My Haunted House (Araminta Spookie Series #1)
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My Haunted House (Araminta Spookie Series #1)

4.5 32
by Angie Sage, Jimmy Pickering

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This house is not for sale

Araminta Spookie lives in a wonderful old haunted house, but her crabby aunt Tabby wants to move. Aunt Tabby is determined to sell their house—Araminta has to stop her!

With the help of a haunted suit of armor named Sir Horace, a ghost named Edmund, and a lot of imagination, Araminta hatches

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This house is not for sale

Araminta Spookie lives in a wonderful old haunted house, but her crabby aunt Tabby wants to move. Aunt Tabby is determined to sell their house—Araminta has to stop her!

With the help of a haunted suit of armor named Sir Horace, a ghost named Edmund, and a lot of imagination, Araminta hatches a plot for an Awful Ambush that is so ghoulish, it just might work!

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Healthy proportions of scary details leavened with light and funny plot twists make this novel an easy recommendation.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Healthy proportions of scary details leavened with light and funny plot twists make this novel an easy recommendation."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Healthy proportions of scary details leavened with light and funny plot twists make this novel an easy recommendation.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Healthy proportions of scary details leavened with light and funny plot twists make this novel an easy recommendation.”
Araminta Spookie loves living in a haunted house, but her crabby Aunt Tabby is hell-bent on moving. To thwart this unnatural plan, Araminta enlists the aid of several delightfully ghoulish companions.
Publishers Weekly
In this humorous, fast-paced paper-over-board caper, Sage (the Septimus Heap series) introduces narrator Araminta Spookie (who also gives the series its name), a spirited gal who lives in a large Victorian house. Her crabby Aunt Tabby is constantly doing battle with a malfunctioning boiler, and Uncle Drac slumbers in a sleeping bag hanging from the joists of a bat-filled turret. When her aunt announces that she wants to sell the house and move to someplace modern, Araminta muses, "We couldn't possibly move, not before I'd found at least one ghost." The heroine, determined to sabotage the sale of her beloved home, scares off several real estate agents. Her big break comes, however, when she finds an old key in the foot of Sir Horace, an ancient suit of armor (who turns out to be a ghost), along with a note saying it's the key to the balcony over the entryway to the house (a perfect spot to launch an "Awful Ambush" on potential buyers). Her quest to reach the balcony leads to an exciting series of adventures, involving a secret passageway and a ride on a dumbwaiter. Araminta indeed pulls off an elaborate ambush, creating comical mayhem with unexpected, satisfying results. Pickering's quirky art adds to the kooky-and in spots somewhat spooky-fun (especially his clever renderings of the ghosts). Araminta returns in The Sword in the Grotto (ISBN 0-06-077484-3), due the same month. Ages 7-10. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Della A. Yannuzzi
Araminta Spookie lives in a haunted house with her Aunt Tabby and Uncle Drac. She lost her parents when they went hunting for vampires in Transylvania and never returned. Aunt Tabby has decided to sell the house because it is too big and dusty and the boiler keeps breaking down. She wants to move into an apartment building. Araminta loves the old house and does not want to leave. Her Uncle Drac does not want to leave the house either, so he and Araminta have a plan to scare away people who come to look at the house. First, Araminta scares away the real estate agent lady. Then Aunt Tabby decides to sell the house on her own and puts up a sign saying, "This House is for Sale," but Araminta adds the word "Not" for sale. Aunt Tabby sees this and crosses off the word "Not." Araminta keeps looking for ways to frighten potential buyers. She believes there are ghosts in the house, and one day she finds a secret passage and a key that opens a door to a small room that leads to a ladder and a tunnel and, finally, to two ghosts named Edmund and Sir Horace. Edmund leads her to a balcony. They do not want the house sold either. Araminta plans an ambush, but it does not work on the Wizzard family, who come to look at the house and do not mind the crazy stuff going on. They love it. Araminta likes the Wizzard's daughter Wanda, and Brenda and Barry Wizzard are strange, but nice. Together, they come up with a plan to stay in the house. Uncle Drac promises to take care of the furnace and Barry helps. The Wizzards spend the night, and the next night Aunt Tabby invites them to live with them. Problem solved. This book is an entertaining story where a problem is solved through some creative thinking.Black-and-white drawings are included.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Araminta Spookie lives in a sprawling haunted house. She spends her days hunting for ghosts, avoiding her cranky Aunt Tabby, and helping her nocturnal Uncle Drac. In the first book, her aunt wants to sell the house and the little girl does all she can to scare away potential buyers. Things turn out better than expected when the ghost-loving Wizzard family shows interest but decides instead to move in with the Spookies. In the second book, Araminta and the Wizzards' daughter find themselves in danger when they try to retrieve a sword from a cave for the house ghost's 500th birthday. These straightforward stories are filled with exposition and description but little action, until their funny and fitting finales. Reluctant readers may have lost interest by then, however. What the books lack in action, though, they make up for in setting. Kids who use "weird" as a compliment will delight in the charming details of Araminta's life. Trapdoors and secret passageways get her into forbidden places. Frogs, bats, and ghosts are part of the family. Pickering's full- and half-page illustrations and cobwebs dangling from the page corners add the perfect mood. However, Araminta is less interesting than her surroundings. She speaks with a consistent, peevish tone, remaining unchanged throughout her adventures. These books offer few surprises, but will be fun escapism for readers who like their spooky without the scary.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Araminta Spookie Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.14(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

Araminta Spookie 1: My Haunted House

By Angie Sage

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Angie Sage
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060774827

Chapter One

Sir Horace's Helmet

It all began when I was in my Thursday bedroom doing my ghost practice. I have always done regular ghost practice, as I was sure it would be much easier to find a ghost if the ghost thought that I was one too. I have always wanted to find a ghost, but you know, even though our house is called Spookie House, I have never, ever seen a single ghost, not even a very small one. I thought that Aunt Tabby had scared them off -- she would scare me off if I were a ghost.

