Thursday, August 2, 2012

All the Lovely Bad Ones, by Mary Downing Hahn

Title:  All the Lovely Bad Ones
Author:  Mary Downing Hahn
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Year:  2008
Pages:  192
Genre:  Ghost Story, Fantasy
Themes:  Redemption
Age Range:  4th-7th Grade

Summary:  from Goodreads
Travis and his sister, Corey, can’t resist a good trick—so when they learn that their grandmother’s sleepy Vermont inn has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little "haunting" of their own. Scaring the guests proves to be great fun, and before long, the inn is filled with tourists and ghost hunters eager for a glimpse of the supernatural.But Travis and Corey soon find out that they aren’t the only ghosts at Fox Hill Inn. Their thoughtless games have awakened something dangerous, something that should have stayed asleep. Restless, spiteful spirits swarm the inn, while a dark and terrifying presence stalks the halls and the old oak grove on the inn’s grounds. To lay the ghosts to rest, Travis and Corey must first discover the dark history of Fox Hill and the horrors visited on its inhabitants years earlier.
Mary Downing Hahn knows how to write a ghost story.  This book is a good, old-fashioned scare-fest, at least for the middle grade set.   It's got everything-cold spots, lights that turn on and off by themselves, mysterious flying objects, all taking place in an old house in Vermont.  The fact that Travis and Corey also learn a valuable lesson about the way they treat people is icing.  And make no mistake-this story is scary.  Too scary for immature readers who are still figuring out the difference between reality and fantasy.  If a child still believes in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, then this book is not for them.  But for slightly older readers who like to be scared, this book is a good choice.

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