Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials” as Want to Read:
Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  1,826 Ratings  ·  364 Reviews
Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.

When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Balzer + Bray (first published June 17th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

If you are looking for a story about some of the original "mean girls," look no further. WICKED GIRLS by Stephanie Hemphill is about a group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts, who began identifying their own village neighbors as witches. They accused many and the result was the hanging deaths of countless innocent victims.

Led by Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr., this group of girls, aged 8-18, devised a game to
Sep 25, 2010 Angela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few times I wish I could give half stars, because I really feel in the middle on this book.

On the one hand, I love the story. Hamphill does an excellent job with the theory that these girls kept accusing people because this was the only way they would ever have power. Powerful men were listening to the girls, servant girls were just as powerful as the merchant class. Some of Mercy's stories were almost physically painful as she described the joy of being looked at as a powerfu
Mar 01, 2012 Paul rated it it was ok
Were the Salem Witch Trials just a case of Mean Girls gone whack? Were the accusations and trials motivated by the need for power and recognition of adolescent girls?

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill raises these questions in the way each character was depicted and mirrored in the thoughts Hemphill chose to give them. Of course, the cause of the trials and the extent of them will always be debated within our American history, and Hemphill chimes in with her thoughts in this uniquely written nov
Stephanie Hemphill uses free verse and three different character perspectives to tell a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials in Wicked Girls. It is a fascinating take on a piece of American history about which we know many facts but not the full story. The novel opens with Mercy Lewis, a 17-year-old servant in the Putnam’s house, as she gives the reader an idea of what life in Salem Village is like: cold, little to eat, lots of distrust of others. The reader soon meets the other main ...more
Jul 02, 2010 Brooke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1692, Wicked Girls, takes a peek into the lives of three teenage girls living in Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem witch trials. The girls' fun and games turn serious when the town folk and families think they have been afflicted, and begin to take their word in who the witches are in Salem. The girls live for the popularity that being "afflicted" has brought them, because now people listen to them and their lives have meaning. The only problem with their is hard to come ...more
Bethany Miller
Aug 08, 2010 Bethany Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the “afflicted” girls who were responsible for the Salem Witch Trials. The point of view of this novel in verse alternates between Ann Putnam, Jr. a twelve year old girl who has high social standing in Salem Village, seventeen year old Mercy Lewis who is an orphan and a servant in the Putnam household, and seventeen year old Margaret Walcott who is Ann’s cousin but of a lower social status than Ann. The book follows the girls from the beginnings of the ...more
The fictionalized account of three real young women living in Salem, MA in 1692...these seers named and accused many of the people that were tried, convicted, and hung for witchcraft. Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials tells the story of the interaction of servant girl Mercy Lewis, priviledged Ann Putnam, Jr., and Margaret Walcott, a betrothed young woman.

I really, REALLY wanted to like this book...but, I am not fond of novels in verse and now I know that I am not fond of novels in
Sep 01, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grades 7 and up
Based on real people and events that took place during the Salem Witch Trials, this book is told from the point of view of three girls, ranging in age from twelve to seventeen; these are the girls that made the accusations of witchcraft. Told in free verse format, readers learn about the motivations behind the girls' "afflictions"--which led to 19 innocent people being hanged.

This book received starred reviews across the board (Booklist, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus) but I
Mar 16, 2013 Ennta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Hemphill does an excellent job of using spare, evocative verse to set this period piece's atmosphere and sketch out her protagonists. Unfortunately, that paucity of words leaves the characters little more than stereotypes. Nevertheless, this is a quick read with a unique execution.
sometimes stories told in prose work very well, this one not so much for me.
This book was written in poetry verse instead of prose, I found this insufferable but some readers might like this choice.
Loveliest Evaris
I was bored and didn't want to do my Race, Gender, Culture homework so I sat down next to the bookshelves at my school's library and found this book. I was daunted by the thickness of it--I don't have patience for long books anymore--but I flicked through it and was pleased that it was written in poem stanzas. That shit is easy to go through.

