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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Wait Till Helen Comes, A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn is about the summer twelve year old Molly, ten year old Michael, and their bratty seven year old stepsister Heather, along with their parents, move into a converted church in the city of Holwell, Maryland. Believing that Holwell is much safer than Baltimore because it is out in the country, Jean and Dave feel it is safe for their kids to play outside and explore their property without constant supervision. But when Heather befriends another little girl named Helen at the cemetery on their property, bad things start to happen.

I first discovered Mary Downing Hahn in the sixth grade when my English class visited the school library to be shown around and to check out a library book. Feeling frustrated that they didn't have any of my go to authors, I began perusing the shelves and came across a book called Time of the Witch by Mary Downing Hahn. Intrigued by the synopsis, I checked the book out from the library, and I was hooked from the moment I started reading it. I couldn't wait to go back to the library to check out additional books by this author. Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story was either the second or third book I read by this author.

In a mission to reread my favorite books from my childhood, I wanted to reread Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story because I remembered it being one of the first books I ever read that could be classified as a horror book. In fact, this author is the one who made me fall in love with horror, thriller, suspense, and mystery books. I was not disappointed in my reread.

Wow is all I can say. There is a reason why I loved Mary Downing Hahn as a kid . . . I absolutely loved this book, even as an adult. Even though it was written for kids between eight years old and twelve years old, it was so well written that I think any adult would enjoy it as much as I did. Kids today would still relate to the events that happened because the only thing that was antiquated was that there were no cell phones.

The character of Heather was written perfectly. I could totally picture her in my mind being a spoiled brat and doing the things she did to make life more miserable for her step mother and step siblings. Dave, Heather's father, was wrapped up in his own daughter that he believed everything she said and blamed his step kids for upsetting her. I've totally seen similar situations before so the family dynamics were very believable. The only thing I don't understand is why Dave didn't get Heather counseling after being traumatized by her mother dying in a fire regardless of him not believing in them.

What I found interesting is that Michael almost seemed more mature than Molly at times even though he was two years younger. However, he was written extremely well and seemed like your typical boy. Molly was well written too. She seemed like any typical tween and reacted how most girls her age would.

The parents expecting their kids to go outside and play is totally believable as well.  My parents and friend's parents expected us to go outside to play . . . they had to know where we would be, but other than that, we were expected to entertain ourselves.

If you're looking for an age appropriate scary story for your eight to twelve year old girl, this is the book I would recommend because it has the perfect amount of scariness and suspense.  I gave Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn five stars out of five stars.

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