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The Headless Cupid (The Stanley Family) Paperback – July 7, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Snyder has won three Newbery Honors and other awards for her novels, including those starring the Stanley children. Here they are embroiled in the occult when they meet their new stepsister, Amanda, an aspiring witch. PW praised this book as "exuberant and original," and a new generation of readers are sure to agree. This is the first of seven Snyder titles to be released periodically in paperback editions.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.

From the Publisher

When the four Stanley children meet Amanda, their new stepsister, they're amazed to learn that she studied witchcraft. They're stunned to see her dressed in a strange costume, carrying a pet crow, and surrounded by a pile of books about the supernatural.

It's not long before Amanda promises to give witchcraft lessons to David, Janie, and the twins. But that's when strange things start happening in their old house. David suspects Amanda of causing mischief, until they learn that the house really was haunted a long time ago.

Legend has it that a ghost cut the head off a wooden cupid on the stairway. Has the ghost returned to strike again? --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Stanley Family (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416990526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416990529
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Zilpha Keatley Snyder is one of the unsung great childrens' writers of the 20th c. Her delicate blend of magic and realism should have earned her widespread recognition years ago. This said, discovering her books for yourself is one of those great reading pleasures.
In The Headless Cupid, Amanda, the new stepsister, arrives in the Stanley household with a chip on her shoulder and a box of cool occult paraphenelia. The four Stanley children are fascinated and a little overwhelmed--but much to Amanda's surprise, they have a little magic to offer her in return.
Mysterious, lovely, understated.
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Format: Paperback
Hi, my name is Kate and I'm 13 years old. I just got done reading "The Headless Cupid" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and I think it is an AWESOME book! I liked how Mrs. Snyder kept the book going with Blair's premonitions, Amanda's hobby, and Janie's know-it-all attitude. This was my first book by Mrs. Snyder, and it won't be the last! Right now I'm working on "The Velvet Room." (which is really good too) "The Headless Cupid" is a good book to start out on because once you find out all of the author's twists in the story, it'll leave you wanting more to read by her!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book to see if I felt comfortable with my daughter reading it. I wasn't sure I would be comfortable, because it delves a little into the occult. To my surprise, I am happy with the book. It does have a bit of a ghost story woven through through it. But The child who is "delving" into the occult is a troubled child who is only pretending to do it and faking a haunting to cause problems for her Mom and new step family. The main character is a loving and patient older brother, and the story promotes good family values.
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A Kid's Review on January 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book I just got finished reading is The Headless Cupiud.It was a great book if you thriller books.
One of the bad points in the book is that it starts off kinda slow, and someties was confusing in the middle and near the end.
The good points of the book are when a a lot of wierd stuff start happing and Molly (the stepmom) starts getting really scared and she wants to move out of the house. Another good part of the book is when Amanda starts to actally talk to her mom and offers to teach the kids about the supernatural.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
i was just going through amazon to find titles of books i had read as a child. i was pleasantly surprised to find "the headless cupid" still in print. reading this book as an impressionable 7-year old in the early eighties, i wondered around the house with an aluminum foil triangle on my forehead like amanda in the story. the mysterious ending of the novel (which i won't reveal) left a chilling memory that i still carry with me today. these days, i enjoy talking to people my age and asking them what books do they best remember. "the headless cupid" is usually my favorite childhood book about which i ask.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was purchased as gift for my niece who turned 11. She's a reader. When I was about her age I LIVED at my school's library.. The librarian was my idol I read everything I could get my hands on by Zilpha Keatley Snyder; particularly relating to her characters for being "different" and supernaturally inclined. The librarian arranged for me to travel with her (quite a distance I remember) to meet Ms. Snyder at a luncheon after she was presented an award...it was the best day of my life. I was thrilled to find this book, still popular with children and still in print.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of ZKS and am immensely disappointed that I found this book appalling, with toxic messages for children.

SPOILERS...................................

I don't care about the occult games, but was very disturbed with the disconnects there seemed to be with integrating the two families. I can't imagine the children only meeting Amanda once in over a year's time, and then upon her arrival, even though Molly knows of her anger issues and her occult persona, she leaves Amanda and the other children completely alone, with no supervision whatsoever. David, at ten, continues to be the de facto parent to his siblings, while Molly, the new stepmother, spends her time painting. David is close to Amanda's 12 years but all the other children are much younger, and Amanda bullies and terrorizes them, encourages them all to steal, misbehave, be deceitful, to KILL animals and be unwitting participants in her revenge plots against her mother. There is no thought to the physical harm she could have inflicted on others while carrying out her plots, including pelting people with rocks inside the house. The actual poltergeist angle was superfluous in a way because the real danger was Amanda, and a mother and stepfather who left her to her own devices, treating her like a stranger instead of trying to guide and support and integrate her into the family. I have no sympathy for clueless parents.

I can't say that this is a positive book for children.
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Format: Paperback
One of the rare books that I loved as a kid that still holds up upon reading as an adult. David's new step-mom has a daughter, Amanda, who is quite taken with the occult and also not terribly pleased with being moved to the country to live with her new family. Amanda decides to make the kids her "neophytes" and initiate them into magic and spells. However, a real supernatural occurrence is more than she, or anyone, bargained for.
I never knew when I was a kid that this was the first in a series about the Stanley family. Now, I've acquired them all and am excited to read them.
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