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

Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  859 ratings  ·  151 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Witch-Hunt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Witch-Hunt

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  859 ratings  ·  151 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials
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
Kirstin Dobson
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 (want to give 5, but just not quite there). The most clear and readable books I've read on this topic. And I've read a lot. This time in US history fascinates me-- since my ancestors are some of these famous "witches." If looking for detailed nonfiction this book doesn't succeed, but that was one thing I preferred-- many other books of this topic get bogged down in the details. Remember this book is more YA than most, so facts are factual but simplified. Especially enjoyed the discussion on ...more
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
Indigo Burns
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
The book Witch-Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials. The protagonist in this book is the witches. The witches are seen as evil, manipulative, and cruel.The witches were accused of witchcraft or performing rituals, or things of the sort. The witches were then put on trials, and judged whether guilty or not guilty. Those accused were often women, but occasionally were men. Those who accused the “witch” would attend the trial, and scream in pain, or in fear, often claiming they were seeing the ...more
Jenn : Godzilla is King
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.
Paul H
The reason I chose this book was because I had recently done a simulation of the Salem Witch Trials, and it was something that I found very interesting and wanted to learn more about it. When I saw it on the shelf I knew it would be something that would be to my liking. It was kind of cool to learn something in History class then learn more in depth about it in my English class.

The story starts out by giving a little background and overview of what is happening and who the story is about. This
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.
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
Janine Treannie
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this to be quite the interesting read. Though I can't compare to any other books, I found this book to give some interesting insights into the famous witch trails of Salem Massachusetts.

Before the trails ever occurred there had been a lot of different events going on such as wars, people fleeing from England, England getting a new king just about every year to every other year, laws being passed here and in England and everything else effecting the people.

I also found it very interesting
Lorna Victoria
For the age range this is recommended and written for it's a very thorough and comprehensive one, as well as digestable without dumbing down or simplifying any portion of the Salem Witch Trials.

I do wish there had been more included on the victims, beyond the timeline mapped out in the back. Giles Corey for instance, gets swept under the rug. Why he was killed is very quickly explained away in a sentence, but I think could've done with more specifics. There also could have been something about
Very thorough look at the then-available evidence from the Salem Witch Trials.

It's a YA history book, but I learned a great deal and enjoyed it as an adult. It's very readable and interesting. I absolutely loved the notes and comments section where Aronson gives very clear reviews and summaries of his source materials for anyone who is interested in looking more deeply into the interpretations and perspectives other historians and authors have presented. He's very encouraging of readers to look
Valerie McEnroe
When I read books for tweens and teens I have to analyze it through two viewpoints: adult and kid. If you're an adult wanting an easier read on the Salem witch trials, then this book is perfect for you. It has tons of facts, it's well-researched, and the narration is better than most nonfiction books. It dispels a lot of the inaccurate accounts and goes deep into the backstory of some of the key players. So why 3 stars? Though I wouldn't call it textbook writing, there is room to make it more re ...more
Apr 04, 2020 added it
Shelves: unrated
Wittlinger explored the world of zines in her novel Hard Love. This more recent teen love story explores multiple viewpoints and various forms of non-verbal communication, including email, instant messages, and “old-fashioned” letters and postcards. Chloe and Julian are both high school seniors who connect and start dating (sort of) during a visit to a college they each hope to attend. After they meet, back in Massachusetts, Chloe struggles with a relationship she has had with a long-time friend ...more
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
Alyssa Harvey
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book ended up bringing up more questions than answers. But I did learn a lot of new information about the actual trials and the women who were accused. I also have a newfound hatred of Ann Putnam Jr. - she was an evil child who grew up to be a callused woman who took almost no blame in the situation she created. I felt very sad the entire time I read it, these poor innocent people who were hanged for telling the truth - they did no evil.
Angel Reyes
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
the book felt like a documentary i don´t know if that what they were going for but i didn´t like that it felt like a documentary and not a book. But there was parts when the book went from the trials of the poor being accused to people burning people. I rated it a 3 it was intresting in the begining when explaining what is happening.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a good introduction to the material information of the Salem witch trials of 1692. While there are much more in depth and comprehensive books written on Salem, this would be a good place to start for those without much knowledge on the subject.
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.
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Evidence 1 13 Mar 15, 2013 08:21PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex, Adapted for Young People from In the Heart of the Sea
  • The Transall Saga
  • Sender Unknown
  • Serafina and the Seven Stars (Serafina #4)
  • The Magical Unicorn Society: A Brief History of Unicorns
  • The Berenstain Bears: The Bear Detectives
  • In My Heart: A Book of Feelings
  • The Secret Lives of Unicorns
  • Hideout
  • Creating an Inclusive School
  • Vader's Little Princess
  • Veeck As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck
  • Darth Vader and Son
  • Tell Me Lies
  • I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
  • Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
  • The Magical Unicorn Society Official Handbook
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
See similar books…
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.

News & Interviews

Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
63 likes · 28 comments