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Deep and Dark and Dangerous Paperback – Bargain Price, August 4, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–Thirteen-year-old Ali is excited to be spending the summer with her Aunt Dulcie, an artist, and her four-year-old cousin, Emma, in the Maine lakeside cottage where her aunt and mother spent their childhood summers. But why is Ali's mother so terrified to let her go? Why did the sisters' annual sojourns there stop so abruptly 30 years earlier? And what is the meaning of Ali's recurring dream in which, while walking along the shore of Sycamore Lake, she meets a young girl who points to three girls in a canoe and admonishes, you must do something about this? Ali soon discovers that Teresa, her mother's and aunt's playmate, had disappeared and was presumed drowned when their grandfather's empty canoe washed up on shore. When a strange girl calling herself Sissy shows up at the cottage and lures Emma into defiant and dangerous behavior, Ali finally realizes who she is. Hahn weaves into the story some classic mystery elements such as a torn photograph, a waterlogged doll, dense fog, and an empty grave, all of which add to the suspense and keep the well-plotted story moving along to a satisfying conclusion.–Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Hahn offers another eerie, suspenseful ghost story filled with family secrets. Thirteen-year-old Ali is thrilled when her aunt Dulcie invites her to spend the summer at the family's Maine cottage, where Ali will help babysit her four-year-old cousin, Emma. Things fall apart, however, when Sissie, a mysterious, manipulative girl, befriends Emma. As tensions rise, Ali begins to piece together rumors about a childhood tragedy that continues to haunt her mother and Dulcie. Early on, Hahn drops heavy hints about who Sissie is. Guessing her identity won't spoil the suspense for readers, though; on the contrary, it will feed their sense of terror as events unfold. The emotional weight of family dynamics and the private burdens of adults might have overwhelmed the ghost story, but Hahn maintains the momentum with scenes that will chill readers as surely as a plunge in cold water. Young people will easily connect with sensitive Ali, whose search for family truths feels like "good practice for crossing a minefield." Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.