I like reading ghost stories but I stick to children's books because I don't want to scare my own self to death. I've read several of Mary Downing Hahn's mysteries and ghost stories. This one is so deliciously scary!! Children's book or not, this is a fantastic book! The idea itself sets it apart from other spooky ghost stories. It is so beautifullly written that I didn't want it to end. You know the books where you feel the characters' pain, fear, and love.....this is one of those. Excellent, excellent book!!!
When I read this, it was absolutely a page turner. The story line was amazing, the characters were amazing, and the setting and plot was amazing. I would recommend this book to 8-9 year olds to even adults! Definitely one of the best books I've ever read. I will remember this book for a long time!
As an adult reading a children's ghost story, I may not be fair in my review. I think for children who hasn't watched many horrors in their past, this would be a chilling story that would give one goosebumps, without giving nightmares. The scariest character would be the adult ghost who was pretty scary in life, and much more so in death, but Hahn added a humanity side to her characters, that even villains can be pitied. I knew how it would end before the first chapter even concluded, but I think for a youngster, I would recommend it.
Diana and her little brother Georgie have been living in the woods behind the old Willis place, a decaying Victorian mansion, for what already seems like forever. They aren"t allowed to leave the property or show themselves to anyone. But when a new caretaker comes to live there with his young daughter, Lissa, Diana is tempted to break the mysterious rules they live by and reveal herself so she can finally have a friend. Somehow, Diana must get Lissa"s help if she and Georgie ever hope to release themselves from the secret that has bound them to the old Willis place for so long. Mary Downing Hahn has written a chilling ghost story in the tradition of her most successful spine-tingling novels. The intriguing characters, frightening secrets, and plot twists will delight her many fans.
The dilapidated Victorian house is empty, yet full of secrets. The locals call it 'The Old Willis Place', and it seems as if the decaying mansion has been there for years. Diana and her little brother Georgie have been living in the woods behind the house for quite a while now - sometimes it honestly feels like forever - and in all that time, the children have seen many potential caretakers come and go.
According to a strict set of rules, Diana and Georgie aren't allowed to leave the property, or even show themselves to anyone. For many years, they've followed the rules and nothing has happened to them. Recently though, Diana has begun to feel tempted to test these mysterious rules - perhaps even break them entirely - all in the hopes of making a new friend.
When the new caretaker and his daughter, Lissa, come to live in the mansion, Diana sees her first chance to make friends. Lissa is about Diana's age, so Diana is absolutely certain that the girls would have a lot in common; if only Diana could introduce herself. However, Diana and Georgie will quickly discover that breaking the rules can have dire consequences...
Mareena had actually requested this book for herself, since she had read Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story, another book by Mary Downing Hahn - when she was about ten or eleven years old. I actually acquired this book almost as soon as it arrived in the mail - with Mareena's blessing - and had wanted to start reading it much earlier than I did. Apparently, my eagerness to start reading this particular book kept meeting up with the myriad other interesting books I already have on my TBR pile.
Anyway, I found this book to be thoroughly intriguing and I really enjoyed reading it. It certainly was a very suspenseful story; much more suspenseful than I was expecting from a children's book. The plot was very well-developed, and the story well-written. In my opinion, Ms Hahn's treatment of ghosts and haunting was unusual, and I really appreciated her rather unique perspective. I would give this book a solid A!