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|Deep and dark and dangerous : a ghost story|
Author: Hahn, Mary Downing
When thirteen-year-old Ali spends the summer with her aunt and cousin at the family's vacation home, she stumbles upon a secret that her mother and aunt have been hiding for over thirty years.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 114624
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 41289
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/07)
School Library Journal (00/05/07)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (09/07)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2007 Ali’s summer starts promisingly enough: away at her grandparents’ old lake cottage in Maine, she’s babysitting her beloved little cousin, Emma, while her artist aunt paints, and she’s planning to uncover the secret her mother’s keeping about her childhood at the cottage. She’s soon distracted by the annoying Sissy, a local girl who leads little Emma into bratty and dangerous behavior and repeatedly gets Ali into trouble as a consequence, and Ali eventually realizes that Sissy isn’t just a persistent kid—she’s a ghost. Readers will easily guess Sissy’s true identity (she’s actually the ghost of a childhood friend of Ali’s mother and aunt, who covered up the fact that they were present at her death), and she’s too corporeal to be really creepy; the book also winds down rather disappointingly from its fairly early dramatic high point. Hahn is still a polished yarnspinner, though, and there are some intriguing elements here, such as Ali’s peer’s-eye insight into her mother through Sissy’s accounts of their exploits; the book also plays effectively on middle-grade anxieties such as being unfairly blamed and out of one’s depth. While this isn’t up to the author’s classic Wait Till Helen Comes (BCCB 10/86), it’s got a compact and approachable shiveriness that would make it an easygoing vacation read. DS - Copyright 2007 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2007 Gr 4-7-Thirteen-year-old Ali is excited to be spending the summer with her Aunt Dulcie, an artist, and her four-year-old cousin, Emma, in the Maine lakeside cottage where her aunt and mother spent their childhood summers. But why is Ali's mother so terrified to let her go? Why did the sisters' annual sojourns there stop so abruptly 30 years earlier? And what is the meaning of Ali's recurring dream in which, while walking along the shore of Sycamore Lake, she meets a young girl who points to three girls in a canoe and admonishes, "you must do something about this?" Ali soon discovers that Teresa, her mother's and aunt's playmate, had disappeared and was presumed drowned when their grandfather's empty canoe washed up on shore. When a strange girl calling herself Sissy shows up at the cottage and lures Emma into defiant and dangerous behavior, Ali finally realizes who she is. Hahn weaves into the story some classic mystery elements such as a torn photograph, a waterlogged doll, dense fog, and an empty grave, all of which add to the suspense and keep the well-plotted story moving along to a satisfying conclusion.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2007 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2007 Hahn offers another eerie, suspenseful ghost story filled with family secrets. Thirteen-year-old Ali is thrilled when her aunt Dulcie invites her to spend the summer at the family’s Maine cottage, where Ali will help babysit her four-year-old cousin, Emma. Things fall apart, however, when Sissie, a mysterious, manipulative girl, befriends Emma. As tensions rise, Ali begins to piece together rumors about a childhood tragedy that continues to haunt her mother and Dulcie. Early on, Hahn drops heavy hints about who Sissie is. Guessing her identity won’t spoil the suspense for readers, though; on the contrary, it will feed their sense of terror as events unfold. The emotional weight of family dynamics and the private burdens of adults might have overwhelmed the ghost story, but Hahn maintains the momentum with scenes that will chill readers as surely as a plunge in cold water. Young people will easily connect with sensitive Ali, whose search for family truths feels like “good practice for crossing a minefield.” - Copyright 2007 Booklist.