Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn

This is the latest installment from the author I seem to have craved since the spring. I think she is definitely an undiscovered treat for my students, as not many of them have read her books over the years. What a treasure trove for horror/mystery/ghost story fans. The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall doesn't disappoint and delighted me with a Bronte-esque feel to it.

In 19th century London, Florence is suddenly whisked away to the mansion of her wealthy Great-Uncle who has been looking for the orphan for years. Florence finds another distant and sickly cousin (think young Linton)living in the house along with an ill-tempered Great-Aunt (sister of the Uncle). Soon Florence finds out that James' sister, Sophie, died the year before from a fall and is haunting Florence for unknown reasons. In one of her most haunting novels yet, Hahn has captured both fear, illness and mystery in a most gothic tradition. Middle grade readers will be happy with the ending and my 6 year-olds were fascinated that there was "blood on the cover, Mommy." (part of the picture)

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