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All the Lovely Bad Ones Paperback – August 17, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547248784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547248783
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have two boys. One of them is just about 8. This book is way above his reading level, but the story is wonderful!!

A brief synopsis: two kids - older tweens - go to stay at their grandmother's "haunted" inn. The two kids remind me of Fred and George from Harry Potter; they're just very mischievous. And their mischief wakes the ghosts at the inn.

There are "good" ghosts and "bad" ghosts, and it becomes apparent quickly which is which. There is a good mystery, a great amount of historical ambiance, and a very good personification of evil.

My boys love spooky stories. This one TOTALLY fit the bill. Not gross, not at all, just scary. The plot was so good that it captivated me, the out-loud reader.

I would highly recommend this book to kids in middle school, or, if you don't mind the subject matter, to younger boys. I find stuff like this increases my kids' desire to read as well as their vocab and attention span. But it IS scary, very much so! So, kids who are sensitive should avoid it.

(*)>
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Format: Hardcover
Printed on the cover is "A Ghost Story." It is - complete with creaking floors, blood-curdling screams, and dark groves of trees. ALL THE LOVELY BAD ONES is your typical haunted house tale.

Sent to spend the summer with their grandmother, Travis and his sister, Corey, are in for the scare of their lives. As soon as they learn that the Vermont inn owned by their grandmother is haunted, Travis and Corey are thrilled to be there. Unfortunately, Grandmother has other thoughts. She really isn't interested in playing up the haunted angle to her guest, but Travis thinks that would be just the ticket to increase business.

Travis and Corey have a plan. They will use some costumes, a little make-up, and a blue flashlight to make just the right combination of sights and sounds to stir up some interest in the old inn. When word gets around that the long-dormant ghosts of Fox Hill Inn are active again, business will be booming. However, it was not part of the plan that the kids' antics would actually encourage the real ghosts to make a return of a very real kind.

Readers of Mary Downing Hahn's latest mystery are in for a treat. The ghosts in this story are not ready to settle down until some of the wrongs of the past are righted. Until that happens, the inhabitants of the old inn are victims of mysterious wild rampages that destroy their rooms and possessions, vicious physical assaults, and endless taunts and threats. Life at the inn will not be peaceful until the spirits of the past are appeased.

ALL THE LOVELY BAD ONES is an excellent addition to any mystery collection. It is especially perfect for middle grade readers looking for a quick read and a good scare.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This turned out to be one of my favorite Mary Downing Hahn books, and one of my favorite ghost story books in general. Here's why.

I have been disappointed by most of the ghost stories I've read over the past few years. Sometimes nothing really happens until a little bit of ambiguous nonsense on the next to last page. Or we get gruesome hyper-violence. Or we get psycho-thriller literary gamesmanship. Not so with this book.

Here, we start with an Inn with a history of hauntings. Two visiting kids decide to fake some ghosty activity and end up waking up the real ghosts. From the blurbs that sounds like the sum of the plot. But no, without doing too much SPOILING it is fair to say that the awakening of the ghosts is really the start of the story, with action, mystery, a deep backstory and some very touching and/or scary interactions with ghosts.

The book is fast paced, with a crisp and direct style appropriate for the target reading demo. It's scary, but in an honest thrills sort of way. The book doesn't turn on violent scenes, but is suspenseful and has it's scary moments. The narrator, the older of the two visiting kids, has a matter of fact but reasonably personable style that doesn't overshadow the action. There is a fair amount of mild humor, and some nicely turned phrases and descriptions. The overall effect is tight, well crafted and efficient. There is a fair amount of monologuing, but that doesn't interrupt the flow of the story and keeps the plot on track for younger readers.

So, this turned out to be a very satisfying, classically scary and entertaining ghost story with a lot more going for it that I had expected. A nice find.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was Mary Downing Hahn's BEST book yet!! I have passed my copy on to several others and they have really LOVED it as much as I have!! I can't wait to read it again!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an adult I was not overly impressed with this book but trying to put myself in the mindset of a teenager I am sure this book would be really chilling. Mary's writing is perfect for young readers. What I absolutely LOVED about this book was the originality. Ghost stories are becoming so cliched and boring but she came up with a wonderful story that was completely filled in with a backstory and everything. I wish I would have found this author when I was a teenager!
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