Anyway, I was busy doing my practice and I had my ghost sheet over my head, which is why I tripped over Sir Horace's left foot. Stupid thing. And then his left foot fell off, and Sir Horace collapsed into hundreds of pieces. Stupid Sir Horace. And then all the bits of stupid Sir Horace rolled all over the floor, and I stepped on his head and got my foot stuck inside it. Don't worry, it wasn't a real head. Sir Horace is just a crummy old suit of armor that's always hanging around here, lurking in various dark corners.

I was yelling at it to get off and hopping around shaking my foot like crazy, but Sir Horace's stupid head was totally stuck. Then, with really great timing, Aunt Tabby shouted, "Breakfast!" in thatif-you-don't-come-down-right-now-and-get-it-I-shall-give-it-to-the-cat voice -- not that we have a cat, but she would if we did have one, I know she would.

So I gave my foot the biggest shake ever -- in fact, I am surprised my whole leg didn't come off -- and Sir Horace's helmet flew off, shot out of the bedroom door, and hurtled down the attic stairs. It made a fantastic noise. I could hear it all the way down to the basement. Sound travels really well in this house, so I could easily hear Aunt Tabby's scream, too.

I thought I'd better get going, so I slid down the banister and hopped off at the landing. I wanted to see if Uncle Drac had gone to sleep yet -- he works nights -- because if he had, I was going to wake him up and make him come downstairs with me just in case Aunt Tabby was going to pitch a fit. His bedroom door is the little red one at the end of the top corridor, the one that goes to the turret.

I was very careful pushing the door open, as it's a sheer drop down for miles. Uncle Drac took all the floors out of the turret so that his bats could fly wherever they wanted. Uncle Drac loves his bats; he'd do anything for them. I love bats too. They are so sweet.

I pushed Big Bat out of the way, and he fell all the way down to the bottom of the turret. It didn't matter, though, as the floor of the turret is about ten feet deep in bat poo, so it's very soft.

Without Big Bat clogging up the door, I could easily see Uncle Drac's sleeping bag. It was hanging from one of the joists like a great big flowery bat -- and it was empty. Great, I thought, he's still downstairs with Aunt Tabby. So, to save time, I slid down the big stairs' banister and the basement stairs' banister too -- which I'm not meant to do as it keeps falling over -- and I was outside the second-kitchen-on-the-left-just-past-the-larder in no time. It was suspiciously quiet in there.

Oops, I thought, trouble.

I pushed open the door really considerately, and I was glad I did as Aunt Tabby was sitting at the end of the long table, buttering some toast in a way that made you think the toast had said something really personal and rude. It didn't look like a fun breakfast time, I thought. The signs were not good.

First not-good sign: sitting in the middle of the table was Sir Horace's helmet. It had a lot more dents in it than when I last saw it, but that was obviously not my fault as it was okay when it left my foot.

Second, third, fourth, and fifth not-good signs: Aunt Tabby was covered in soot -- apart from two little windows in her glasses which she had wiped clear so that she could attack the toast. Aunt Tabby being covered in soot is one of the worst signs. It means she has had a fight with the boiler and the boiler has won.

I sat down in my seat in a thoughtful and caring way. Uncle Drac looked really relieved to see me. You see, I live with my aunt and uncle because my parents went vampire hunting in Transylvania when I was little and they never came back.

Uncle Drac was busy scraping out the last bit of his boiled egg, and he had soot all around his mouth from the sooty toast that Aunt Tabby had buttered for him. "Hello, Minty," he said.

"Hello, Uncle Drac," I said. I tried to think of something nice to say to Aunt Tabby, but it was difficult to think of anything at all with Sir Horace's helmet staring at me with its little beady eyes. It doesn't really have eyes, of course, but I often used to think it was looking at me, even though I was sure it was nothing more than an empty tin can.

Aunt Tabby plonked my bowl of oatmeal down in front of me, so I said, "Thank you, Aunt Tabby." And then, because Aunt Tabby likes polite conversation at breakfast, I said, "Have you been having trouble with the boiler again, Aunt Tabby?"

"Yes, dear -- but not for very much longer," Aunt Tabby said, hardly moving her lips. I used to think that when Aunt Tabby spoke like that she was practicing to be a ventriloquist, but now I know it means she has made her mind up about something and she doesn't care whether you agree with her or not.


Excerpted from Araminta Spookie 1: My Haunted House by Angie Sage Copyright © 2006 by Angie Sage. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Angie Sage was born in London and grew up in the Thames Valley, London, and Kent. She now lives in Somerset in a very old house that has a 480-year-old painting of King Henry VIII on the wall. The seven books in her original Septimus Heap series are international bestsellers. She is also the author of the Araminta Spookie series.

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