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The Ghosts of Hungryhouse Lane

The Ghosts of Hungryhouse Lane

by Sam McBrantney, Lisa Thiesing (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three ghosts reside contentedly in Mercia Porterhouse's home on Hungryhouse Lane, in a tranquil state called ``Unwakeful Serenity.'' When Mercia dies, the house is rented out to the Sweet family and their three naughty, bickering children, and all signs of tranquility vanish. Zoe, Bonnie and Charlie create havoc around the house, discovering and destroying each ghost's special habitat. And they decide to charge other children fees for glimpses of the spooks. The ghosts only want to resume their peaceful existence; they get their wish when the children have a change of heart. But that's not all--a will is unearthed that names Mercia's friend Amy as the new, quieter owner of the house, and the beleaguered ghosts are once more left in peace. The Sweet family may strike readers as a little too shrill; their exploits are unappealing to the end. And the line drawings, while conveying some of the story's humor, seem an inappropriate match for the formal tone of the prose. Despite this, the book has amusing moments, and whether or not those will be enough to satisfy readers depends on how die-hard they are about ghost stories. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-- The wealthy Sweet family moves into their new rental home. The three unruly children quickly discover that they are sharing their quarters with three eccentric ghosts. By rights the house should belong to Miss Amy Steadings, best friend of the recently deceased owner, Mercia Porterhouse; however, no one can find Mercia's will. The ghosts are subjected to all sorts of indignities by the noisy, precocious children, who are not the least bit frightened by the resident spooks. In fact, the ghosts are more than a little intimidated by the antics of the children. The Sweet children find the will and move out so that Amy can assume her role as caretaker of the ghosts. This is a lightweight, cleverly told tale with a distinct British style, enhanced by a number of amusing drawings that enable readers to see what the ghosts actually look like. The Sweet family is mildly reminiscent of Helen Cresswell's ``Bagthorpes'' (Macmillan). The doty parents play endless games of backgammon and remain oblivious to the uproar going on around them. Thoughtful readers may wonder why the dear departed Mercia did not become a ghost herself, or why some dead souls must linger on while others do not. Most young people, however, will enjoy the story for what it is: a humorous romp with some non-threatening spirits. This is one ghost story that will evoke chuckles, not shivers. --Bruce Ann Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, N.C.

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

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