Are You in the House Alone?

( 38 )

Overview

An updated look for the classic YA thriller from genre heavyweight Richard Peck

Sixteen-year-old Gail is living the upper-class suburban life when she begins receiving terrifying phone calls and notes in her locker. And the calls keep coming. When she's attacked by the town's golden boy everyone refuses to take action against him and his powerful family. A frightening drama that deals with heavy teen issues and the idea of justice (or lack ...

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Overview

An updated look for the classic YA thriller from genre heavyweight Richard Peck

Sixteen-year-old Gail is living the upper-class suburban life when she begins receiving terrifying phone calls and notes in her locker. And the calls keep coming. When she's attacked by the town's golden boy everyone refuses to take action against him and his powerful family. A frightening drama that deals with heavy teen issues and the idea of justice (or lack thereof) from bestselling author Richard Peck.

A sixteen-year-old girl with a steady boyfriend suddenly begins receiving threatening phone calls while she is babysitting and anonymous notes in her high school locker.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This is a highly suspenseful but brutally honest story of teenage rape. Gail Osburne is a high school student who moved with her family from New York City to a small town, where life was supposed to be calmer and safer. She tells the story of being stalked by a presumed stranger and finally assaulted while she is babysitting. No forced entry, no witnesses. Her own casual sex with her boyfriend as well as her use of the pill and the social status of the rapist are all seen as impediments to a rape conviction and there isn't even a trial. The boy goes off to boarding school and life in the small town goes on. The reader will hang on every page to learn who the stalker is. The dialogue is fast, fluid and real. When Gail is talking to her parents or her friends, the conversations have all the tensions and insecurities familiar to teenagers, though Gail is often perceptive and thoughtful. The book demands discussion at the very least about how and whether society's perception of rape and rape victims has changed in the quarter century since this book was written. No young person should read this book alone and not have a chance to talk about it. 2000 (orig. 1976), Puffin/Penguin, Ages 16 to 18, $11.70, $5.99 and $4.99. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141306933
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 590,140
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Peck

Richard Peck lives in New York City. His extensive list of honors includes the Newbery Medal, the Edgar Award, the Margaret A. Edwards Award, and the National Humanities Medal. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award.

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Read an Excerpt

I eased the receiver back on the cradle, and the minute—no, the second I took my hand away, the phone rang. It was almost supernatural. When the receiver was next to my ear again, it was still warm.

And there at the other end was the most terrifying voice I’d ever heard. Sometimes I still hear it, just as I’m going to sleep or in a room that’s too quiet. It wasn’t quite human. Neither male nor female. A high, hollow voice, someone crying out the words from the inside of a bell. Disguised, falsetto, almost like a child shrieking. But more controlled than that because I understood every word.

“ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE?”

There was a sobbing, whistling laugh. It was too terrible to be real. And too real to be a horror movie. If there’d been a hundred people in the house with me, all ready to defend the place, I’d still have been paralyzed.

And then that voice again.

“ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE?”

Also by Richard Peck

NOVELS

Amanda /Miranda

Bel-Air Bambi and the Mall Rats

Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death

Close Enough to Touch

Don’t Look and It Won’t Hurt

The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp

Dreamland Lake

Fair Weather

Father Figure

The Ghost Belonged to Me

Ghosts I Have Been

The Great Interactive Dream Machine

Here Lies the Librarian

The Last Safe Place on Earth

A Long Way from Chicago

Lost in Cyberspace

On the Wings of Heroes

Princess Ashley

Remembering the Good Times

Representing Super Doll

The River Between Us

A Season of Gifts

Secrets at Sea

Secrets of the Shopping Mall

Strays Like Us

The Teacher’s Funeral

Those Summer Girls I Never Met

Three-Quarters Dead

Through a Brief Darkness

Unfinished Portrait of Jessica

Voices After Midnight

A Year Down Yonder

NOVELS FOR ADULTS

Amanda/Miranda

London Holiday

New York Time

This Family of Women

SHORT STORIES

Past Perfect, Present Tense

PICTURE BOOK

Monster Night at Grandma’s House

NONFICTION

Anonymously Yours

Invitations to the World

Richard Peck

are you in the house alone?

