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Closed for the Season Hardcover – June 15, 2009


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Closed for the Season + The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story + The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story
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Introductions
Read the first chapter from Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn [PDF].

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; First Edition first Printing edition (June 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054708451X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547084510
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Another well-done, action-packed mystery from Hahn. This book starts off as seventh-grader Logan Forbes learns that a murder had been committed in his family's new house three years earlier. Myrtle Donaldson, a bookkeeper accused of embezzling from the local amusement park, was found dead in her ransacked house and her killer is still at large. Logan's next-door neighbor, Arthur Jenkins, a sixth grader with a bottomless stomach and a quirky personality, is convinced that Mrs. Donaldson was falsely accused, and he wants Logan to help him find the real perpetrator. The boys discover a letter and puzzle left among the woman's possessions that convinces them they are on the right track. Their investigation includes visiting the abandoned and overgrown Magic Forest amusement park, a reporter with secrets, shady property developers, a menacing convict, and purloined library materials. It all culminates in a terrifying nighttime showdown among the kudzu at the Magic Forest where the truth is revealed. This is an enjoyable mystery with just the right amount of frightening and dangerous elements to entice readers. Logan is a sympathetic character—a new kid in town trying to find his place in the pecking order, almost immediately befriended by someone on the lowest rung who turns out the be the right friend for him.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA END

Review

Winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery

“As always, [Hahn] is brilliant at establishing tone—eerie, creepy and surreal. The ‘cold case’ mystery, the over-the-top fun of the Magic Forest scenes and the even darker mysteries of friendship and school life will make this a sure hit.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Another well-done, action-packed mystery from Hahn. . . . Just the right amount of frightening and dangerous elements to entice readers.”—School Library Journal


More About the Author

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children's librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous and The Old Willis Place. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.

Customer Reviews

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to read mysteries.
Patricia
I am 12 years old and I had to pic a book to read for a school project, so I picked CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!
Sophia <3
I thought it was a really good book that always kept me interested and wanting to read more!
Laura Welvaert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sandra K. Stiles on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Logan Forbes has just moved into the most run down house he has ever seen. To make matters worse
Arthur, the know-it-all kid next door makes himself at home in their new house. Logan's mother doesn't like Arthur and decides he is not to be believed. Especially when he tells them that the old lady who lived there before them was murdered. Arthur proves to Logan that the story is true. The two boys set out to prove who murdered the old lady.

This was a quick and easy read. I liked the characters. They were well developed. All of us has met the kid that no one likes. He is the one who is different. Maybe it is because he is the smartest kid in class. In Arthur's case he is the smartest, but also different because he lives with his grandmother and doesn't have a lot of special clothes like his classmates dol. He doesn't really care either. Unfortunately, Logan fits right in with Arthur. The main difference is he has never broken the law until he moved next door to Arthur. I also loved the contrast between his mother and father. His mother is a very uptight person who wants to be part of the social crowd. His father is the laid back art teacher at the high school. Logan takes after his father and his mother is determined to change him. There were some twists and turns that I had not expected that made it a refreshing book. Another reason for me to keep reading this author's books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe in taking a very generous approach to teen and ya fiction, but I just do not see the appeal of this book.
Plot is not the high point of any teen mysteries, but this one is a real carnival of coincidence, implausibility, and fortunate clue finding. Don't see how this is going to help a young reader appreciate the genre. This is at best in Hardy Boys territory.
Which leads to the biggest problem, the protagonist is sort of whiny and pretty much stays a sad sack throughout the book. Not a very appealing hero. And, why do some authors feel that the hero's parents have to be clueless jerks? To what reader does this appeal? In this novel Mom is a dense, jittery, overreactive social climber, and just this side of requiring medication. This has no relevance to the plot or the development of the story, really, and is purely gratuitous.
So, given how many really good teen books are coming out now, I don't quite see why this one is being resurrected. You can do a lot better.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Chester on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've always enjoyed Hahn's stories, ever since I came across THE DOLL IN THE GARDEN several years ago. Recently, I settled down to read CLOSED FOR THE SEASON with a lot of anticipation.

Generally, it's an active little mystery and it moves more quickly than some of Hahn's ghost stories. Logan is a wimpy kid as protagonists go. He tends to be overshadowed by the much more interesting Arthur. And Arthur is a complex, well-developed character that's really the best aspect of the entire story.

Still, the boys work their way steadily from clue to clue, and the setting in the old amusement park is creepy enough to compensate for the tangled subplots involving wife-beating convicts, neighborhood bullies, and awful cousins.

But partway through the book, the unthinkable happens. Hahn spends several pages depicting a heinous party given by the most odious, obnoxious, and richest people in town--and then makes sure young readers are informed that they are all conservatives or Republicans.

Without the political jab, the social-climbing, hypocritical, rude characters serve their story purpose of embarrassing Logan and making him miserable.

With the political labels, however, it stops being a story and becomes something uncalled for. As an adult reader, I could pause and shrug off the hurtful moment. However, would a young reader be able to keep a balanced perspective? And if Hahn realized that's unlikely, did she do this deliberately to influence impressionable young minds?

Ms. Hahn has every right to her personal opinion, but personal political agendas don't belong in children's books. (The same goes for Phillip Pullman!) Neither liberals nor conservatives are perfect or saintly; neither liberals nor conservatives are villains.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Lyons on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really LOVE to read Mary Downing Hahn's books!!! This was a great mystery! I would highly recommend this book!! She is such a great writer~she hooks you on page one and doesn't let you go until the last page!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By xaime on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It is very difficult to find a book that my young son will enjoy but this one he read and couldn't stop til he finished. That says more than I could.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mary Downing Hahn books have often popped up in my Amazon recommendation box, but it's only recently that I've been able to sit down with one of her stories. Although I wasn't *hugely* impressed with "Closed for the Season," it was enjoyable and well-written enough to make me want to seek out more of her books - preferably the ones that have a more supernatural tone.

Logan Forbes has just moved with his parents to a small Virginian town called Bealesville, only to find that his ramshackle new house was the scene of a murder. It is his new neighbor, the talkative, quirky, know-it-all Arthur Jenkins that informs him that the elderly Myrtle Donaldson was found dead at the bottom of her stairs after being accused of embezzling money from the Magic Forest theme park. Now a "cold case" murder, no one knows who killed Mrs Donaldson or where the stolen money is - but Logan and Arthur are determined to team up and find out.

This entails plenty of trips to the library and the beautifully-realized Magic Forest: an abandoned theme park covered in kudzu vines and filled with the steadily-rotting remains of the fairytale attractions. Along the way they discover a plethora of suspects: an attractive reporter, a violent convict, a smarmy businessman and the frightened daughter of the murdered woman. Suffice to say, none of these characters are what they seem.

Hahn portrays the social outcast Arthur with a deft hand: he's not ostracized *just* because he's poor or because he lives with his grandmother, but because he genuinely is quite annoying and socially inept. Even Logan's mother dislikes him, and when she encourages Logan to find new friends, he's forced to choose between climbing the "pecking order" or remaining true to a quirky but loyal friend.
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