Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Took: a ghost story by Mary Downing Hahn 264 pages

Mary Downing Hahn has a real knack for writing stories for young readers that are scary, but just scary enough.  Her most recent story is about a boy named Daniel and his sister Erica.  Their parents have fallen on kind of hard times and they are moving from Connecticut to a small rural community in West Virginia.  The house they find is a big old farm house that really gives the children the creeps.  They decide it's probably because it's so far away from everything, except the woods.  At first it's a bit of an adventure, exploring the woods and being somewhere new.  The kids they go to school with are not very welcoming and think that Daniel and Erica are snobs, simply because them come from Connecticut.  Already feeling completely disconnected from peers, they suffer an increasing loneliness even between them at home.  There's something in the woods that scares Erica and though their parents dismiss their fears, Daniel and Erica hear the stories their classmates tell of Old Auntie the conjure woman who steals children with the help of her pet monster.  Erica withdraws more and more into herself, confiding in and talking only to her doll.  When the worst and most unlikely thing happens, Daniel will have to use all his courage to try to find his sister.  I recommend this book to brave fourth graders and older.  It had some chilling imagery and could definitely cause some kids to have nightmares!

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