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE

From the first warm night of spring until autumn, Steve and I would slip out to the Pastorinis’ cottage on the lake, Powdermill Lake. How often? Ten times? Twelve? I don’t remember now. I kept no diary. We left no clues.

All our fantasies, Steve’s and mine, seemed to come true in that little dark corner of time. We thought that making love was being in love. I never wanted to imagine what might come next. That would have spoiled everything. The best part was the way we seemed to be absolutely alone together. And now I know we weren’t alone out there at all. Someone was watching us, maybe every time.

We’d leave our clothes in a heap before the cold stove in the cottage. Then we’d bang back the screen door and pound down the sloping lawn to the pier, our footsteps rumbling on the boards like thunder. And then we’d dive into the lake.

I remember one October night when it was still as warm as August. I remember it because it was nearly the last time. There was sheet lightning over the Connecticut hills to the north, and the steamy mist rolled off the center of the lake. The surface of the water wrinkled with raindrops all around the white circle of Steve’s head, and his arms wavered just below the surface. I stood with my toes hooked around the end of the pier, wet already from the rain. But I hung there, almost overbalanced, before I plunged into the black water.

For some reason I’d grabbed up my yellow slicker and held it over my head all the way to the end of the pier. Then I let it drop, and it collapsed there at my feet like a parachute. Steve floated farther out on his back, and I could see the length of his body luminous in the darkness. The lake was shallow a hundred yards out. It was always exciting, never dangerous. Before I dropped into the water, Steve called my name and laughed, waving me in.

My name, Gail, carried in waves across the lake and probably up above the treetops.

There was a big stand of rock up there, just above the cottage. It was like a watchtower, and the top of it was as flat as a table, weathered smooth. Everybody knew the path that led up to it. On clear nights sometimes Steve and I climbed up there to count the stars—or just to sit together, very close and quiet, pretending we could read each other’s thoughts.

I wonder now if someone else was with us that night, standing up on the watchtower rock, hearing Steve call my name, watching me drop into the water and seeing us swim toward each other.

CHAPTER

One

Only the mighty Lawvers would give a dinner party for a bunch of high-school juniors. A real dinner party, with damask dinner napkins and finger bowls, with Lawver Mother at one end of the Duncan Phyfe table and Lawver Father at the other end. And two pairs of edgy sixteen-year-olds facing each other in between, across a bowl of stiff chrysanthemums.

Of course nearly everybody in Oldfield Village went to the Lawvers’ Thanksgiving Day receptions. But for the rest of the year the Lawvers withdrew into their Old Settlers’ Set.

While I was trying to get dressed for the ordeal, my mother was in and out of my room twenty times. On the last trip she was carrying an evening skirt of hers, jet black. “Gail, with a dressy blouse, maybe you could carry this off.”

“Mother, I’m practically pulled together already. A non-dressy blouse with a V-neck sweater and a short skirt. Alison’s wearing more or less the same. We worked it out. And look, Mother, stockings.” I stuck out one leg at her.

“Well, at least you’re not in Levi’s,” she said, still holding the evening skirt high. I’m not in Levi’s any more than anybody else, but she had to say something. Finally she gave up, coming back only once to fire a zinger at me. “Better be downstairs when Steve gets here. It would kill him if he actually had to come in and carry on a civilized conversation with me and your father.”

“All right, Mother.” No time to get into Steve with her. I’d have met him on the corner if I’d had the nerve. And it wasn’t even our own plan. The only reason we were going to the Lawvers was because of Alison.

I thought of her as my best friend then. Since she’d been going with Phil Lawver for two years, his parents had given in and decided it was time to Receive Her Socially. To be subtle about it, they told Phil to invite another couple, any other couple, probably. So Steve and I were appointed. Or maybe summoned is the word. “Do it for me,” Alison had said. “Then I’ll owe you a favor, and I won’t forget.”

I stood in front of the mirror, brushing my hair, waiting for all that body and bounce they promise you on the commercials. I was just getting past the phase where you still search the mirror expecting to surprise yourself with Sudden New Beauty. Instead, I just looked very very clean. Besides, my mother kept appearing in the mirror over my shoulder every two seconds, which is distracting.

