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Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story

Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story

4.6 102
by Mary Downing Hahn

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When he goes to spend the summer with his great-aunt in the family's old house, eleven-year-old Drew is drawn eighty years into the past to trade places with his great-great-uncle who is dying of diphtheria.


When he goes to spend the summer with his great-aunt in the family's old house, eleven-year-old Drew is drawn eighty years into the past to trade places with his great-great-uncle who is dying of diphtheria.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-This is more a time-travel fantasy than a ghost story. Andrew, 12, is about to die from diphtheria when he accidentally falls through a hole in his own time (1910) and finds himself in 1990, in his own room, now occupied by his great-great-nephew Drew. The boys, identical look-alikes, then change places. Modern medicine saves Andrew's life, and the boys try to settle into their new and different roles. The story becomes one of coming-of-age for both of them. Shy, timid Drew hasn't bargained on filling the shoes of the wild Andrew, and Andrew is equally uncomfortable in ``pantywaist'' Drew's shoes. However, Andrew is reluctant to switch back, fearing he will die if his body returns to 1910. The boys strike a bargain-when Drew wins at marbles, they will change places. Suspense mounts as the story progresses. Will the families notice that something is awry? Will the boys mess up family history by meddling with past events? Will Andrew survive when he gets back home? These questions keep the story moving until all comes clear in a humorous but somewhat contrived ending. There isn't the intense foreboding found in Hahn's ghost story Wait Till Helen Comes (Clarion, 1986), but there is enough tension to keep readers engaged. Instructions for the marble game are appended.-Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Stephanie Zvirin
Shy, insecure, and an only child, Drew adores his great-aunt Blythe. There's something odd about the ancestral house she lives in, though--the house where Drew is to spend the summer while his parents are in Europe. It isn't long before he finds out what. By removing a bag of marbles from beneath an attic floorboard, he and Blythe unwittingly open a door to the past and clear the way for the visitation of the boy Andrew Tyler, a distant relative who looks just like Drew. When the boys change places, Drew travels back to 1910, where he finds two new caring parents and the brother and sister he's always wanted. In trying to live up to Andrew's brash, mischievous reputation, polite, quiet Drew also discovers how to assert and to trust himself. There's plenty to enjoy in this delightful time-slip fantasy: a fascinating premise, a dastardly cousin, some good suspense, and a roundup of characters to care about. And although kids may long for more than the glimpse given of Andrew's handling of modern times, they'll still love the story, which comes full circle when Drew, back home with Blythe, meets Andrew, all grown up and an old, old man.
From the Publisher

"Another solid and enjoyable performance from this popular, award-winning author." —Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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File size:
313 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"There it is." Dad slowed the car and pointed to a big brick house standing on a hill above the highway. From a distance, it looked empty, deserted, maybe even haunted.

'Oh, Ward," Mom whispered to my father, "it's in terrible shape. From what your aunt said, I thought --"

Dad glanced at me. "What do you mean, Nora? just look at the woods and fields, the river, the hills. Drew will have a great time. here. Just great. It's a boy's paradise."

Unfortunately, Dad's enthusiasm was lost on me. My idea of paradise would be part museum, part library, part amusement park, not a spooky old house in the country.

While Dad raved about the joys of hiking and bird-watching, I stared at the endless fields of corn gliding past the car window. I wanted to tell him I'd changed my mind, I'd go to camp after all, but it was too late. Everything was settled. My parents were going to France, and I was staying with Great-aunt Blythe. It had seemed like a good idea last spring, but now that I'd seen the house I wasn't so sure.

Although I hadn't opened my mouth, Dad guessed what I was thinking. "You could be at Camp Tecumseh with your old buddy Martin," he reminded me.

Martin -- his scowling face floated between me and the rows of corn stretching away to the horizon. Whenever I dropped a ball, fumbled, or struck out, Martin was there, sneering and jeering. He stole my lunch money, copied my homework, beat me up, called me names like Drew Peeyou and Death Breath.

I sighed and leaned back in my seat. No Martin for two whole months. Maybe Dad was right. Any place would be paradise compared to Camp Tecumseh -- even the House ofUsher.

When Dad slowed to turn off the road, a gust of wind nudged the car. Behind us, the sky was darkening fast. It looked like the storm we'd left in Chicago had followed us all the way to Missouri.

The driveway was a narrow green tunnel burrowing uphill through trees and shaggy bushes. Shifting to first gear, Dad steered around ruts and potholes, missing some, hitting others. Branches scraped the roof and slapped the windows. While he muttered about the car's suspension system, Mom and I bounced around like Mexican jumping beans.