This is probably the first book in awhile that I read very quickly, probably because it was in such a form of storytelling. Even so, it probably took me two
Emily Witt
Okay, a confession: I’m not really a poetry person. I’m all right if it rhymes, and I can even sort of get behind it if I can register some sort of meter. But free verse just confuses me; I just sit there wondering why the prose has so many line breaks. (Okay, I can appreciate it a bit more than that sentence implies, but I would still rather just read it in a series of paragraphs.) So when I realised Wicked Girls was an entire novel written in verse, I wasn’t immediately sure I would continue r ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Katelyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I'm not normally a historical fiction enthusiast and not that Wicked Girls is supposed to be an accurate capturing of this period in history per say, but there was something about the cover and description of this book that had me really wanting to get my hands on it. I will admit that while I still don't consider myself to be a big fan of historical texts, I was glad I gave this book a chance.

Stephanie Hemphill took me by surprise by writing the entire book in verse (which had me about as excit
Aug 17, 2010 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, teen
Through gripping verse, the story of the Salem Witch Trials is told from the point of view of several of the accusers themselves. A fictionalized account, the book captures the lies and hysteria of Salem in 1692, embracing the theory that the girls were deliberately telling lies. There is Ann Putnam, Jr. who leads the group of girls despite the fact she is 12 and others in the group are 17. She is the daughter of a prominent man in Salem. Her servant, Mercy Lewis, is also an accuser. Beautiful a ...more
Corinne Wilson
A book of poems told from the point of view of three of the girls who accused so many of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusatts: the girl who is ignored and unloved by her family, the beautiful servant girl who finds safety using their lies, and the girl desperately and jealously in love with a man whose eyes are always roving.
With the recent trend of novels in poetry, I'm always a bit skeptical of authors who have chose this medium--are they making good use of it, or is it done in the place of ori
The Salem Witch Trials is a strange time in American History, but it’s one that I find utterly fascinating and would love to learn more about. Wicked Girls is focused on three young girls who became the most prolific accusers at the time, even if their claims were not set entirely in truth. This is a fictionalized account of real events, and I thought the verse format was a good choice for it. Often times historical fiction–especially those written on real events–tend to be slow and sometimes fe ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey Swafford
Mar 11, 2011 Kelsey Swafford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill is the perfect book for the person who wants to learn about history without the feeling of a typical, boring, fact after fact, history lesson. The book is about the Salem Witch Trials and is set in Salem Village and is in the point of view of the girls who started the accusations. It's written in poem form and mainly told by Mercy, Margaret, and Ann, who are three of the girls in the main group of accusers. The main group of girls also includes Abigail and Eliz ...more
Christina Steiner
Mar 11, 2011 Christina Steiner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wicked Girls a novel of the Salem witch trials by Stephanie Hemphill is an amazing book. It is a perfect book for anyone who loves to read about teenage drama and a good story about a struggle for power and control. Wicked Girls is told from the perspective of three girls Margaret, Ann, and Mercy. Each girl has their own moment where they are the main character, and in control of the group. These girls are “afflicted” by the witches in the community, and soon started calling out names of these s ...more
Aug 26, 2010 Teril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Wicked Girls this morning, and I was really impressed by the idea, or impression that I got from the book.
The Salem Witch Trials and the concept that what they were going on with; the idea that these several teen girls were able to have afflictions and declare evil is wild. The fact that these children were impressing the idea of witchcraft onto people in the community is simply impressive, and the fact that the community persecuted people because of it.
The book sums it up in a way that
Told entirely in verse, this novel of the Salem witch trials is fantastic take on the events that took place in that legendary town. It's already a fascinating historical episode, with lots of questions and few solid answers. We know who the accusers were; we know how many hanged as a result. What we don't know is why any of it happened in the first place. Hemphill's novel attempts to shed light on the minds of the accusers. The narrative alternates between several of the accusers, each particip ...more
Jada Codispot
Mar 09, 2014 Jada Codispot rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the medieval time period, the three main characters are twelve year old, Anne, and two seventeen year old girls, Mercy and Margaret. The girls develop mentally and emotionally throughout the story. The girls begin with only one afflicted by the "witches". Later, with only the three girls knowing there is no such thing as the witches, they conjure a scheme to accuse regular people in society to being the witches. They find ways to make themselves higher purpose in town than just "the serva ...more
Feb 02, 2010 Faye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I've always been interested in the Salem Witch trials. It was one of my favorite topics in class. So i knew that I would be interested in this book, it's written beautifully in verse. It was a little slow paced/long at times.

