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Down a Dark Hall Paperback – April 19, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Why does the exclusive boarding school Blackwood have only four students?

Kit walks the dark halls and feels a penetrating chill. What tterror waits around the next corner? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Why does the exclusive boarding school Blackwood have only four students?

Kit walks the dark halls and feels a penetrating chill. What tterror waits around the next corner? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Revised edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316098984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316098984
  • ASIN: 0316098981
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lois Duncan was born in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in Sarasota, FL.
She knew from early childhood that she wanted to be a writer. She submitted her first story to a magazine at age 10 and became published at 13. Throughout her high school years she wrote regularly for young people's publications, particularly Seventeen.

As an adult, Lois moved to Albuquerque, NM, where she taught magazine writing for the Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico and continued to write for magazines. Over 300 of her articles and stories appeared in such publications as Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest, and for many years she was a contributing editor for Woman's Day.

Lois is the author of over 50 books, ranging from children's picture books to poetry to adult non-fiction, but is best known for her young adult suspense novels, which have received Young Readers Awards in 16 states and three foreign countries. In 1992, Lois was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award, presented by the School Library Journal and the ALA Young Adult Library Services Association for "a distinguished body of adolescent literature." In 2009, she received the Katharine Drexel Award, awarded by the Catholic Library Association "to recognize an outstanding contribution by an individual to the growth of high school and young adult librarianship and literature."

Six of her novels -- SUMMER OF FEAR, KILLING MR. GRIFFIN, GALLOWS HILL, RANSOM, DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU and STRANGER WITH MY FACE -- were made-for-TV movies. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and HOTEL FOR DOGS were box office hits.

Although young people are most familiar with Lois Duncan's fictional suspense novels, adults may know her best as the author of WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER?, the true story of the murder of Kaitlyn Arquette, the youngest of Lois's five children. Kait's heartbreaking story has been featured on such TV shows as Unsolved Mysteries, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Sally Jessy Raphael and Inside Edition. A full account of the family's on-going personal investigation of this still unsolved homicide can be found on the Internet at http://kaitarquette.arquettes.com.

Lois Duncan's personal web page is at http://loisduncan.arquettes.com.

Customer Reviews

What a fantastic story teller!
paranormal junkie
The first time I read this book was about 25 years ago when I checked it out from my school library.
Kara J. Jorges
When I picked up this book and started to read it I couldn't put it down.
Kevin M Byers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here's the deal: I read a spooky book when I was twelve. I couldn't remember the title or the author; all I knew is that the memory of long, dark hallways, doors locked from the inside and four lonely girls trapped in an institution haunted my nightmares for ten years. My concrete memories consisted of the thread of a plot: Four young girls, gifted with ESP, are brought to a private school so the headmasters can channel dead artists through their minds and sell the art as originals.
About a month ago, I mentioned the elusive book to a friend, who immediately named the title and the author, admitting his fear, as well. Pretending to buy for a younger sister who doesn't exist, I bought the book again -- with a new cover no longer featuring the young heroine with a candle -- and was overcome once more by Lois Duncan's ability to surround the simple narrative with swirling mists, dark corners and flickering candlelight.
DOWN A DARK HALL introduced me to the glorious world of wondering what's behind the door, a passion that extended into Stephen King, Clive Barker and even dark comic books. But even the "adult" writers can't capture atmosphere the way Duncan can. Like King's Carrie, Duncan illustrates the pain and chaos of adolescent girlhood, and the impossibility of escaping a world that doesn't understand. The difference is that your little sister can read Duncan while she's still young enough to feel the character's confusion... and the impact is strong enough to last a decade.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember years ago when I first picked up this book I really didn't expect much from it. I must say I was blown away with because it had elements that I loved. Ever since I read this book, I've been a Lois Duncan fan. The book is about a a fourteen-year old girl named Kit going to a special boarding school named Blackwood while her mother and her new stepfather take a long Honeymoon. But Kit soon finds out some thing strange: they are only four girls in the boarding school. What follows is a supernatural mystery. Kit and her new friend Sandy soon find out the reasons why they were selected to attend Blackwood. Soon their lives are at stake and it's up to Kit to find a way out.
Great read. I highly recommend it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Abby on March 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you read this book years ago try to find a really good condition used copy but don't buy this edition! I did not know it was an "updated" edition for "modern audiences" and purchased it. I had read the book about 10+ times over the years but the last time I had read it was many years ago. This time when I cozied up with the book and started reading it I did not feel "connected" to the book as I had in the past. I kept thinking, "I don't remember this being said (or this being described) quite like that!" but figured it was simply because it had been so long since I had last read it. Then Madame shows Kit the sitting room that includes a WIDE SCREEN TV I said WTH?, turned the book over and there on the back cover was an advertisement for Duncan's other books with the caption:

"These new editions feature modernized text and a Q&A with Lois Duncan."

When Kit a little later says "Totally" to Sandy (Valley Girl style) I slammed the book shut and it is now in the recycling bin.

Duncan has not really written much in the past 2+ decades so maybe her income is drying up. But modifying these books is like colorizing It's a Wonderful Life. Disgraceful and greedy. If not that then she has no faith in today's youth. Feeling that you need to splatter your novels with popular slang and references to gadgets to win over a new generation of readers is offensive IMO. My daughter reads many books written in the 1960's and 1970's and they are as exciting to her today as they were for me then. She will NOT be reading Duncan's "updated" versions!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Dee on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great book 25 years ago - yes, I am dating myself - and I purchased it more out of nostalgia than anything. It's been "modernized" - the plot now mentions ethernet cables, etc., and I was disappointed. The charm of the story has been diluted. Will have to go to Abe Books or similar to find original.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever read a book and you were on the edge of your seat the whole time? Down a Dark Hall, by Lois Duncan is a suspenseful and engrossing book.
A fourteen year old girl named Kit Gordy is sent away to an all girls' school called Blackwood. Madame Duret is the head of the school and the other teachers are her son Jules and Professor Farley. Kit and the other girls that applied had to take a "special test" that determined if they had "special powers" in order to be accepted. Kit has a bad feeling about the place from the minute she arrives. She then realizes there are only three other girls that will be attending the school Sandy, Ruth, and Linda. A few months after they arrive, famous dead people started taking over their bodies. The famous piano player Franz Schubert took over Kit, the poet Emily Bronte took over Linda, and the two other girls were taken over by more than one person. Do they escape the dangerous Blackwood school?
I never wanted to put this book down. It had a plot that was twisted and the details through out the book were incredible. It is the kind of book that makes a person scared to walk through his own house after he reads it. Lois Duncan made it feel like I was actually there, in the story. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read suspenseful books.
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