When I couldn’t think of anything else to do to myself, I started down the stairs. In the living room Mother’s conversation was coaxing Dad out from behind the October Architectural Record magazine. She was all over the house that night.

If I sat down, quietly, on the third step from the landing, I could look straight out through the fanlight window over the front door. That way I’d see Steve when he started up the walk and could pass the time eavesdropping on the living-room conversation. I was just beginning to see my parents as people once in a while, and not just as parents. This wasn’t one of the times.

“Seems a bit—premature—to me,” Mother was saying.

“What does?” Dad said.

“Lydia and Otis Lawver putting their stamp of approval on the Bremer girl. Now if she and Phil were already in college, and the whole thing looked inevitable—”

“Lydia and Otis Lawver never put their stamp of approval on anything,” Dad said, trying to quell the conversation.

“You know what I mean. Of course, it’s very nice—and gracious. I suppose we’d do the same thing if Gail was—seeing—a suitable boy.”

“I hope we wouldn’t do anything just because the Lawvers do it.” Dad’s voice sounded weary.

“I know we can’t hope to copy the grandeur of people like them. And I don’t suggest we try. After all, they are almost absurdly lofty. Still . . .”

It would have been nice, I sat there thinking, if Dad had come to the rescue after Mother’s crack: the one strongly implying that Steve wasn’t a “suitable boy.” There were even times when I suspected myself of going with Steve mainly to spite my mother. It was hard to keep a sense of proportion between them. I was never exactly sure whether I was acting or reacting. That was the kind of thing I worried about back then.

I saw Steve through the fanlight window, coming up the walk. But before I opened the front door, I reached inside my blouse and pulled up the chain with the little green heart on it, letting it dangle on the outside of my sweater. The stone heart Steve had given me.

“I know it’s a Friday night, but come straight home!” Mother called from the living room. “I mean it now!”

Steve drew me out into the evening. We walked down the street, hand in hand, through spirals of autumn-smelling bonfire smoke. He hadn’t gone all the way to a suit, but under a wool jacket he wore a white shirt and a tie. His dark hair curled down over the white collar.

“Do you mind going to the Lawvers’?” I said after a little while. “I know you and Phil haven’t got a lot to say to each other.”

“I’m not all that crazy about Alison either, as a matter of fact,” he said. “But it’s no big thing. My family’s been going to the Lawvers’ for years.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Sure we have. We’ve been repairing the plumbing in that mausoleum of theirs for generations. Probably an early Pastorini put in the first flush toilet for an early Lawver.”

“History’s so fascinating,” I said. “What did your family do for them before flush toilets?”

“Supplied them with chamber pots for under the beds, I guess. Your basic thunder-mug type with the big pink roses on them.”

“Well, enough about history.”

I meant it too. There was something feudal about Oldfield Village and all its smug snugness. All those old New England families living by their ancient codes like Pilgrims before we New York types moved in and turned it into a suburb. We seemed to have changed the town from a real place into a reasonable facsimile, all carefully restored down to the last gold-plated lightning rod.

Alison’s family and mine had both moved up from New York. But hers got here first. They arrived when she was in first grade because they were escaping the New York school system. And then the Bremers had “gone native,” as people said. Her father gave up Wall Street and opened a paint and decorative-hardware store in the Village Center. So Alison really fitted in more than I did. Maybe that’s where our friendship began. She knew her way around. I didn’t. I wasn’t a misfit, but I never could see Oldfield Village as the center of the universe.

We hadn’t moved out of New York until I was ready for middle school. Then my dad commuted to his architectural firm in Manhattan. I never forgot our first autumn here. Dad wore his new glaring red plaid lumberjack shirt from Abercrombie and got a terrible case of blisters all over his hands from the first leaf-raking. I thought the village was on fire because everybody burned mounds of leaves as big as haystacks at the curbs. That was back when I was always at Dad’s elbow, “helping” him, being his little girl, and maybe his little boy too. But I was a New Yorker born, and years later I could still feel city cement under my feet, even on the historic brick sidewalks of Oldfield Village.

I didn’t really mind feeling I didn’t belong one hundred percent. It wasn’t just the old families rooted like ancient oaks. It was the school too, with everybody locked into little groups and branded like cattle. The heads were at the top, running the Student Council during the week and smoking joints on the weekend at Friendly’s. And the rest of us in the middle all divided up into fairly straight little cells. Then down at the bottom, heads again—zombies in plastic leather.

