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The Swing in the Summerhouse (Hall Family Chronicles, Book 2) Paperback – October 7, 1981


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Hall Family Chronicles
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (October 7, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064401243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064401241
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jane Langton studied astronomy at Wellesley College and the University of Michigan and did graduate work in art history at the University of Michigan and Radcliffe College. Ms. Langton is the author of a dozen books for young people, including seven other fantasies about the Hall family of Concord, Massachusetts: The Diamond in the Window, The Swing in the Summerhouse, The Astonishing Stereoscope, the Newbery Honor Book The Fledgling, The Fragile Flag, The Time Bike, and The Mysterious Circus. Also well known for her mystery novels for adults, Ms. Langton lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts.


More About the Author

I've written an awful lot of books. There are eleven for middle-aged children, mostly fantasies. The ones that have hung around the longest are "The Diamond in the Window" and "The Fledgling." The seventh in the series called "The Hall Family Chronicles" came out last spring, "The Mysterious Circus," and I've just finished writing an eighth, "The Dragon Tree."

All eighteen mysteries for adults have the same protagonists, Homer and Mary Kelly. Mary is the sensible one, but I confess I like Homer's rhapsodic flights of fancy. Most of their adventures happen in Massachusetts, but I've also sent them to farflung places I wanted to visit myself, like Florence, Oxford and Venice. Most of the novels are illustrated with my own drawings, but "The Escher Twist" has ten prints by the mysterious Dutch artist M. C. Escher, and the two historical mysteries are illustrated with nineteenth-century photographs.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Edited February of 2002--Finally, this book is back in print!!!!
A. Felton
It is a wise and imaginative adventure story, with terrific characters that resonate on every level -- and for every age.
R. Penola
They will enjoy reading them as adults as much as they did as children.
Katherine G. Wilkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Felton on March 1, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Edited February of 2002--Finally, this book is back in print!!!! I read this book so many times as a child and as an adult. I probably borrowed it from the library more often than anyone else in my town. I am buying this book today now that it's back in print!
This is the book you're thinking of. I too read this book as a child and was fascinated by it. There were a number of areas the kids could jump out to through the windows in the Gazebo. I particularly remember one where the children end up inside another person looking out through his eyes. And the last window was "Grow Up Now." I've been looking for a copy of this book for years. Recently I wrote a letter to HarperCollins asking them to consider reprinting it. It's odd that they'd reprint Diamond in the Window but not this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Penola on January 26, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I did find a copy of this via the net -- and all of my childhood memories of the fantasic story came flooding back to me. I urge the publisher (Harper Collins/Harper Row) to reissue this book, even in paperback. Imagine a swing in a summerhouse that can transport you, via a jump off of the swing in mid-flight, into alternate worlds, and you can imagine the fun you will have reading this book. It is a wise and imaginative adventure story, with terrific characters that resonate on every level -- and for every age.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ann E. Nichols on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read the first three books of the Hall Family Chronicles when I was a girl. I was lucky enough to find hardcover copies of all three at the same library used book sale in 1982. I decided to reread them all again over this past weekend.

Prince Krishna has built a lovely summerhouse for Eleanor and Eddy Hall. This is no ordinary summerhouse. There's a magical adventure built into each archway. You enter the adventure by jumping off the swing. Once the magic starts, there's only so many swings until the summerhouse disappears forever. The bugs haven't been worked out of the last adventure before Prince Krishna has to fly back to his native country to avert war. Prince Krishna takes precautions by boarding up the archway, painting "KEEP OUT" on the boards, getting Eddy and Eleanor to promise they won't go through that archway, and not putting a swing in the summerhouse.

Prince Krishna's precautions are in vain. Eddy hangs a swing in the summerhouse. Of course Eddy wouldn't break his promise, but his obnoxious friend, Oliver, didn't promise anything. Oliver sees the "keep out" notice as a challenge. He swings until he breaks the boards with his feet, then sails off the swing -- and vanishes! What's poor Eddy going to do? Oliver's parents are very worried, but he can't tell them that Oliver jumped off the swing and disappeared into thin air. They'd think he was nuts. Eddy can't go through the SAME archway because of his promise, but that doesn't mean he can't go through the OTHER archways.

Meanwhile, Eleanor is very suspicious of Uncle Fred's new student, Mrs. Dorian, who has moved next door along with her little girl, Georgie, who isn't even in school yet. Eleanor is sure that Mrs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lesley A. Kelly on December 13, 1999
Format: Library Binding
I read this, and the Diamond in the Window (DIW), as a child and it left such an impression on me that I began looking for it a few years ago so that I could give it to my little girl. I cannot forget the delicious feeling of dread, and excitement that it evoked. I cannot imagine why it is out of print (while DIW is still in print), but I hope someone brings it back! I'd love a 'boxed set' of both books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on November 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Yes! It's back in print . . . but nostalgia hounds, beware. The 2001 paperback edition does not include Erik Blegvad's illustrations (except for the frontispiece.) How unfortunate they chose to reprint it this way; the illustrations were such a huge part of what made this book special and memorable. Well, maybe the next edition will get the proper treatment this incredible book deserves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Smith on February 14, 2000
Format: Library Binding
This is not a review, but a request. I believe this is the book I'm thinking of, about a brother and sister(I think) that find a gazebo with a swing in it. The vibe is very transcendental, with references to Emerson and Thoreau. I read it when I was about 12, and have never forgotten it. It was very dark, very mature for a children's book. That's probably why I'm so fascinated by it today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Felton on October 13, 1999
Format: Library Binding
I read this book ages ago as a child and loved it. Spooky and funny and surprisingly insightful. It's funny, this book is a sequel to the Diamond in the Window, but I'd never even heard of the Diamond in the Window until I started looking for a copy of The Swing in the Summerhouse on Amazon. I've since bought a copy of the Diamond...and now I want a copy of The Swing...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Library Binding
this book was one i read as a young boy in ohio. i checked it out from the bookmobile, and i have never forgotten it. the sci-fi style was vaguely like l'engle, which i read much later, but i have never stopped looking for a copy. amazon could not find me a copy, but i refuse to give up hope. i strongly suggest it for any child who finds himself even a little ahead of his classmates in school. it reminds us we are not alone, though we may be geniuses and geeks.
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