Review | Closed For The Season
A former librarian and artist, Mary Downing Hahn has drawn upon her own childhood, The Jellyfish Season, December Stillness, Stepping on the Cracks, and Hear the Wind Like in real life, a happy ending is not always guaranteed. . In portraying Lauren's relationships, a Publishers Weekly critic commented, " Hahn. We also have two of her other books (A Time to Dance and Island's End) available. Closed for the Season – Mary Downing Hahn RL Mystery . he develops a close relationship with her and finds a safe place at the local library. This is a. Mary Downing Hahn (novel), Victoria Sanchez Mandryk (screenplay) her troubled step-sister from a dangerous relationship with the ghost of a lonely little girl.
My friends and I often acted out what we read and sometimes got in trouble — we loved mischief, in books and in real life. I like to think knowing how to read gave me power over the story. I could go on or stop whenever I liked. Were there certain books or authors that influenced you as a writer? I read it for the first time when I was sixteen. For the first time, I met a character who thought, acted and talked like a teenager.
Holden Caulfield was real life. I knew him like I knew myself. By the time I was in college and taking creative writing courses, I wanted to be the J. Salinger of my generation. Note I say strive. It adds a great touch, like the beginning of Lights Out or a William Castle movie when they urged the faint of heart to leave or turn off their radios now, while also making a promise to readers. What promise does a ghost story offer that your average mid-grade mystery might not?
James school or gruesome terror vs creeping dread. I definitely think of my books as supernatural fantasy of the creeping dread variety. A middle grade mystery is suspenseful and so is a ghost story, but I think a good ghost story contains psychological elements not necessarily found in mysteries. In my ghost stories, I try to provide a psychological link between a human and a ghost. I let Helen enter the story to reveal the secret she and Heather share about fire.
We tell you this frankly, so if you wish to avoid the excitement and tension of these imaginative plays, we urge you calmly, but sincerely, to turn off your radio now. Why is the ability to tell these sometimes intense ghost stories to kids so important? Maybe reading about a child who triumphs over a bad experience helps them somehow.
Or then maybe it simply entertains them to be taken out of their safe world and given a scare. Did you find that it caused you to question your faith the way it does Nora?
How you think about death differently now than you did then? After James Cross Giblin accepted my first novel, The Sara Summer, inI told him about my attempts to write a teen novel about the murders. He was very interested and encouraged me to keep trying.
Mary Downing Hahn (1937-) - Sidelights
I began the novel many times, but always abandoned it. It took well over a year. One of my major fears was offending someone who knew or was related to the girls. When I wrote the last revision, I was exhausted. I enjoy writing because I always know what happens next. Perhaps I should have listened to the inner voice that warned me not to publish the novel. Do you think that writing stories that deal with scary things helps you to cope with your own personal fears and become a braver person, or is it just a release, a catharsis?
Can you tell us more about her ideas and how she affected your childhood? How did you end up in her care? When my mother and father married, guess who moved in with them?
Although my grandmother came from a large German family, she had antagonized most of them. Since she had nowhere else to go, she told my mother it was her duty to take her in. She took a strong dislike to my father and did her best to drive him out of the house. Suffice it to say, it was like being babysat by the witch under the bed. It was January inand I was five years old. Our house was on a hill. In the winter, we could look down through the bare trees at the traffic on U. Then came the day the ambulance brought my mother and baby sister home.
They were carried into the house on a stretcher. Believing my mother and the baby were both dead, I hid under the big old fashioned gas range in the kitchen. Nanny called me to come and see my mother, but I stayed where I was. Finally someone, maybe Nanny, maybe my father dragged me out and brought me into the bedroom. There was my mother lying in bed with the baby, both very much alive. Her first book, The Sara Summer—the story of a twelve-year-old girl who does not feel comfortable in the world around her—was published in after three years of writing and revision.
Wait Till Helen Comes () - IMDb
The Sara Summer exhibits an "intimate knowledge of subteens and a well-tuned ear," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. The work centers on the developing friendship between Emily, who is often teased about her height, and Sara, who just moved in next door and is even taller than Emily.
Unfortunately, Sara's brash, independent demeanor has a cruel side, exhibited in her treatment of her younger sister. Through a confrontation over this issue, Sara and Emily come to a new understanding of each other and themselves.
Although Cyrisse Jaffee, writing in School Library Journal, faulted the book's "lack of plot," she noted that "kids will find [it] easy to read and relate to" the "ups and downs" of the girls' friendship. Hahn first exhibited her aptitude for including elements of the supernatural in her second book, The Time of the Witch, a novel that centers on a young girl's desire for her parents to stay together.
Flowers in Horn Book; nevertheless, "her problems are real and understandable. Barbara Elleman in Booklist described the witch as one "readers won't soon forget," and School Library Journal contributor Karen Stang Hanley remarked that the "elements of mystery, suspense and the occult are expertly balanced against the realistic dimensions" of the story. Hahn returns to the subjects of being an outsider and acting responsibly in her third novel, Daphne's Book, which a Publishers Weekly critic dubbed "a meaningful, gently humorous novel about characters the author endows with humanity.
Eaglen in School Library Journal, "are completely believable and very likable. When thirteen-year-old Kathleen's father loses his job, she, her mother, and her three younger sisters must move in with relatives in a new town. Horn Book critic Mary M. Wait till Helen Comes was widely praised for its effective pacing, realistic characterizations, and convincing supernatural elements. Watson in Horn Book found the novel's opening "rather slow," she observed that Hahn "has written a gripping and scary ghost story that develops hauntingly.
