The House of Dies Drear

( 144 )

Overview

The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-oldlegend--two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms...

A black family tries to unravel the secrets of their new ...

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The House of Dies Drear

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Overview

The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-oldlegend--two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms...

A black family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A hundred years ago, Dies Drear and two slaves he was hiding in his house, an Underground Railroad station in Ohio, had been murdered. The house, huge and isolated, was fascinating, Thomas thought, but he wasn't sure he was glad Papa had bought it—funny things kept happening, frightening things... The secret of the house is revealed in an exciting final sequence that maintains beautifully the mysterious and dramatic story of a black family caught in an atmosphere of fear and danger. Written with distinction, an imaginiative and imposing book."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736231909
  • Publisher: CENGAGE Learning
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Pages: 239

Meet the Author

Virginia Hamilton

Virginia Hamilton

The recipient of nearly every major award and honor in her field, including the 1992 Hans Christian Anderson Award, Virgina Hamilton was the first African-American woman to be awarded the Newbery Medal, for M.C. Higgins The Great. Renowned as a storyteller, anthologist and lecturer as well as a novelist, Ms. Hamilton makes her home in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Biography

A writer of prodigious gifts, Virginia Hamilton forged a new kind of juvenile fiction by twining African-American and Native American history and folklore with contemporary stories and plotlines.

With Hamilton's first novel, Zeely, the story of a young farm girl who fantasizes that a woman she knows is a Watusi queen, she set the bar high. The book won a American Library Association Notable Children's Book citation. Hamilton rose to her own challenge, and every new book she published enriched American literature to such a degree that in 1995 she was awarded the ALA's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lifetime achievement.

Born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and raised in an extended family of farmers and storytellers (her own father was a musician), Hamilton's work was inspired by her childhood experiences, family mythology, and Ohio River Valley homeland. In an article about the importance of libraries in children's lives, she credits her mother and the "story lady" at her childhood public library with opening her mind to the world of books.

Although she spent time in New York City working as a bookkeeper after college, and traveled widely in Africa and Europe, Hamilton spent most of her life in Yellow Springs, anchored by the language, geography, and culture of southern Ohio. In The House of Dies Drear, she arranged her story around the secrets of the Underground Railroad. In M. C. Higgins, the Great, winner of both a John Newbery Medal and a National Book Award, she chronicled the struggles of a family whose land, and life spirit, is threatened by strip mining. Publishers Weekly called the novel "one of those rare books which draws the reader in with the first paragraph and keeps him or her turning the page until the end."

In her series of folk-tale collections, including The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World, and Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, Hamilton salvaged and burnished folk tales from cultures across the world for her stories; stories that suffused her fiction with its extraordinary blend of worldly and otherworldly events, enchantment, and modern reality. Virginia Hamilton died on February 19, 2002.

Good To Know

Hamilton's first research trip to a library was to find out more about her family's exotic chickens, which her mother called "rainbow layers," because of the many tints of the eggs they laid.

In 1995, Hamilton became the first children's writer to win a John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur "genius" grant.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      March 12, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yellow Springs, Ohio
    1. Date of Death:
      February 19, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Yellow Springs, Ohio
    1. Education:
      Attended Antioch College, Ohio State University, and the New School for Social Research
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 144 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(52)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(24)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 145 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2007

    Spooky and good

    A great tale of an old house used in the Underground Railroad lived in by new people who experience the supernatural. Ghosts, heritage and history.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    SWEET BOOK!!!!!

    Thomas Small snd his family leave their home in North Carolina for Ohio where they live in an old house used in the Underground Rail Road. Thomas is a 13 year old very observative boy. He and his father explore the tunnels found under their house. Thomas hears scary noises and becomes afraid. After meeting the Darrow family and Mr. Pluto, Mr. Small and Thomas explore the tunnels and find out that the real Mr. Pluto is sick down there and his son was pretending to be him.The story is good but kind of confusing. I ENJOYED IT GREATL!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2011

    movies great

    we watched the movie in class and although it was creepy it wad good

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    not so good

    this book was not what i expected. it dragged on and on. it was very hard to get into the book. every time i was forced to read another chapter was dreadful. i had to read it in school. i personally did not like it at all. for picky readers i do not suggest this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2010

    Interesting.