Sometimes even before last fall I felt strangled by the place. Everything so neat and perfectly organized. On the surface.

Steve’s hand tightened on mine when we got to the stone gates of the Lawver place. When the house was already a couple of hundred years old or so, a Victorian Lawver had added a curving drive and a lot of trees—to screen the house from the town growing up around it. Steve called it a mausoleum. It was more like the world’s largest barn, to house a family too self-confident to worry over the latest trend in Good Taste.

One dim lamp beside the flat front door winked light through the shrubbery. “Well, here we go,” Steve said. “One serf and a barbarian approaching the moat. Wonder if they’ll let down the drawbridge.”

After he’d lifted the door knocker and let it fall with a crash, he ran his arm around my waist and started kissing me under the ear: a sort of tingling annoyance. He was still doing it when Phil Lawver opened the door, wearing a gray flannel suit that would carry him right on into Yale.

He was tall and athletic with ice-blue eyes. His hair was blond, slicked down and damp at the ends, as if he’d just stepped out of the shower after a squash game.

He was usually smooth in an absent-minded way, but the sight of us turned his face red. “Yeah, well, come on in. Ah . . . glad to see you.”

He led us like a young lord through the big double parlors where the Thanksgiving reception was always held. We went past the wing chairs and the portraits of Lawvers all the way back to the time of black hats and buckled shoes. They were descended directly from the first Thanksgiving. And they’d always had plenty to give thanks for ever since.

The family, and Alison, were sitting in the room beyond that, a study with book shelves and a fire snapping in the hearth. It occurred to me that Alison planned to live in these rooms one day, stepping in to form a link with Phil in the endless chain of Lawvers. At the age when the rest of us were tacking up posters of David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, Alison was sketching floor plans full of eighteenth-century furniture and giving china patterns serious thought.

She was sitting with the firelight on her face in a chintz-covered sofa beside Mrs. Lawver, nodding at her conversation. When I saw how Phil’s mother was dressed, I was glad I hadn’t given in to Mother’s wardrobe suggestion. She stood up in a long black crepe skirt and a dressy blouse, along with a string of the family pearls.

Then she turned her cameo face to us and said, “Gail, how nice. How is your darling mother? I haven’t seen her since the Women’s Exchange benefit. And your father? That grueling commute every day! How awful for him!” She had one of those distantly echoing voices, coming to you from high atop a Connecticut hill.

Phil retreated behind the sofa from all this graciousness, bumping into his father, a shorter, rounder version of Phil. “And Steve—it is Steve, isn’t it? How very nice that you could come.” Mrs. Lawver put out a long white hand and gathered Steve into the circle.

They were like a family portrait in faded, muted colors. A painting of themselves in their own museum. Study in Gray Flannel and Black Crepe.

“Otis, come and meet these young people. Gail is the Osburnes’ daughter. You know those people who have done such a sweet restoration of the old Milton house. Really very clever. Father’s an architect.

“And this is the youngest Pastorini boy.”

Mr. Lawver ambled forward and put out his soft hand. “Pastorini? Pastorini?” he said, “Aren’t they the—”

“Yes, of course,” Mrs. Lawver cut in smoothly. “And why don’t you pour the young people glasses of tomato juice while we have our sherry? Phil, darling, help your father.” And Phil, who I’d seen blind drunk on straight Scotch during training season, did.

*   *   *

There were candles in the dining-room chandelier, and a woman in a uniform to do the serving. Before we were through the onion soup, Alison had turned into a stranger. We were fairly close friends, tending to sudden eye contact and uncontrollable giggles, but she was aging by the minute, matching Mrs. Lawver’s polite and penetrating questions with precise answers. Only her eyes were eager.

“I know nothing about finance, but I should have thought your father got out of banking at just the right moment, Alison. That awful recession hit some people terribly hard.”

“Yes,” Alison said in a sort of finishing-school voice. “And being in business in Oldfield Village, he can be more active in the community.”

“Exactly. We’re very pleased to see him ushering at church. You were Episcopalians in New York, before you came up here?”