- Follow the Author
- Stepping on the Cracks (Gordy Smith #1)
- Closed for the Season
It has remained one of my most popular titles and was one of the quickest and easiest I've written. I have no idea why some books are so hard and some so easy. In Tallahassee Higgins, for instance, Talley must move in with her childless aunt and uncle when her irresponsible mother takes off for Hollywood in search of stardom. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books critic Zena Sutherland praised the "strong characters, good pace, and solid structure" of the novel, while Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Dolores Maminski found the story "sad, humorous, believable and readable.
While Watson, writing in Horn Book, found that "there are no really frightening moments in this rather gentle, occasionally sad story," other reviewers concurred with School Library Journal contributor Elizabeth Mellett's assessment: Kelly's ultimately tragic interference with the man eventually brings her closer to her Vietnam vet-father in what Nancy Vasilakis remarked "could have been a maudlin ending" that is saved by "the author's skillful use of dialogue in defining her characters" in Horn Book.
Though several critics found the story preachy at times, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books writer Roger Sutton remarked that "Hahn's practiced handling of suspense serves her well here. In this work, two patriotic twelve-year-old girls risk the wrath of their parents and the ostracism of their community when they befriend a conscientious objector. A Kirkus Reviews writer called the result "suspenseful, carefully wrought, and thought-provoking—a fine achievement.
Ashley and a new friend discover a doll buried in the garden and encounter the ghost of a dying child, which leads them back in time to discover the landlady's old secret. Although Horn Book critic Ethel R. Twichell found the ending "a little too pat," she nonetheless concluded: While spending the summer with relatives in Missouri, twelve-year-old Drew becomes switched in time with his namesake, Andrew, who lived in the house eighty years before.
Andrew refuses to return to his own time for fear he will die of diphtheria, and so the two join forces to change family history. While Virginia Golodetz, writing in School Library Journal, characterized the ending as "humorous but somewhat contrived," Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Sutton dubbed Time for Andrew an "assured work from a deservedly popular writer, who, while gifted with the instincts of a storyteller, doesn't let her narrative get away from her characters.
Reviewers praised the fast-paced action and high suspense of this novel. Although Carolyn Noah in School Library Journal found several "illogical gaps" in the plot, other critics agreed with a contributor to Publishers Weekly that the "combination of crackling language and plenty of suspense" found here makes The Dead Man in Indian Creek "likely to appeal to even the most reluctant readers.
When one of them lies to the wrong person about their wealth, the three are kidnapped, which "creates action, danger, and suspense," commented Sutherland. The critic nevertheless faulted the book for "an undue amount of structural contrivance. In this "deliciously spinetingling story," as it was described by a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, Hahn tells the story of sixteen-year-old Cynda as she spends some time with her father at his inn, called Underhill, on the coast of Maine.
Reputedly haunted by a ghost of a woman who was murdered there many years ago, the inn is also the place where Cynda encounters Vincent Morthanos, a guest and vampire. Cynda falls in love with the mysterious and forbidding stranger in a book that "takes the traditional elements. In portraying Lauren's relationships, a Publishers Weekly critic commented, "Hahn makes excellent use of contrasting family situations to illustrate her theme of perseverance.
A Story of the Old West Hahn presents younger readers with the story of twelve-year-old Eliza and her dog Caesar as they make their way to Colorado in search of Eli's father. Accompanying Eli and Caesar on their quest is Calvin, a gentleman outlaw they encounter in the woods after Eli escapes her abusive guardians.
At the end of many adventures, the three reach Colorado and finally locate Eli's Papa, a sheriff. Watson called it "tailor-made to satisfy a youngster's ache for high adventure. For example, Susan Dove Lempke was particularly impressed with the "fine job" Hahn did in "recreating the atmosphere of the days of cowboys and miners. In her next book featuring Gordy, titled Following My Own Footsteps, Hahn's young protagonist finds himself living in North Carolina with his grandmother after his father has been imprisoned for being abusive.
As he adjusts to life in a new place, Gordy struggles with doubt that he will escape the violence that surrounds him, especially after his mother accepts his father's apology and decides to give the troubled man a second chance. Praising the honesty with which the book deals with "the pain of some insoluble problems," Deborah Stevenson wrote in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books that Hahn has created a "telling and believable portrait of a boy on the cusp of major changes in his life.
Additionally, critics were also appreciative of Hahn's skillful re-creation of the mids. Booklist reviewer Susan Dove Lempke felt that setting Gordy's story against World War II-America is a masterful touch by Hahn, and that the writer presents a "terrific rendering of day-to-day life" of the setting, with each "detail integral to the story. As he struggles to establish a relationship with his old rival, Liz, Gordy at first relapses into his old ways until he realizes that his father and older brother are not the best role models.
Reviewing this book for Booklist, Linda Perkins wrote that although the historical background of As Ever, Gordy seems incidental to the story, Hahn has done a masterful job of creating a "painfully believable adolescent" character in Gordy Smith.
Based on recollections by Hahn's own mother, the writing in this book has been praised once again for its poignant evocation of the past, as well as the author's realistic depiction of her young protagonist. Several critics remarked on the accuracy of the portrait Hahn draws, noting especially her skillful use of the historical background.