    '' Dies Drear '' is a good book. The author seemed to describe things very well. This was the best I read this year. I liked the theme and the way things worked out in the end. I did not expect the ending to be played out the way it did. It had some haunted-based parts. The book had good characters that i enjoyed reading about. I will recommend this book to anyone who likes to read ghost stories & mysteries.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 19, 2009

    The best book i have read yet in my 8th grade year.

    ERA's Book Review
    The amazing novel, The House of Dies Drear, is made up of, what I say is, Historical Fiction and Mystery. This novel doesn't just teach you a little more about the Underground Railroad, it takes in an amazing ride through the walls and passages of a house that was used a lot by the slaves, and other people running away from slavery. The author, Virginia Hamilton, should get the best book award, because this book is the coolest I've read in my 8th grade year.
    Let me tell you something, I don't suggest this book to people that get scared really easily or kids from ages 0-10 for the following reasons:
    1. Book is a high level book, so it's harder to read.
    2. Has scaring factors for children ages 0-8.
    This book kept me hypnotized by its amazing writing. It is built to give the reader a small scare, but a picture of what's going on (for those of you that can't really imagine things). If you don't really like reading, I recommend this book definitely, because it has such a great plot and it gives you what I call snap shots of what is going on in the story. This book is amazing and will never bore you, this book is built tough and is in my top ten lists of books I've read.
    Thank You Virginia Hamilton for your great writting skills.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2009

    A Must Read!

    A piece of history woven into a great story. You will fall in love with the characters because of the descriptive language, and the rich historical details that make you feel like you are right there.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    awsome!!!!!

    this book was awsome! i had to read it for english class and i thought it would be boring, but once you get into it you can't put it down!! i thought it was the most entertaining book i had every read in school. keep on reading good books

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Kinda boring...

    I haf read this in a lit circle in class and my group hsd to go into the hall. The begining was REALLY BORING so we messed around A LOT. It was near te end of the school year so we didnt get to finish it. But we got a little further into the book and we were sad we didnt et to read more. But what i DID read was BORING and we only got to a little bit of a good part :(

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Great

    This is a very good book. I read it at school , and loves it !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Fabulous

    Great suspense and description

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Bleh

    We are reading this dumb book in class.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    I watched the movie in my fourth grade class but the book is even better

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2007

    Inspired

    I read The House of Dies Drear in 1984 when I was ten years old. It's a brilliant and powerful book that's haunted me (in a good way) ever since then. I am delighted by the reviews I see here from kids in lower and middle school -- please keep reading, you guys!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2006

    A Great Book!

    This book is one of the books I read for English Class and it is not one of those boring ones. It has a great plot, as well as a lot of action. It is boring at first, but you'll seriously get into it. Recommended for Middle Schoolers. It is a mystery and has history is related to most of it. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2006

    Boring

    I thought The House of Dies Drear was boring. Some parts were good, but most were confusing. I don't really remember exactly what happened since I read this last year, but I do recall how much I hated it. Personally, my favorite part of the whole book was the end, because that meant it was over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    EXELLENT READ!!!

    Are you a fan of mystery and history rapped in one? If so, this book is for you. Thomas Small and his family move to the House of Dies Drear, in Ohio and find out the mysteries of the Underground Railroad it holds. The legend is that old Dies Drear and the two slaves that were killed still haunt the house. In the beginning of the book you think about not reading anymore, the book doesn¿t seem interesting. After a few chapters, you don¿t want to set the book down. All the characters also have a way to keep you reading. Mr. Pluto, Thomas and Pesty, just to name a few of the best, in my opinion. This book reminds me of Freedom Train, because they both talk about the Underground Railroad. If I had to state the theme, I think it would be if you don¿t like something, overtime you¿ll get used to it because Thomas didn¿t like Mr. Drear¿s house or the mysterious Mr. Pluto, but he got used to them. I would recommend this book to any age, young or old. It truly is a good read. If you want to know more you¿ll have to read the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    BOOOOORING

    i was forced to read this book in class....i failed the test and so did many other people.....its the most boring book i have ever read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    I have to read this for my Advanced English 8 class, 2nd Quarter

    I have to read this for my Advanced English 8 class, 2nd Quarter,
    and it's boring. I didn't start to read it until I absolutely had to and
    it starts of weirdly. I had to read it over 3 times to get what was going
    on at the beginning. Then I Googled it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    My opinion on you people

    You sound stupid when you don't know how spell something but you still think you're big and bad. You sound like idiots.just stop!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 145 Customer Reviews

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