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Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  770 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Salem, Massachusetts, 1692. In a plain meetinghouse a woman stands before her judges. The accusers, girls and young women, are fervent and overexcited. The accused is a poor, unpopular woman who had her first child before she was married. As the trial proceeds the girls begin to wail, tear their clothing, and scream that the woman is hurting them. Some of them expose wound ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2003)
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Tom Mathews
Writers about the Salem witch trials are like economists in that if you put five of them together in a room they will come up with at least six explanations as to what happened. Marc Aronson did a fairly creditable job of presenting the known facts and explaining several of the varying viewpoints and doing it in a manner that young adult audiences can easily grasp.

I particularly like the way he presented my 8x great grandmother Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and her sister Mary (Towne) Easty. These two
Sep 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book if you are curious about the known facts of the Salem Witch Trials between February 1692 and May 1693 in colonial Massachusetts. Nineteen were hung, one was pressed to death and another fifty confessed to being witches and so were not executed.

It is a YA book, but it is clear, informative and not childish. It is directed toward teenagers and tries to explain to them how and why this could have happened. I too was dumbfounded. It seems almost incomprehensible that th
Catherine Smith
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Witch Hunt is one of the most informative, engrossing books I have ever read. Nonfiction is one of my least favorite genres, but this book really changed that. It poses interesting theories and has my mind going in a constant loop. Were the witches really witches? Although the book doesn’t answer this question, the reader leaves with a lingering sense of true human behavior. We mix our lies with truths.
This is meant to be a young adult book, but it doesn’t stretch the truth to make things seem
Jun 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3391
Witch Hunt by Marc Aronson was a fantastic work of nonfiction. I had trepidations when I first began the book because I was afraid that it would read too much like a text book. But I found myself wanting to know what happened next so much that I hardly had the patience for turning the page! Although at times it may seem a little dry, the book reads like a novel rather than an academic piece.

Having read about the Salem Witch Trials prior to this work, I felt that Aronson gave a whole picture of
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book and the research the author put into it to show the accuracy of the witch trials. I think the Salem Witch Trials will always be a subject people will talk about just due to the fact of how many Innocent people were executed.
Grace Pahs
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the world of Salem, Massachusetts, Salem witches is a things of the past. In 1692, women would stand before a judge as a accused witch. The accused is a poor, unpopular woman, a women who would have her first child before marriage. The trails would sometimes take days or hours. The girls that accused the women would start to wail, tear at their clothing, and scream that the women before them is hurting them - a truly horrifying thing. Many people say the girls are just acting or are they tell ...more
Erica Herold
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Witch Hunt" by Marc Aronson is an amazing look at the facts and theories surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. Aronson begins the book with an introduction to the reader which states his objective: to correct false information and assumptions that surround the famous witch trials and the events which led to these trials. Aronson is more focused on summarizing and comparing the opinions, theories and research of various scholars on why the Salem Witch Trials happened than on battling specific fals ...more
Richard Bayne
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Marc Aronson’s nonfiction novel Witch-Hunt provides a rare opportunity to examine and rationalize the folklore influences and the then shared popular beliefs that served as both an atmospheric background and central focus for the Salem Witch Trials, one of the most infamous events in early American History. Arson presents a deep meditation of science, psychology, sociology, and spirituality as his narration critically explores the historical and social realities of human greed, superstition, and ...more
Naomi Hyde
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Witch-Hunt gives readers a look into the historical fascination that is The Salem Witch Trials. Aronson begins the novel asking readers to questions everything they know about the trials, and to reexamine which stories may be true and those that may be false. Aronson's objective is to correct any false information and assumptions that have developed from the trials. He presents information in a way that the reader can form their own assumptions and beliefs on the causes of the trials rather than ...more
Everardo garza
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: page-87
The WIth Hunt by Marc Aronson is a great book so far theres many interesting facts about my passt book The Crucible by ARthur Miller and the witch trials that occured in salem and in the small town i recommend this book to the people whom liked the Crucible mainly because the author Marc Aroson experes many different point of views in which the normal human would have about the Crucble once read. What brought me to read the book was the interesting way that Marc Aronson shows pictures to furthe ...more
Sarah Maddaford
I really enjoyed the narrative style of this book. There weren't very many pictures. The author explained that the pictures would have been basically dramatizations or recreations instead of actual images of the trials. There are very few portraits of people involved in the trials, which means that the descriptions given in the pretrial hearings and trials are the only link to what these people looked like. The book presented several well-informed opinions for the reasons behind the accusers' be ...more
Britney Milligan
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I chose this book to read as a book review for my college history class. I think this is a very good book. However, knowing this is a childrens/ middle school based book for young adults I thought the extensiveness of information was a little over the top... The 1st Chapter doesn't even start until page 43 and he uses a lot of the points and arguments he tries to make in a present tense stance. The last chapter ends on page 205. The book has 272 pages and we were supposed to choose one with at l ...more
Apr 22, 2012 added it
Shelves: informational
Alyssa Morres

This is a great informational book about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. In the very beginning of the book Marc has a "note to reader" section where he talks about how on one still knows the exact events of the this time. In the story he tries to get you thinking as a teen into what led to the actions of the girls who started these. Which makes sense since they were mostly teenage girls. Great informational book that will leave you wanting to read more about it.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Witch Hunt is a great YA book filled with translated court documents, and mythologies around witchcraft.
Holly Pascoe
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well researched hence providing new information that supersedes much of the historical "rumors" passed down the centuries.
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 out of 5 stars*
Panther Library
Sure, it’s history. But it’s even better as a well-told fascinating story. Ronson identifies all sorts of rivalries and motives to help make sense of the senseless Salem Witch Trials. And there’s a compelling cast of real-life villains and heroes and tortured souls.

