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The Haunting of Swain's Fancy Hardcover – August 25, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1 edition (August 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525469389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525469384
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,199,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-From the first moment 11-year-old Taylor sees the 18th-century house her father and his wife, Sylvia, have recently purchased in West Virginia, she feels the presence of all of its previous inhabitants. Her first night there, she sees two ghosts, a disembodied head outside the window of the bedroom she is sharing with her new stepsister, and a woman in a 19th-century dress opening and closing phantom drawers as if searching for something. Taylor discovers that the ghost head is actually a prank dreamed up by Nicole, who is not happy about sharing her room. She reasons that the other ghost was also somehow faked-until Nicole sees her, too. The two girls, along with Nicole's brother Peter and friend Cody, begin investigating the history of Swain's Fancy and discover a murder committed in the house during the Civil War. Two brothers, Jason and Jared Swain, one in the Union Army, the other the Confederate, were both in love with their cousin, Elizabeth. Jason was shot and murdered by Jared, who accused his brother of stealing the family's gold. Elizabeth was convinced Jason was innocent and searched the rest of her life for proof. The children find this evidence, all the while menaced by Jared's vengeful ghost, and the past is set to rest. This is a well-done, historical-mystery, ghost story with suspenseful pacing that will draw readers in. The added plot of adjusting to a new stepfamily is well integrated into the story.
Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. Seabrooke ably combines a ghost story with stepsibling rivalry and a smattering of Civil War history in this well-crafted suspense story. Taylor, spending the summer with Dad's new family, is lonely in their pre-Civil War house in West Virginia. Standoffish Nicole doesn't want to be friends, and Peter, Dad, and Dad's wife, Sylvia, always seem busy. It isn't long, however, before Nicole and Taylor find a common cause: ghosts haunting their bedrooms. The girls then come up with some creative ways to solve the mystery, including holding a seance. Spats between the stepsiblings are realistically portrayed, and the girls' resolution to be friends despite their differences is satisfying without being too neat. Readers will sympathize with Taylor from the first, and even Nicole becomes more appealing as Taylor gets to know her. A good mix of fantasy and reality. Diane Foote
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Jannicola on September 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a cool mystery. I like that the Civil War ghost problem and the modern kids' problem are connected. The ghosts don't just haunt the house for no reason. This book has everything I like in a scary book - an old house, ghosts, mystery, a seance, funny things, kids that are real. The ending is great! Read this book for real goosebumps!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Taylor has come from another state to spend the summer with her father and his new wife and her children - but an empty spooky old house greets her and when the family does show up, it's with less than a display of family warmth. Initial hostility between the new stepsisters changes as both are confronted with a supernatural force which threatens each - building family feelings in the process.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
ALL OF MS, SEABROOKES' BOOKS ARE VERY INTERESTING. SHE CAN WEAVE A STORY THAT WILL HOLD YOUR INTEREST, NO MATTER WHAT THE AGE. I HOPE I CAN GET THE FULL SET OF HER BOOKS FOR MY NIECES AND NEPHEWS SINCE MY GRANDCHILDREN ALREADY HAVE SIGNED COPIES. THESE ARE DEFINITELY 5 STAR BOOKS.
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By misslks on November 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The product was very reasonably priced and shipped in a reasonable amount of time. However, when I bought the book nowhere in the item listing did it say unedited proof. It wasn't a final published copy, so there were mistakes in it which confused my daughter who was reading it for school. The product description could have been clearer.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
this book was a very...um well i dont know its a good book i guess. This story was about a girl going to her fathers house for the summer and finding out that there are ghosts in the house,Who is going to belive her?Who is going to get rid of them?Will she have to do it with her new step siblings Nicole and Peter?Spooky! This book is a cozy spine tingling bed time story!Fun for the whole family.-Becky S.age 12
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