With Halloween fast approaching it is time to crank up the creepiness with a good ghost story. Mary Downing Hahn has been sending chills up the spines of young readers for decades, and she does not disappoint with All the Lovely Bad Ones.
Twelve year old Travis and his sister Corey love stirring up mischief, but when their pranks go too far and they are no longer welcome back at summer camp, their parents decide to send the children to stay with their grandmother for the summer instead. Shortly after arriving at their grandmother’s rural Vermont inn, Travis and Corey learn that the inn has a history of paranormal activity. Armed with this newfound knowledge, a little dime store face paint, and some not-too-shabby acting skills on the part of Corey, Travis and his sister decide to liven things up by haunting the inn themselves. Their seemingly harmless prank wakes more than the inn’s guests, however, and as mischievous spirits begin ransacking the inn and a malevolent presence lurks in the shadows, Travis and Corey are soon forced to face the consequences of their actions. Having woken the spirits from their rest, Travis and Corey must now help to settle them once again…this time for good.
Hahn wastes no time getting to the action and quickly hooks readers. She manages to maintain a pace that is energetic and suspenseful, making this a hard book to put down. The characters, both alive and dead, are dynamic and well developed. Hahn successfully blends mystery, suspense, historical fiction, and the supernatural to create this chilling tale that is perfect for brave young readers from 4th to 7th grade.
Posted by: Staci