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Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  2,107 ratings  ·  407 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)
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Average rating 3.34  · 
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 ·  2,107 ratings  ·  407 reviews

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Kimberly Antill
I was so surprised to see that this book has received so many low ratings. Set during the Salem witch trials, Wicked Girls is told from the point of view of the ultimate mean girls, Mercy, Margaret and Ann. They set into motion a series of events that leads to their neighbors living in fear, being sent to jail and for some being sent to their deaths. This is a work of fiction but it was interesting to see what the author thought was the girls motivation for their behavior.

This book was told in
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 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
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 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've got to say, I'm really disappointed with this book. I made it to about 40% through the book but the character development was just really grating, and the writing style did not get easier over time. I love things relating to the Salem Witch Trials, but this one was a hard miss for me.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like reading books about the salem wtich trials this isnt bad. Its like reading a bunch of diary entries which i actually really liked. *This also reminded me of another book i love & it was easy to think of them in the same time line so that did make me like this book more* ...more
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
Mar 01, 2012 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
Bethany Miller
Aug 08, 2010 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
Sep 01, 2011 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
Scarlet Darkwood
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. As another reader said, I'm surprised at the low ratings. Yes, it's written in verse, but it's easy to follow. I love reading about the Salem Witch Trials, though I didn't like what happened to poor innocent people. This book really gets inside the girls' heads so you know what they are thinking. The author's notes at the end are very interesting, as well. I felt fully immersed in the story, felt like I was right there with them. Good imagery. Enjoyable and wonderfully written ...more
Ashley W
This book seemed like it should be really interesting but oh that it isn't...It is about the Salem Witch Trials and is written in free verse. Now, I have no problem with books written in free verse as I loved other books, such as Out of the Dust. However, this book is just so dry. I also dislike all of the characters as they are all complete brats. I'm really sad because I really wanted to like this one.
Mar 16, 2013 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.
This book was written in poetry verse instead of prose, I found this insufferable but some readers might like this choice.
sometimes stories told in prose work very well, this one not so much for me.
Julie Suzanne
An interesting perspective on the Salem Witch Trials, this novel in verse was an entertaining and satisfying piece of my understanding of this crazy true story. While The Crucible told the story from John Proctor's point of view (victim) in the form of a play, this is a collection of poems that narrate the story from the point of view of the "afflicted" girls (the perpetrators). So we get a story about peer pressure, "mean girls," oppression, Puritan repression, abuse, class warfare, small town ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abgebrochen
I stopped about 40% in. I just realized i need a different way of writing. Even though i do feel that the story will be interesting it just didnt catch me and its a drag reading it. So i decided to stop. I need more introduction of the characters in the story itself than reading in the beginning who everyone is - lets be honest who keeps going back and forth or remembers it all. It just wasnt meant for me.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
This was very odd. Like a Mean Girls version of the Salem Witch Trials told in verse.
Emily Wrayburn
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
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
Jul 02, 2010 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
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, poetry
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
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
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
Christina Steiner
Mar 11, 2011 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
To be completely honest, I knew that I wasn't going to love this. When I read this a few years ago, I only rated it three stars and I couldn't really remember much about it. It's also written in verse, which is a format that I'm not all that familiar with.

Overall, the plot was interesting and the fact that it was written in the point of the afflicted, aka the girls who accused innocent people of witchcraft, made me intrigued. However, I grew frustrated quite quickly since what was happening was
Feb 02, 2010 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,
Jada Codispot
Mar 09, 2014 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
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 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
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Sarah Terry review 8 1 1 Apr 13, 2019 06:08PM  
Play Book Tag: Wicked Girls / Stephanie Hemphill. 2.5 stars 1 9 Aug 29, 2017 08:22PM  

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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

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“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?”
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