From School Library Journal
Grade 4–7—Travis, 12, and his younger sister, Corey, are high-spirited youngsters who love to play tricks on unsuspecting targets. When they discover that their grandmother's Vermont inn, Fox Hill, is reportedly haunted, they can't wait to cook up some ghostly manifestations to scare the guests and liven up their summer vacation. But their pranks turn terrifyingly real when they awaken Ada Jaggs, an evil and vengeful spirit. The shadows of children she tormented and mistreated in the past when the county poor farm was located at Fox Hill are also roused. Events soon spiral out of control, frightening the staff and guests of the inn, and Travis and Corey must discover a way to get rid of Ada and release the children to their final rest. Part of this plan includes opening her grave—a task that, of course, must be done at midnight. Hahn has written another fast-paced ghost story that readers will relish, shivering all the while. An interesting thread is the comparison of the lively children whom Ada hated and targeted with Travis and Corey—all are boisterous, energetic kids with a mischievous gleam in their eye.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
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Hahn has mastered the art of the not-too-creepy ghost story for upper-elementary-school readers, and this latest offering combines chills, thrills, and poignant historical fiction. Twelve-year-old Travis and his younger sister, Corey, are spending the summer with their grandmother at her Vermont bed-and-breakfast. Born mischief makers, the siblings hear that the inn is rumored to be haunted and decide to manufacture some ghostly effects for the guests. Unfortunately, they arouse the real ghosts: young boys who died in the early 1800s, when the property was the county poor farm, and Miss Ada, the evil spinster who caused their deaths. The rambunctious young ghosts cause a lot of ruckus, but they are ultimately endearing beings, whereas Miss Ada is deliciously horrible. Readers will learn about the history of poor farms while reveling in the genuinely creepy hauntings Hahn describes so well. The truly scary cover may deter some readers; reassure them this title belongs to the same comfortably spooky genre as The Doll in the Garden (1986) and Wait till Helen Comes (1989). Grades 4-7. --Debbie Carton