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Book review: “How to Hang a Witch”

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"How to Hang a Witch" by Adriana Mather

Hannah Myers, Reporter

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“How to Hang a Witch” was written by Adriana Mather, published July 26, 2016, and is set in present time.

Samantha Mather and her stepmother Vivian travel all the way from New York City to live in Samantha’s deceased grandmother’s house in Salem, Massachusetts. 

In the city of Salem, there is a group of teenagers that call themselves the “Descendants.” The “Descendants” are all ancestors of someone who was important during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. When all the major families of the witch trails are in Salem, deaths in the families start happening. When Samantha starts seeing a mysterious man that no one else sees, and is later confronted by him for touching his stuff, she can’t help but be curious about who he is.

Containing ghosts, witches, and a three hundred year old curse, Samantha and the other descendants come together to try and save the lives of many people and break the spell.

“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 then the conversation would end,” Samantha says.

This explains that nothing good ever happens and throughout the book Samantha and the other “Descendants” experience how true that is.

In the town of Salem, 300 years after the witch trials, Samantha Mather, descendant of Cotton Mather and an influential Puritan minister during the trials, finds herself seeing explainable things in the house she recently moved into.

When she finds her grandmother’s old journals in a secret room, she discovers that there is a lot more to Salem than she ever anticipated. With seeing ghosts and her grandmother’s journals, she is more determined to find the reason for the deaths.

Throughout the book author Adriana Mather puts a lot of herself into Samantha, which is understandable because Adriana is also related to Cotton Mather. The book mentions multiple times that Samantha is related to Cotton Mather as is the author Adriana Mather. To illustrate their connection both the character and author are vegetarians.

At the beginning it dragged on a little and could have been a little shorter, but all the information given was really needed to understand everything that happens throughout the story.

In the end, it was a well written descriptive fictional story about a girl who felt like she didn’t belong anywhere, but finally found where she was meant to be.

I would give this novel a five out of five. It is a very well written story that could appeal to people of all ages. It is informative about the events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials that took place in 1692 and 1693 and still has the ability to make connections to today.

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Book review: “How to Hang a Witch”