I like how Hemphill stayed true to the characters, with the actual girls and the actual victims the girls accused during the trials. Hemphill brings the characters to life, created voices for girls. I really wanted to know what was going on inside of their young naive minds,
Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill is a fictional account of the Salem Witch Trials written in poetic verse. It is a quick read and well written, though not as good as "Hideous Love," Hemphill's fictional work about Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft.

I gave this book 3 out of 4 stars not because of the writing or any other mechanics of the novel but simply because the story was annoying. I don't even know why I indulged in this story. I hate the Salem Witch Trials, mainly because it was just a bunch o
The events of the Salem Witch Trials are fairly well known. Young girls started having fits and claimed to be attacked by witches. Many were accused, some died, but most were eventually freed. We do not know what motivated these girls to accuse so many (around 200) people of cavorting with the devil. Hemphill attempts to shed light on what might have driven these girls down such a path. She uses the voices of three of the afflicted, Mercy, Margaret and Ann, to tell the story of Salem. In Wicked ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Danielle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ls-583
Name: Danielle Autumn Shur
Hemphill, S. (2010). Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Genre: Verse Novel
Format: Print
Selection Process: WorldCat
Salem Village in the year 1692, all is not well. Betty and Abigail were the first to be afflicted. The Mercy, Ann, Margaret, and Elizabeth soon say that they too see the devil and his workers. They are tormented by unseen forces. They point their fingers and name the witches and wizards they see. L
I really liked the story. I read Conversion, another book about the Salem witch trials, last month and it wasn't as good a story as this one. The characters were well developed. I hated most of them, but they were definitely developed. What I didn't like was the writing style. Hemphill writes in free verse. The problem is, her idea of free verse seems to be "write however and space it weirdly and you're done". It wasn't poetic, it didn't make you think, it certainly wasn't prettier. All it did w ...more
Kristy McRae
Feb 14, 2014 Kristy McRae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I don't usually pick up books that are written in verse, but the subject matter here intrigued me. I was captivated by the viewpoints of these girls as they maneuvered through the time period of the Salem witch trials. A great story, but also a really fascinating historical work, that gave me a whole new perspective on that time period. I also liked the author's informational sections at the end, where she discusses the real-life people who populate her book, and what happened to them. This ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-in-verse
Really excellent examples of verse, both blank and formatted. Multiple voices add complexity to the narrative for deeper lit study: narrator reliability, voice, character motivation...

The Salem Witch Trials are always a compelling story, the verse form adds something new to the common knowledge historical base and the fictionalization is very well done.

The books concludes with a section explaining the fictional characters links to the real people and gives a simple background/where are they now
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
  • Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters
  • Berserk, Vol. 19
  • The Trial
  • Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs (Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, #2)
  • The Firefly Letters
  • Belle's Song
  • Gemma
  • Deadman Wonderland Volume 8 (Deadman Wonderland, #8)
  • Cate of the Lost Colony
  • Folly
  • Karma
  • Split Image
  • Anastasia's Secret
  • Worlds Afire
Stephanie Hemphill's first novel in poems, Things Left Unsaid, was published by Hyperion in 2005 and was awarded the 2006 Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Excellence in Poetry by the Children's Literature Council of Southern California.

Her second novel, a verse portrait of Sylvia Plath, Your Own, Sylvia was published by Knopf in March 2007. A third novel in verse for teens, Wicked Girls, a verse st
More about Stephanie Hemphill...

Share This Book

“Why uproot
a perfectly healthy
white blazing star
from the soil
to allow room
for a roadside weed?”
“It may be safe to walk,
but where do you go
when all directions wear
the same black ashen despair?”
More quotes…