How to Hang a Witch

How to Hang a Witch

by Adriana Mather


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The #1 New York Times bestseller!

It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this New York Times bestselling novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start 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.

“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.” —

“Strikes a careful balance of creepy, fun, and thoughtful.” —NPR
I am utterly addicted to Mather’s electric debutIt 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 All the Bright Places

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553539509
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 53,328
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Adriana Mather is the 12th 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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Excerpted from "How to Hang a Witch"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Adriana Mather.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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How to Hang a Witch 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are so many wonderful things about this book! The writing was beautiful, the editing was fantastic, and that plot twist! After watching the book trailer, this would make an amazing movie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw the book trailer for this on Facebook, bought it right away because I happened to have a gift card, and finished it in a matter of hours. I was spellbound (haha) from the moment I started reading. As always when I read a good book, I told my mother all about it and was freaking out about the goings on. I literally couldn't put it down. I can't explain my love for it, but know that it is immense. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is looking for an intriguing (and fun/interesting!) read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first thing I wanted to do when I finished this story was book a trip to Salem! It hit all my reading sweet spots - paranormal, suspense, mystery, history, and humor set in the most perfect locale for it! What also adds to the vibe is the fact that author Adriana Mather is a descendant of one of the key players in the witch trials. The writing simply rocks and the characters leap off the page. Another area Mather really excels at is dialogue and humor. It just feels right - all of it. The story itself is intricate and multilayered with zero excess. Each creepy twist and turn enriches the mystery. I flew through this story and now just want to see what happens next to main character Samantha. Loved it and highly, highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As far as magical novels go, this is one of the best ones I’ve read yet. It hits home with it’s portrayal of Sam Mather, descendant of Cotton Mather. Yes, THAT Cotton Mather who was responsible for the Salem Witch Trails way back when. The amount of research put into this book is astounding, and I commend the author for the impeccable details of the Trials mentioned. Furthermore, I admire the addition of real world problems that Sam faces when she meets The Descendants. They bully her to an extreme, and it’s great to see a strong female lead stand up for herself and face her problems head on. The plot twist towards the end, although somewhat predictable, is something that really makes you hate certain characters the way you’re supposed to. I felt as if I was there with Sam, fighting along side her. Details of scenery and settings are beautifully written and portrayed. Not only that, there are suspenseful moments throughout every chapter that keeps you wanting to turn the pages. This is a book I recommend all who struggle with bullies to read and anyone even in the slightest bit interested in the Salem Witch Trials. If you like a suspenseful novel that will captivate you until the very last page, this is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always been a huge reader but this was the first book in years that i literally couldnt put down. I read this while driving through the mountains to the Grand Canyon and i did not care at all about the view because I became so absorbed in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this book. I read it as a manuscript, and I read it as an ARC, and I am going to buy the finished version when it comes out, and I love it more every time. It's so charming and spooky and witchy and twisty, and also it features my grumpy ghost boyfriend, who I shall not share with anybody else, even though I understand if everybody comes away from this wanting a ghost boyfriend of their very own. Go find your own. This one is mine. But seriously, more to the point, what a fun ride this is! Witches and ghosts and--well, not so much a haunted house as an entire haunted town--plus creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy magic and a big dose of history that never feels heavy-handed, all wrapped up in the story about the thoroughly wonderful and believable teenage Sam who just wants her beloved father to be well and her new life in a new town not to not suck so much, what with its bullies and mean girls and unhelpful teachers and difficult parents and, oh, also the ghosts. It's a wonderfully fresh take on witchcraft and the legacy of Salem. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel to see what other folklore and history Adriana Mather decides to explore!
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