“I was christened at Trinity.”

She’ll be asking for a look at Alison’s teeth next, I thought. Then I noticed Phil looking at me. I could just see his eye between two chrysanthemums in the bowl on the table. It was like being watched through a hedge. If I’d ever liked being looked at—by anybody—I forgot it immediately. And if I’d ever thought I liked Phil Lawver, I suddenly knew better. I guess I’d always taken him on faith because Alison was so wrapped up in him. Let him look at her, I thought and went back to dealing with the onion soup that was turning cold and somewhat slimy.

Mr. Lawver pulled his vest down over his stomach and turned to Steve. “You be going into your family’s line of work when you get out of high school, young fellow? You plumbers charge more than doctors.”

Then Alison did look at me, quickly, almost apologizing with her eyes. Even Phil stirred.

“Well, Mr. Lawver,” Steve said, “I have one older brother who’s already in the business with Dad. And another brother who’s a lifer in the Marines down at Parris Island. I think I’ll strike out in a direction of my own.”

“Father,” Phil muttered, “Steve here has a perfect academic record. All A’s. He’s . . . famous for it.”

“Nobody told me.” Mr. Lawver cleared his throat. “Well, then, Steve, maybe you and Phil will be going up to Yale together.”

“I suppose Steve has a better chance of getting into Yale than I do, Father. If he wants to go.”

“You’ll get in, Phil.” Mr. Lawver patted the tablecloth confidently. “We always get in. Edna, bring in the roast!”

“Hasn’t it been curious weather this autumn,” Mrs. Lawver remarked. “All that rain and lightning and now so dry.”

*   *   *

It seemed a lifetime, but we got away by nine. When Steve and I left, the Lawvers assembled in the front hall, Alison next to Phil. Rehearsing her role, I thought. I didn’t envy her. I just marveled at how sure she was about what she wanted. I wasn’t sure about anything.

Steve and I didn’t say anything until we’d walked the curve of the drive. Then when we passed through the stone gates, we both let out long, relieved sighs. “May the four of them live happily ever after,” I said.

“Somehow, I don’t think happiness has anything to do with it,” Steve said. “What a night. Anyway it was good seeing Edna.”

“Edna? Who’s Edna?”

“The Lawvers’ cook. The silent slave in the uniform. She’s my mom’s cousin.”

“Oh.” And that’s all I could think of to say to that.

“But back to real life,” Steve said as we strolled along in the shadows of the oaks. “If I know my brother’s habits, which I do, he’ll be down in the Village Center at the Nutmeg Tavern. Let’s wander on down there, and I’ll borrow his car. Then we can drive out to the lake.”

“We’d better not. Mother—”

“I heard your mother when we left. She meant me to. But it’s early yet. We’ll be back in an hour or so.”

We were already walking toward the Village Center instead of back to my house, I noticed. Either Steve was steering me, or my feet had minds of their own. “I don’t think we’d better.”

“You mean you don’t want to.”

“Don’t push me into that role,” I said.

“You mean the well-known playing-hard-to-get?”

“That’s the one. It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?” The leaf shadows made the brick sidewalk wavery underfoot. We paced along with our arms around each other’s waist.

“You’re still . . .”

“I’m still what?” I said.

“Taking them.”

“The pill?”

“Yes. Why not just ask me that all in one sentence?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I guess I come from a long line of Italian peasants who don’t speak the sacred word s-e-x out loud. But it’s more than just that with us, isn’t it?”

“I guess—yes. But I don’t know how much more. Alison is always—”

“Let’s leave Alison out. There’s no room for her in this conversation.”

“It’s just that she’s so positive about what she wants. I mean how can she know what’ll be right for her ten years from now? I can’t see ten minutes ahead.” I gave up then because I couldn’t get my words to fit around my thoughts. Even talking seemed hopeless, without mentioning basic things like money and what our parents thought and the fact that neither one of us had really gone with other people.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    It a great book you are thinking is a like a horror story and th

    It a great book you are thinking is a like a horror story and then it goes into being a more high school issue with teens and having to do with court. It you like his books you will like this one.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    No

    I had to read it for a class. It was okay, we had a question and it asked us "why do you think Phil choose Gail?" I didn't know how to answer the question.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2010

    Great

    This book was very good. I usually dont read books from different decades. But this book was something that I wont forget. This definetly my kind of book.

