Monday, November 23, 2015

The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn 199 pages

Mary Downing Hahn is one of the best at telling ghost stories to children.  She has a knack for making things creepy without going too far over the line.  This particular story is about two children who live on the Old Willis property.  For ages, since "the bad thing" happened, Diana and her brother have followed the rules and not made trouble, except for playing pranks on the string of caretakers that have come and gone.  Diana desperately wants to become friends with the new caretaker's daughter, but it's a clear violation of the rules.  When she gives in, it sets in motion the release of an angry, vengeful ghost of the old woman who lived in the Willis house.  It doesn't take long for the reader to figure out what's really going on in this story, but the ending was a bit of a surprise.  If you know of a child, probably 3rd grade or older, who wants scary, but not terrifying, this is a great book to suggest.

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