How to Hang a Witch

Adriana Mather. Knopf, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-553-53947-9
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. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 07/26/2016
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752107-1
Library Binding - 368 pages - 978-0-553-53948-6
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-553-53950-9
Prebound-Glued - 368 pages - 978-0-606-40480-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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