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  • Posted May 27, 2009

    Are You in the House Alone???

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: Are you in the House Alone? By Richard Peck
    Title of review:
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 4

    Introduction
    This story is about a girl who gets raped. I would recommend this book to young adults. Richard Peck wrote this story for suspense. I gave this story 4 star because it was intense and entertaining. I couldn't put it down for five seconds.

    Description and summary of main points
    Are you in the House Alone is about a girl named Gail Osburne who starts to get notes in her locker. Her best friend tells her to forget it it's just a dream but it wasn't a dream. After all the notes she keeps getting she starts to get phone calls. Her worst nightmare was starting to happen. It was getting worse and worse and then . . .

    Evaluation
    I like the story Are you in the House alone because it is one of my favorite kind of story. I like it because it had Great detail. It had great decrepit. This book it one of the best books I ever read.

    Conclusion
    In my conclusion I would recommend this story to young adults who like to read about intense stories. It story is great because of all the great detail and decrepit. This is one of my favorite books ever. I couldn't stop reading this.

    Your final review

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2008

    Kat, who is a majure book worm....crap

    This book was....well there is really no words, but I can say if you like on the edge of your seat, can't put down the book, and a very drama loving person, this book will rock!!!It had unexpected turns that I couldn't have even thought of, and Gail, the character, she was the hit character and I really liked her personality and how Rich Peck created her.I would like to tell Richard thanks for an awesome read.You really need it in the summer when you're bored and always seem to have the worst books in your library, coming across a good one is inlightning.THANKS!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2008

    My Review

    This book was like no other book ive read before. Gail Osburne, a high school young lady, gets raped unexpectedly by a very unexpected person. She ends up telling her bestfriend, Allison, who it was but Allison doesn't believe her and they end up getting in a pretty bad argument. It's pretty sad. There were parts in the story that kept me going and going. But, there were also parts that i thought didnt really go with the story and should have been taken out to me, those parts were the cause that made the story boring for me. Other than that it's an alright book if you have no other book to read, try this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    A reviewer

    Are You In The House Alone? by Richard Peck was a phenomenal book!! I absolutely loved it! It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read it. I could not set it down. At times, it may get a bit scary, but enjoyed it very much! I usually don't enjoy reading books, but I had to read a book for a project in class, and I chose this one. After I read it, I was excited to start reading many more books that are similar to this one. I have read many books like Are You In The House Alone? since then, and now I love books!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    wow! bring back to reality alright

    this book was great1 i read in my criminal justice class.Its a captivating story and i couldnt stop reading. It not exactly horror it just has you on the edge of your seat.I enjoyed it wonderfully.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    This was an amazing book!

    Are You In The House Alone By: Richard Peck? This book is a realistic fiction book. This book was a very good book because once you started to read it. It was very hard to put down. It was mysterious and it was an easy book to follow. The book takes place during Thanksgiving time at Gail¿s best friend Allison¿s house. It also takes place at Gail¿s house, Mrs. Montgomery¿s house, and school. The major conflict in the book is that Gail is receiving letters and phone calls from a person she doesn¿t know. Gail doesn¿t know what to do about it. The Story starts off when Gail receives a letter in her locker that is very perverted. She receives more than one and then she starts to receive phone calls. Some phone calls there was nothing said, but then in others there was a few nasty words said. Gail was babysitting on a Saturday night for Mrs. Montgomery while she was out. She receives a phone call from someone and gets scared. She then calls her boyfriend Steve knowing that he was out with his dad on business. Steve didn¿t pick up his phone. Some one knocked on the front door and Gail thought it was Steve even though she knew it couldn¿t be. Gail opened the door to a big surprise. This book is in the first person point of view he describes his tone and language very well. I would recommend this book to 7th and 8th graders who like mysterious books. This book can show people a different view on things such as rape and sexual harassment. It makes you think of things that you usually wouldn¿t think of unless someone brings up the topic. This book was very good and easy to understand and I liked it a lot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    Best book ever

