about the book
Seventh grade Daniel and his little sister Erica had a comfortable, happy life in Connecticut, but when their family runs into trouble, they have to move to rural Brewster’s Hill, out in the country. As if having to move to a run-down old farmhouse isn’t bad enough, none of the kids at school will talk to Daniel or Erica, except to tell them what Daniel assumes is a mean ghost story.
The school bully, Brody, tells Daniel about Old Auntie, the ghost of a witch that haunts his family’s land. She lives with her man-eating, zombie-monster, razorback hog, Bloody Bones, and every fifty years Old Auntie kidnaps a girl and keeps her for fifty years before setting her free and finding a replacement.
Daniel thinks nothing of what Brody and the other kids at school say—it’s a bunch of hogwash —until he realizes that Erica has begun to act strangely. She keeps to herself, talking only with her lookalike doll. When the doll goes missing and Erica disappears, it looks like those tales were more than campfire stories. Daniel will have to muster up the courage to go into the woods and after his sister, facing Old Auntie to get Erica back.
Mary Downing Hahn was born, raised, and still lives in Maryland. As a child, she wanted to be an artist, and told herself stories in her head while she drew pictures to go along with them. When she was thirteen, her stories became so long and detailed that she had to start writing them down, and she began to think that she might like to be an author and illustrator one day.
Mary would read anything she could get her hands on, but some of her favorite books growing up include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. She also loved Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Montgomery as well as Kidnapped and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Her favorite book, though, was Lassie, Come Home (Eric Knight) and she it read five times—a personal record! She eventually became a librarian where she was surrounded by her beloved books!
Her first novel is entitled Wait Till Helen Comes, and she has sold over 2 million copies of her books. She writes fantasy, mysteries, and historical fiction, but is best known for her ghost stories. She likes to write “not-too-creepy ghost stories,” so as to spook but not scare her readers. Mary is not sure about whether or not she thinks ghosts are real—after all, no one has proven that they do exist, but no one has proven that they don’t exist…she likes to live in uncertainty!
Her favorite book she’s written is Stepping on the Cracks, and she tells young writers to read a lot, write a lot, have fun, and observe everything.
Today, when Mary isn’t writing, she can be found reading or painting. She also loves to travel and enjoys the arts of all kinds, wherever she goes!
Also by Mary Downing Hahn:
One for Sorrow : A Ghost Story. Clarion. July 2017.
Where I Belong. Clarion. 2014.
The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall. Clarion. 2010.
Closed for the Season : A Mystery Story. Clarion. 2009.
All the Lovely Bad Ones : A Ghost Story. Clarion. 2008.
Stepping on the Cracks. Sandpiper. 2008.
Deep and Dark and Dangerous : A Ghost Story. Clarion. 2007.
Witch Catcher. Clarion. 2006.
The Old Willis Place : A Ghost Story. Clarion. 2004.
Breathe : A Ghost Story by Cliff McNish
When he and his widowed mother move into an old farmhouse, Jack discovers that he can communicate with the four ghostly children inhabiting the place. A ghostly “Mother” rules over the four. and Jack inadvertently establishes a relationship with this evil spirit as she tries to destroy Jack’s mother and add Jack to her fold. What she doesn’t know is Jack has the second sight. It might help him save himself…and the other four captive souls!
The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
Florence looks forward to leaving a grim London orphanage to live with her great-uncle great-aunt and cousin James. But she soon realizes the gloomy mansion is home to another resident, the spirit of James’s sister Sophia. A spiteful girl made meaner by her death, Sophia is determined to get revenge and cause another to die so that she can return to life.
Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler
Living at her Grandma’s farm for the summer, Avery meets Julian, a new kid staying in a nearby cottage who wants to film a ghost story. Avery is on board at first, but Julian wants to film it in Hilliard House, an empty mansion that her Grandma has forbidden her from exploring. When the kids start filming, will they cause real ghosts to come out into the spotlight?