
Weales, Gerald (Ed.). The Crucible: Text and Criticism. The Viking Critical Library. Penguin Books, 1977.
Welland, Dennis. Miller The Playwright.Third Edition. Methuen, 1988.


Arthea (Charlie) J. S. Reed, Ph.D. is currently president of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN). She is the author of three books in the fields of literature and teaching: Reaching Adolescents: The Young Adult Book and the School, Comics to Classics: A Guide to Books for Teens and Preteens, and Presenting Harry Mazer. In addition, she is the author or co-author of numerous books in the fields of foundations of education and teaching methods. She was editor of The ALAN Review for six years and has co-edited the Penguin/Signet Classic teacher's guide series since 1988.

In May 1996, Dr. Reed retired after 17 years as a professor of education and six years as chairperson of education at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After nearly 30 years in teaching at the elementary, secondary, and college/university level, she is now pursuing a new career in education as Executive Director of Development and Education for Northwestern Mutual Life in Asheville, N.C. Dr. Reed and her husband Don live with their two dogs and a cat on a mountain top in Fairview, N.C.

W. Geiger (Guy) Ellis, Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia, received his A.B. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. For most of his career, Guy has been active in teaching adolescent literature, having introduced the first courses on the subject at both the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia. He developed and edited The ALAN Review from 1978 to 1984, changing its focus from a newsletter to a referred journal. His research has emphasized the content of literature instruction.