    Are you in the house alone by Richard Peck is fiction. I like this book a lot but there needs more to it. It was sad for me. .It was also scary when someone breaks into the house. At the Montgomery house for Thanksgiving Present day. In the story, a major conflict is when a guy calls the house first, then the doorbell rings. Then he breaks into the house and rapes her. Then she gets knocked out on the floor. The major point in the story is when the girl that was in the house gets raped and knocked out on the floor so her parents see her. The second major point is while she stills knock out she rushed to the hospital and wakes up saying ¿where am I¿¿? The third major point is when her best friend sue gets shot in the head. This book is in first person. She tells the story. about her best friend Because it makes you want to read more about the book. She uses scary words. I recommend this book because it exciting at first, but very sad at the end. This book is only for kids ages 10-14 because of the bad words it has. Its not good for kids under age.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2007

    I've got chills!!

    This was a great book. I read it in one day!! This book I could not put down!! Now I have a buddy to stay with at home!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2006

    What a good book.

    I thought it was really good how they started it off. How she was getting alot of phone calls and notes in her locker she was so scared. In the end it was nothing really for her to be scared about. But i would like to give advice to anyone who is scared or is getting stalked. All you have to do is tell an adult unlike Gail. SHe kept it in for a very long time and i don't that was such a bright idea. Thanks 4 ur time hope 2 hear from you. Don't send nothin' bad either ye heard

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2005

    Nicely Done!

    I read a lot of books and this one happened to catch my eye.I think this book was great because it truly does throw out some questions for people to really think about.It really does play out like it would if this story happened to anyone.Nothing is protected anymore, and i think this story is great if more people could think like Peck it would be wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2004

    Are You In The House Alone

    I chose to read 'Are you in the House Alone' by Richard Peck because I thought it would be an interesting book and I also like suspense. The main character, Gail was being watched by her best friend Alison's boyfriend, Phil. Whenever she was alone he'd call her wherever she was, but when she answered he'd wait a second and then hang up. He also left her notes in her locker at school. One night when she was babysitting he came to the door and she opened the door thinking it was her boyfriend Steve but it was really Phil. He wanted to know if Allison was there. He used the excuse that he needed to use the phone to call her. She found out it was him and she tried to get away but hooked his ankle around Gail's and she fell onto the floor. This was a sad book, but I recommend people should read it because it could happen to someone you know or the person you trust could hurt someone you know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2004

    Erika, bookworm105

    Are you in the house alone? was a very good, real story. It is a continuous downfall of one girl's life, ending in a serious rape and later leading to someone else getting hit by a car. Gail feels responsible for everything in this book and somehow manages to find a way to the top. It is a great book for those who have suffered a rape crime and for others who don't understand it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2004

    dont babysit alone!!

    I think that this story is very good, in many ways.But mostly beacuase gail, the main character learns how to speak up and tell people about the threatening things that are happening in her life. Its a sad story, since she is rapped and its also very scary at times! But i would reccomend it to any teens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    Wow what a book!

    This book was great for me because I never really understood why rape was such a big deal. After reading this book, I found that it truly is a nightmare. I couldn't put this book down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2003

    A Very Well Written Book.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is filled with surprises chills and thrills that the reader will indeed be at the edge of their seat! Richard Peck is an astounding author that can capture the reader to think that they are the main character. I DO NOT reccomend this book to childern under 13, because it contains some sexual content.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    It was a great book

    it was a great book seeing how one girl gets all these mysterious phone calls. You can see in the book how a 16 year old girl is being afrid. You should check this book out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    Don't stay in a house alone...

    Did you ever feel that somewhere, someone was always watching or listening to you when you were in a house alone? If you never felt that, you will feel it after find out what had happened to the 16 year-old girl in this story. The girl's name is Gail. Gail starts getting strange phone calls when she is alone in the house or baby-sitting, and notes in her locker. The mystery begins with it. She doesn't want to be alone, scary, to fear but people just keep leave her alone. I bet you will get shock when you find out the person who stalks her. The story makes the reader gets realy excited, also makes to wants to read and know more and more. I enjoyed reading this book, and I think all people who like mystery or suspension could read this book. But not young kids, l don't think it's good for kids. I hope you people would enjoy and have fun with this book.

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