I have loved Mary Downing Hahn since elementary school. My most favorite book of hers has always been Wait Til Helen Comes. I also enjoyed Dead Man in Indian Creek and Stepping on the Cracks, which I read countless times as well.
Last fall at my school's book fair, I was psyched to find the new release from Hahn, The Girl in the Locked Room. I had seen it on NetGalley and been so disappointed to not get approved, so I snatched it right up, along with a few other ghostly stories that I told myself were for my students, but were also pretty much for me too. After that I decided to look up all the book Hahn has written in the years since I last read her books when I was a student myself. here were quite a few and I was so happy to find that I enjoyed most of them just as much now as I had when I was a child.
A girl finds a doll buried in the garden of a home where she and her mother are renting an apartment space from a crabby old lady who seems to hate everyone. Ghostly time-travel ensues. Great adventure.
The cover of this one is GORGEOUS and had great expectations for it. I liked that it was set during the tragic influenza outbreak of 1918, but I had a hard time liking any of the girls, even the victim, because they were all terrible in their own special ways. Not a terrible story by any means, but not my favorite.
This one had me from the start. Watch out for Old Auntie...
I was on the fence about reading this one because I think the whole changeling scenario is weird, but I ended up really liking this one after all. It's still creepy AF though.
Hahn doing what she does best, bringing the chills in this murder mystery. I like that she writes kids in such a believable way, and it has always been one of her strengths.
Hahn + ghosts = magic. Definitely one of my favorites. Who wouldn't want to go live with family they've never known and be berated and yelled for not being as wonderful as the dead cousin who was actually a major be-yotch.
Another spine-tingling, though I did not realize until I started it that I had read this one about ten years ago with one of my classes. Obviously I kept reading it anyway even though I knew how it was going to end. It's easy to feel bad for the boys trapped there, and to want to help them out.
Eh, I did not care much for this one - until the end. I am not much into the time-travel aspect, but I loved seeing how history was changed for this family because of said time travel.
Another deliciously ghostly story. I really like how Hahn can make the ghosts be so horrible or rude or mean, and also still make you feel sorry for them because they were not necessarily always that way. Even when they try to kill you.
Not too into the vampire thing here. It was a decent story but the main character was whiny AF. And really, if the vampire is not named Angel, it is super hard for me to care.
The book that got me back into reading all the Mary Downing Hahn books I could find at the library. I was so glad to find after reading this one and thinking about it, that Hahn is still a gifted story teller who can provide all kinds of chills and thrills for her readers.
I know these are not much in the way of actual reviews, but I loved most of them and if you have a late elementary/early middle grade reader who is a bit reluctant when it comes to picking out books, you can't go wrong with any of these!
Have you read any of these as a child, or an adult? What's your favorite or least favorite Hahn book?