Sunday, March 17, 2013
Jenny's review: Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Beware of Helen...
Heather is such a whiny little brat. Always getting Michael and me into trouble. But since our mother married her father, we're stuck with her...our "poor stepsister" who lost her real mother in a mysterious fire.
But now something terrible has happened. Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home -- a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the pond...to drown! I don't want to believe in ghosts, but I've followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I'm terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather...
Molly and her brother Michael are not happy about moving into an old church out in the country with their mother, step dad, and step sister. They try to make the best of it, but when Heather, their step sister finds an old graveyard just off their property where there is a hidden grave of a girl about the same age things begin to get creepy. It is no secret to Molly that Heather does not like her, but when she starts to threaten Molly and Michael with the threat that the ghost Helen is going to get them Molly is really scared. Helen, has taken over Heather and tries to convince Heather to come with her into death. Can Molly save her and fix the household before it breaks into pieces?
This was a creepy ghost story that was perfect for fifth through eighth graders. It had so many elements to it that would appeal to readers, such as changing family dynamics, sad past experiences, and just plain ghostly fun. I really liked that the character Molly was trying everything to make people believe her and despite the nasty things that Heather did to her she still went out of her way to save her and make Heather feel that she could be part of the family.