I was predisposed to dislike Ann Putnam and the other girls who triggered the accusations. They come across as irresponsible brats, with little awareness and even less concern for all the pain they inspire. But I wasn’t aware of the
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I personally think Witch Hunt is a great book for people who are starting out in non-fiction. If you like some of the eerie magical things this is the book for you. These events are so fake, but in reality all happened back in 1688. I definitely would recommend this book!! The introduction of the book is a crucial part to understanding Witch Hunt. I would rate this book four out of five, just because the sequence of events were a little scrabbled which I personally did not like. I really wish th ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This was hard to read. I liked the authors writing style but it tastes such a sad book. I'm glad I wasn't around during the Sale Witch Trials.
Book Chick (Tori)
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting facts, but I was bored with the presentation.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
It has good history and tells about the childish actions that caused the deaths of good people. Sad but some of this is still going on today.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, read-in-2017
Opinionated without taking a clear stance. Dismisses certain theories out of hand without thoroughly examining them. Otherwise a good, informative read.
Ariel S.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gdj
Have your parents ever told you fairy tales about witches casting spells on beautiful princesses? Or, a poor woman turning out to be an evil witch in disguise? Have you ever felt that these things could be true? In 1692 in a small town (Salem, Massachusetts) doubts about whether these stories were really just fairy tales, became the center of attention. People began to believe that their next door neighbors were witches, doing evil things in the community, and this is where the Salem Witch Trial ...more
Stephanie Bolton
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Marc Aronson's Witch-Hunt is a well written and well-paced journey through one of the most tumultuous 10 months in Salem's history. Aronson set the scene and brings readers into the world of that community while drawing significant parallels to modern day issues and events.

I don't think is books is great for just anyone to read, while it is a very readable history it is still very much a non-fiction book. I thought that they timeline and the author's notes and comments were a very good tool; ho
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
I have to admit that I don't read a lot of nonfiction books in general, though I really should. I felt this book was really interesting and that I learned a lot from it that I think is probably the best explanations that can be found with only the background facts and taking human fallibility into account. That said, this isn't a rave review because while it was interesting and educational, it wasn't a book that made me keep wanting to pick it up and continue reading. Which is my usual problem w ...more
Bella F
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gdj
Have you ever thought that your creepy neighbor was actually a witch in disguise? When you watch a Disney movie, do you recognize the villain? The old, jealous lady? Well, in 1692 these suspicions became the center of interest in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts. People began to accuse one another with suspicions of with craft. Daily, convicted witches were dragged into court and forced to confess or deny to using witchcraft. The so-called witches had to recite a Christian prayer, give glo ...more
Int'l librarian
Sure, it’s history. But it’s even better as a well-told fascinating story. Ronson identifies all sorts of rivalries and motives to help make sense of the senseless Salem Witch Trials. And there’s a compelling cast of real-life villains and heroes and tortured souls.

I was predisposed to dislike Ann Putnam and the other girls who triggered the accusations. They come across as irresponsible brats, with little awareness and even less concern for all the pain they inspire. But I wasn’t aware of the
Alex Laferriere
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I chose to read Marc Aronson's "Witch Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials" for a couple of different reasons. Going through both elementary and high school learning about the Salem Witch Trials in history class has always interested me. It amazes me that human beings actually got to the point of being extremely irrational, crazy, and frantic during a time of great change. The very accusations that were proclaimed during the Salem Witch Trials, to me, are just incredible and ridiculous. I w ...more
Vicky Reads MG
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A SPECTACULAR historical account that looks at the key forces that came together to first begin and then continue to perpetuate the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. Rife with transcripts from diaries of judges, the accused and court documents from the actual trials historian Marc Aronson covers all the bases when it comes to shining a light on the facts. Aronson references the publications of other historians and their own takes on what exactly led up to, as well as went into causing, Sa ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Emma Ryan 12/20/14
ELA Per 2
Book Review

Witch-Hunt by Marc Aronson, is a thrilling non-fiction book about information and stories on the dark days in Salem, Massachusetts. It tells the truth about the stories and how it all began with witches in 1692, when people accused their own neighbors of witchcraft because of the pranks of two young girls.
A major event in the book was when some of the people in Salem started to think the accusers were just lying, but then they were hanged from being accus
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Evidence 1 11 Mar 15, 2013 08:21PM  
  • Witchcraft at Salem
  • The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry Into the Salem Witch Trials
  • The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege
  • A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials
  • Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England
  • Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692
  • Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts
  • Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience
  • Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft
  • Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall
  • In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
  • Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850
  • Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
  • Death in Salem: The Private Lives behind the 1692 Witch Hunt
  • Damned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England
  • A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience
  • The Witchcraft of Salem Village
  • Beyond the Burning Time
Aronson has won many awards for his books for young readers and has a doctorate in American history. His lectures cover educational topics such as mysteries and controversies in American history, teenagers and their reading, the literary passions of boys, and always leave audiences asking for more.