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How to Hang a Witch

Cover of How to Hang a Witch

How to Hang a Witch

The #1 New York Times bestseller!
It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this riveting novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where high school starts to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem's past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
"I am utterly addicted to Adriana Mather's electric debut. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, twisting and turning with ghosts, witches, an ancient curse, and— sigh— romance. It's beautiful. Haunting. The characters are vivid and real. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down."
—Jennifer Niven, bestselling author of Holding up the Universe and All the Bright Places


"It's like Mean Girls meets history class in the best possible way." —Seventeen Magazine

"Mather shines a light on the lessons the Salem Witch Trials can teach us about modern-day bullying — and what we can do about it."—Bustle.com
"Strikes a careful balance of creepy, fun, and thoughtful." —NPR
The #1 New York Times bestseller!
It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this riveting novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where high school starts to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem's past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
"I am utterly addicted to Adriana Mather's electric debut. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, twisting and turning with ghosts, witches, an ancient curse, and— sigh— romance. It's beautiful. Haunting. The characters are vivid and real. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down."
—Jennifer Niven, bestselling author of Holding up the Universe and All the Bright Places


"It's like Mean Girls meets history class in the best possible way." —Seventeen Magazine

"Mather shines a light on the lessons the Salem Witch Trials can teach us about modern-day bullying — and what we can do about it."—Bustle.com
"Strikes a careful balance of creepy, fun, and thoughtful." —NPR
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBooks
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.2
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you


Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter One

    Too Confident

    Like most fast-­talking, opinionated New Yorkers, I have an affinity for sarcasm. At fifteen, though, it's hard to convince anyone that sarcasm's a cultural thing and not a bad attitude. Especially when your stepmother can't drive, 'cause she's also from New York, and spills your coffee with maniacal brake pounding.

    I wipe a dribble of hazelnut latte off my chin. "It's okay. Don't worry about it. I love wearing my coffee."

    Vivian keeps her hand poised over the horn, like a cat waiting to pounce. "All your clothes have holes in them. Coffee isn't your problem."

    If it's possible for someone to never have an awkward moment, socially or otherwise, then that someone is my stepmother. When I was little, I admired her ability to charm roomfuls of people. Maybe I thought it would rub off on me—­an idea I've since given up on. She's perfectly put together in a way I'll never be, and my vegan leather jacket and torn black jeans drive her crazy. So now I just take joy in wearing them to her dinner parties. Gotta have something, right?

    "My problem is, I don't know when I'll see my dad," I say, staring out at the well-­worn New England homes, with their widow's walks and dark shutters.

    Vivian's lips tighten. "We've been through this a hundred times. They'll transfer him to Mass General sometime this week."

    "Which is still an hour from Salem." This is the sentence I've repeated since I found out three weeks ago that we had to sell our New York apartment, the apartment I've spent my entire life in.

    "Would you rather live in New York and not be able to pay your father's medical bills? We have no idea how long he'll be in a coma."

    Three months, twenty-­one days, and ten hours. That's how long it's already been. We pass a row of witch-­themed shops with dried herbs and brooms filling their windows.

    "They really love their witches here," I say, ignoring Vivian's last question.

    "This is one of the most important historical towns in America. Your relatives played a major role in that history."

    "My relatives hanged witches in the sixteen hundreds. Not exactly something to be proud of."

    But in truth, I'm super curious about this place, with its cobblestone alleys and eerie black houses. We pass a police car with a witch logo on the side. As a kid, I tried every tactic to get my dad to take me here, but he wouldn't hear of it. He'd say that nothing good ever happens in Salem and the conversation would end. There's no pushing my dad.

    A bus with a ghost-­tour ad pulls in front of us. Vivian jerks to a stop and then tailgates. She nods at the ad. "There's a nice provincial job for you."

    I crack a smile. "I don't believe in ghosts." We make a right onto Blackbird Lane, the street on the return address of the cards my grandmother sent me as a child.

    "Well, you're the only one in Salem who feels that way." I don't doubt she's right.

    For the first time during this roller coaster of a car ride, my stomach drops in a good way. Number 1131 Blackbird Lane, the house my dad grew up in, the house he met my mother in. It's a massive two-­story white building with black shutters and columned doorways. The many peaks of the roof are covered with dark wooden shingles, weathered from the salty air. A wrought-­iron fence with pointed spires surrounds the perfectly manicured lawn.

    "Just the right size," Vivian says, eyeing our new home.

    The redbrick driveway is uneven with age and pushed up by tree roots. Vivian's silver sports car jostles as we make our way through the black arched gate and roll to a stop.

    "Ten...
About the Author-
  • Adriana Mather is the 14th generation of Mathers in America, with family roots stretching back to the first Thanksgiving, the Salem Witch Trials, the Revolutionary War, and the Titanic. Adriana co-owns Zombot Pictures, a production company that makes feature films. In addition to producing, Adriana is also an actress. She lives in Los Angeles where she has a life full of awesome, cats, and coffee. Follow Adriana on Twitter, @AdrianaMather.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 4, 2016
    When her father's illness forces 15-year-old Samantha "Sam" Mather and her stepmother to move to Salem, Mass., her family's connection to the witch trials makes Sam a target of the Descendants, girls whose ancestors were among the accused witches. After Sam befriends a charming young ghost named Elijah, she begins to piece together just how much of Salem's past continues to haunt its present; forming a tentative truce with the Descendants may be the only way to break a 300-year-old curse. Inspired by her own lineage to Cotton Mather, debut author Mather infuses the story with a rich history of real places and events to anchor its more fantastical elements, including a supernatural love triangle involving Elijah, secret rooms, and hidden compartments containing ancient writings. Witty repartee can seem too irreverent in passages where the teenage characters are facing (and sometimes succumbing to) death, but Mather crafts an entertaining story that draws intriguing parallels between the 17th-century trials and modern-day bullying, as well as the fears and mob mentalities behind both. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio.

  • Shelf Awareness "Strikes a careful balance of creepy, fun, and thoughtful."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBooks
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Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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