4.5/5 Stars For ages, I have been looking for that perfect Halloweeny read, and I've finally found it! It's witchy without being too creepy, and being the big scaredy-cat that I am, the latter is extremely important. I'm fascinated and horrified by the history of the Salem witch trials, and How to Hang a Witch uses that history and turns it into a spooky and romantic story. I really identified with the main character's voice, and I now have a new book boyfriend in Elijah—a swoony ghost with a sad and dark past. In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of the movie The Craft, which I loooooved growing up, but a cuter version! Once I got to the middle of the story, I was tearing through the pages! I couldn't get enough of the story and all the romantic scenes were amazing. The book ends in a way that makes you want to rip your hair out—but in a good way haha. When I reached the end, I couldn't believe it. It left me with so many questions and hopes, but I have no idea what's going to happen in the sequel. I needed more, and now I have to wait over a year for the next book! Alas, I will eagerly await the sequel... until I get it, I'll just have to push this book on everyone I know haha. Full review:
SMParker More than 1 year ago
This book rocked my Salem Witch Trials-fascinated heart. Mather has done something really spectacular here and I’m so thrilled this is a series. HOW TO HANG A WITCH has everything I wanted: a cute boy, a ghost boy, a strong and determined main character. The MC has a pressing need to uncover her family’s secrets and their relationship to Salem’s history, but she also must undergo the ultimate journey to discover who she is, what marks her. Will it be the past or her chosen future, or a combination of both? As a girl who ventured to Salem, Massachusetts many times as a teen, I felt like Mathers nailed the historic atmosphere and the palpable history that still seems to breathe along the streets, shops and people of this town. I’ll leave you with this little gem from the book and my highest recommendation to pick up this debut novel: “The shadows on the black, decrepit walls look alive in the moonlight.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Such great writing! I first saw this as a video promo on fb and thought it was a movie, until I scoured the web and only found it in book format ?. At first I was a bit disappointed because the promo did such a good job selling it that I wanted to see it as a movie. But I’m glad I took a chance and bought the nook book version! It was such an amazing read with twist and turns that I didn’t see coming. I couldn’t help but root for Sam and everyone! If you like paranormal and find Salem and the witch trials interesting, this is one book that you shouldn’t pass up! Enjoy -A.N.H
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! And I love the characters Sam and Elijah!
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
In the 1690s, the Salem Witch Trials consumed the town of Salem, Massachusetts in a frenzy of accusations, mass hysteria, and executions. There’s a reason the Witch Trials still loom large in the popular imagination. They demonstrate the very basest bits of human nature: the instinct to raise oneself up by pushing others down, and the tendency of ordinary people to remain silent out of fear, allowing astonishing atrocities to go unchecked. In How to Hang a Witch, we meet Samantha Mather, modern-day descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for the Witch Trials. Her coming to Salem triggers a series of events that parallel the horrors of the Trials, and she must work with the descendants of the accused witches and the ghost who haunts her house to break the cycle of violence they represent. Author Adriana Mather, herself an actual descendant of Cotton Mather, draws keen parallels between the Trials and modern-day bullying, demonstrating the ways that “group silence can be a death sentence”. Samantha is a fierce and winning heroine, and the setting and events of the story are presented with a creepy verisimilitude that had this scaredy-cat sleeping with the lights on. A terrific, involving read that is sure to ignite many discussions.
MarisaR More than 1 year ago
What a wild ride! I whipped through the pages of the cinematic and creeptastic HOW TO HANG A WITCH because I HAD to know what would happen next. The story follows Samantha Mather’s return to Salem, MA, home of the infamous Salem Witch Trials. As a direct descendant of Cotton Mather, Samantha’s return reignites a curse wherein tragic things, even death, befall the families of the town’s original descendants. Samantha’s own father, currently in a coma in a nearby hospital, is at risk so there is a ticking clock on Samantha’s need to find answers. With well-drawn characters, just enough swoon (hello, Elijiah), mystery, and an inspiring overall message, Mather has penned a winner. I can’t wait to watch the incredible journey that I know HOW TO HANG A WITCH will have.
QuinnenDonnelly More than 1 year ago
Anyone who knows me will know that I have a soft spot for Salem, MA, as well as the annual Halloween must-watch "Hocus Pocus," so I went into Mather's debut novel with high expectations for some witchy fare. And boy, I was not disappointed. Via Samantha Mather, descendent of Cotton Mather and our fish out of water narrator, I was immediately drawn into life in contemporary Salem. Sam's fresh from NYC since her dad's been transferred to a Boston hospital (he's in a coma), and she doesn't know what to expect of her family's old home. Quickly, she discovers that Salem is far from over the witch thing -- especially when she starts going to her new high school and meets the Descendants -- yup, the descendants of the convicted witches are still ruling the high school. And they are, well, not so thrilled at the arrival of a Mather. Full of twists and turns, ghostly encounters, and spine-tingling drama, this is one witchy tale that you'll want to sink your teeth into even before Halloween.
Abooklover4 12 months ago
This book was so well written I fell in love with the love story between Samantha and Elijah. The story leaves you on the end till the very last page. I wasn't very shocked by the plot twist in the story I assumed the person who had the biggest change in the story wasn't all that they were cracked up to be. I fell in love with the trailer of this book and finished it in a day. Great read would recommend to anyone who wants to read a romance/fiction.
