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Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story Paperback – April 21, 2008
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About the Author
MARY DOWNING HAHN, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar. Visit her online at www.marydowninghahnbooks.com.
"A ghost story par excellence in which a difficult seven-year-old is drawn into a frightening relationship with the ghost of a dead child." — Booklist, ALA, starred review
"Genuinely scary, complete with dark secrets from the past, unsettled graves, and a very real ghost." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An unusually scary, well-crafted ghost fantasy." -- Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
This is a scary book. I wouldn't go near anything or anyone with the name "Helen" or "Harper" for years. This book also got me started reading the other books by Mary Downing Hahn. Every time I went to a library or bookstore, I immediately looked for new books by her.
I know my paperback is around here someplace (I remember the library hardcover's much nicer cover illustration...) but I haven't read it in a while. However, little bits of it or certain phrases from it pop up for me now and then... I think the book got so ingrained in me that I don't even notice it! Parts of it were so vivid and (fittingly) haunting - the link between the girls' names, the ruins of the house, the damage done to Molly and Michael's rooms, the creek that wound around through the forest and near the graveyard before finally leading to Harper Pond. Thinking about it still gives me chills.
Excellent... I can't recomend it enough.
Molly's mother has remarried, and the new family (including Molly's brother Michael and new step-sister, Heather) moves out to the countryside so that the artist parents can have studio space. Heather, however, is a horrible little brat that tries to make Molly and Michael's life a nightmare. Since she is younger than Molly or Michael, and still hasn't gotten over her mother's death, Molly and Michael always get blamed. Even when Heather starts claiming that she can see a ghost named Helen, who is coming to get Molly...
I have a very low fear tolerance, and still can't watch horror movies (Christine scared the living daylights out of me as a teenager, and I couldn't sleep for days), but I still love this book. I re-read it every year on Halloween for years, and I still enjoy reading it. Any child, teenager, or adult who likes ghost stories should definately pick this one up.
I think a lot of kids will find this story cathartic and moving and will benefit from its basic message, that parents (normal parents, I should stress) will love their children no matter what. I also think that it might help children to cope with feelings about death. One of the other reviewers criticized Molly's dark view of death, and while she had a point, I do think that the author realistically portrayed the fear and anguish that a child -- or anyone of any age, indeed -- would have when first having to confront mortality.
Now, the bad. Molly and Michael are realistically portrayed, but their parents and Heather are not. The message about a parent's unconditional love would be much more convincing if this particular mother and father had actually acted loving before the book's end. On the one hand, you have a man who spoils his daughter and is completely fixed on an obviously unrealistic view of her while at the same time refusing to do anything that would really help her, like send her to a counselor or try to facilitate a good relationship between her and her stepsiblings.Read more ›
I liked the part when Heather got back the locket from Helen.But I didn't like that the only thing on the letter was don't forget me.But I wonder if Michael will beleve in Helen.
I think that the theme is love is strongest overall. In the book two charecters did horrible things.But they where forgiven by other charecters.So I think that love is strongest overall.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an okay ghost story. It really reminded me of when I was Molly's age and had to deal with a stepmother (stepmonster is what I called this women) and her young son. Read morePublished 4 hours ago by Cheney Hunter
This is my 2nd book by Mary Downing Hahn and as an adult, I do enjoy a good kids book. Her book was enjoyable (not as spooky as Deep and Dark and Dangerous), but just as... Read morePublished 8 days ago by L. P. Carvajal
This book was recommended to my 11 year old son by his 6th grade teacher. He is not a reader and he actually enjoyed this book and read it cover to cover.Published 10 days ago by nicole groller
Great book! I remember reading it as a child and I just finished it with my 8yr old and she loved it too! 👍Published 14 days ago by Lucky2
I have always enjoyed reading Mary Downing Hahn books. This one was one of my favorites. I loved the story and characters. I thought it was written nicely.Published 15 days ago by Mary
I always loved this book as a child! It really stuck with me. Loved the ghost story that wasn't overly scary (no nightmares) and I enjoyed the ghost was from an older time. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Kindle Customer
My fourth grader got this book and couldn't put it down. She loved it and read it in two days. There were a couple of parts that she were creepy so came and sat down by me while... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
our young advanced reader loves this book (and her other books) - she likes the "scary but not too scary" books and this was perfect for herPublished 1 month ago by Danielle