Parents' Guide to

How to Hang a Witch

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Creepy thriller blends witch trials with high school drama.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

An amazing story with a twist (comment contains spoilers)

I love this story so far! I started reading the book yesterday and am on chapter 23 today. The chapters are pretty short but have a bunch of details in them. The story is about a girl (Samantha Mather) who moves to her Grandmother's old house when she dies. The girl's father is going through a coma at that time so the girl's stepmother, Vivian, takes her to live at the grandmother's house. Once Samantha and Vivian make it to the house they meet a mother (Mable) and her son (Jaxon) who immediately becomes friends with her. Samantha was bullied back in her old home in New York and is getting bullied by the kids at her new home in Salem. During a field trip, after Samantha and Jaxon became friends for about 2 weeks or so, Jaxon tells Samantha that he has eyes for her, and then the two teens kiss for a small scene. There wasn't anything too graphic in the kissing scene there, and Samantha is stopped by seeing a ghost boy staring up behind them. Nobody but Samantha can see the ghost boy though, who's name is Elijah. Samantha starts catching feelings for both boys, one dead, and one alive. So basically this story consists of a love triangle. Overall, I think this story is amazing and that children 12+ should be able to read it. There are a few cuss words put into the story like "Shit" and "ass" and things like that, but so far, there aren't any f-bombs being shown. This is a romantic horror story, and by far, better than any book I've read so far.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Fascinating historical elements and an underdog protagonist make this paranormal thriller compelling, even if the romance isn't swoon-worthy enough to demand reader investment. The fact that the author, like her main character, is a Mather, adds an air of authenticity to the way Sam deals with her family's ancestral connection to supporting the infamous Salem witch trials. Sam's uneasiness about being a Mather is riveting, particularly as she's faced with the clique of mean-girl witch descendants.

Even though the plot will definitely hold reader interest, the romance and predictable love triangle are rather disappointing. Sam makes some difficult-to-believe decisions when it comes to Jaxon, a guy so great it makes no sense when she keeps pushing him away. Meanwhile, the paranormal romance between Sam and Elijah is bland and unremarkable. Neither "ship" is easy to root for considering Sam's choices. But if you remove the misguided romantic elements from the equation, the high school-meets-supernatural drama moves along quickly enough to keep readers engaged.

Book Details

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