Mel-Loves-Books More than 1 year ago
“‘It is not dissimilar to your own situation. Do you believe the Descendants could torment you without the consent of the other students and teachers?’ ‘It’s not like they exactly agreed. They’re just kinda silent about the whole thing,’ I say. ‘Group silence can be a death sentence. It was in Salem.’ he says.” How to Hang a Witch was written by one of the descendants of Cotton Mather who played a large roll in the Salem Witch trials. The book she wrote that involved finding how the history of Salem was still haunting a town of witch descendants and descendants of the persecutors was fascinating. The fantasy elements of the story were eerie and chilling at times and the story itself kept me guessing. I adored Sam, Jaxon, but most especially the ghost Elijah. I did see that there is a sequel to the book that I definitely intend to read and I desperately hope for more of Elijah in it. If you like books with ghosts, witches, twists, and history mixed with fiction, then I would definitely recommend this book. I give it 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooooo good! I LOVED every moment of it! #teamElijah ?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Many plot twists that leave wanting more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not really good at reviews, because I have a bad habit of giving away the good parts. So I'm just going say READ THIS BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It kept you guessing until the end. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read that kept me hooked throughout its entirety. I would recommend this book to others.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
I love books full of history. Especially books that are based out of truth. The Salem Witch Trials has always been a great interest of mine. It was a sorrowful and fascinating time in history and still to this day it presents people with a picture of a world long gone, that at times was not the best picture, but it was real. This story came across my reading list, and I knew I just had to read it. I was not let down. This book was exceptional. When Sam moves to Salem, she doesn't realize the real depth that her ancestry means to her and those around her. Being the ancestor of Cotton Mather, a man who helped hang witches during the trials, is not a good thing for her. This story tells a tumultuous tale of history with a mix of high school means girl drama. This book was just excellent. It had me hooked when I read the synopsis, and the story was a great one. It was so full of history and drama that it was hard to put down. Once I started, I hated to stop. Sam is a great girl with an unfortunate last name. She knows she is hated and yet she still moves forward. She's dedicated to breaking the curse, that hangs over her head, as well as the other descendants. She shows a great strength in fighting a battle that has lasted years. This story was full of history, drama, mystery, and intrigue. It was honestly the best book I have read in a long time. The history is amazing; the characters are harsh and real. The story itself is written in a way that tugs at your heart while it also gives you a bit of fright and thrills.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. There are so many historically accurate things as well as a complicated love story. The ending will shock you, but it is so so perfect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the historical aspect of this story and the characters. I couldn't put the book down!
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
Teenager Samantha (Sam) Mather’s father is in a coma, her Step Mum Vivian has had to sell their apartment in New York to pay for his medical bills and move them to the house that her Grandmother owned before she died, located in Salem. Being a Mather in Salem isn’t easy though, as one of her relations, Cotton Mather, was one of the people behind the famous witch hanging in 1692. Also living in Salem, and attending the local high school, are the descendants of the witches that were hung. They are not impressed with the arrival of Sam, especially when people start dying, leaving Sam to take the blame. They believe that she is cursed and want her to leave. Is Samantha really cursed, or are there far greater evil forces in Salem? I love a good story about witches, and How to Hang a Witch was definitely good. In fact, it was more than that, it was amazing. It was so good that I ordered the sequel, Haunting the Deep, and I am already half way through. Whilst the story might be fictional, the Salem Witch hangings are certainly true, and being a Mather herself, the author is actually the real descendant of Cotton Mather. The book combines a great story with factual events, leaving you with subtly embedded factual knowledge. The plot contains a whole host of characters that YA readers will love. -The school gang who everyone is afraid of and take an instant dislike to the new girl. (Think Mean Girls) -Two hot young men, though one is a ghost and a few hundred years old. -A feisty protagonist with a smart mouth, who is determined to find out the truth at any cost. One who has confident outer strength, while her inner is less so sure about herself. I read the book in two sittings, one in to the early hours of the morning. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested and a fantastic showdown near the end. Believe me, I did not envisage a certain person being the evil force at play. This is a book that you can fully immerse yourself within. One you can forget the outside world and go and take a walk in Salem, where the houses are painted black, the police cars have a witch logo on them and everyone knows a descendant.