When Dad pulled up in front of the house, the three of us sat still for a moment and stared at the gloomy pile of bricks my great-aunt called home. Up close, it looked even worse than it had from a distance. Ivy clung to the walls, spreading over windows and doors. A wisteria vine heavy with bunches of purple blossoms twisted around the porch columns. Paint peeled, loose shutters banged in the wind, slates from the roof littered the overgrown lawn.

Charles Addams would have loved it. So would Edgar Allan Poe. But not me. No, sir, definitely not me. Just looking at the place made my skin prickle.

Dad was the first to speak. "This is your ancestral home, Drew," he said, once more doing his best to sound excited. "it was built by your great-great-grandfather way back in 1865, right after the Civil War. Tylers have lived here ever since."

While Dad babbled about family history and finding your roots and things like that, I let my thoughts drift to Camp Tecumseh again. Maybe Martin wasn't so bad after all, maybe he and I could have come to terms this summer, maybe we --

My fantasies were interrupted by Great-aunt Blythe. Flinging the front door open, she came bounding down the steps. The wind ballooned her T-shirt and swirled her gray hair. If she spread her arms, she might fly up into the sky like Mary Poppins.

"Aunt Blythe, Aunt Blythe!" I was so glad to see her, I forgot the house, forgot my fears, forgot Martin. Jumping out of the car, I ran to meet her.

"Welcome to Missouri, Drew!" My aunt gave me a quick, hard hug. While I was still getting my breath, she held me at arms' length and looked me over.

"Twelve already," she said, "and shooting up faster than the weeds in my backyard. I swear you've grown two inches since I saw you at Christmas. At this rate, you'll be taller than I am in no time."

Since Aunt Blythe was barely five foot two, she wasn't exaggerating. We were almost eye to eye already.

"Don't I get a hug too?" Dad grabbed his aunt around the waist and lifted her clear off the ground.

"Put me down, you big idiot."

"Not till you tell me I'm still your favorite nephew," Dad said.

"Oh, Ward, you'll always be my favorite nephew." Aunt Blythe winked at me. "And Drew will always be my favorite great-nephew."

As my aunt turned to hug Mom, Binky ran toward us, barking and leaping, leaving muddy pawprints on Dad's tan slacks. He was a little honey-colored cocker spaniel, floppy-eared and not too bright, but he and my great-aunt were inseparable. Whenever she visited us, Binky came too. He was one of the family, a sort of dim-witted second cousin, lovable in spite of his deficiencies.

When the dog calmed down, Aunt Blythe waved her arm at the house. "Well, what do you think of the old place?"

Dad shook his head. "Most people move to a condo in Florida when they're your age. They sit back, enjoy the sunshine, and forget their cares."

"My age?" Aunt Blythe was obviously insulted. "I'm only sixty-two, Ward. I'd be bored to death in a retirement home. I need things to do, projects to work on, challenges."

Dad put his hand up in mock surrender and backed away laughing. Time for Andrew. Copyright © by Mary Hahn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Another solid and enjoyable performance from this popular, award-winning author." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

Meet 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.

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4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Kayla Flanagan More than 1 year ago
i love this book! it doesnt sound as interesting and good as it actually is!
Guest More than 1 year ago
TIME FOR ANDREW:A GHOST STORY is a suspenceful mystery book. When he arrives he sees a flash in the window which scares him. At night he meets Andrew. Anderew was very sick so they had to change places. They changed places and Andrew learned things about Drew, and Drew learned things about Anderew. Will Andrew and Drew ever switch places again? Will Andrew ever be healed? Read this book, it is very good. I think this book should be for everyone. Why, because it has things girls are interested in abnd things that boys are interested in.Read this book it is very good.
Stephanie Watts More than 1 year ago
My 3rd grade teacher read this to our class. Its been a while since then but I havent forgot about it. This is a book you cant get away from.
Jennifer Bennett More than 1 year ago
I love her books I read this one so many time I could tell you every thing about this book.Recommend to those who love ghost stories.My name is Danielle
sura More than 1 year ago
i read this book when i was younger and just loved it! now that im older i like to read it every once in awhile because its that good. it has a great ending to andys story so everyone should try this book out --you wont regret it:)
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a good book exciting from beginning to end.with a great ending to go along with it.a must read for elementry kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great!!filled with action packed adventure!I think it's wonderful how they swap places in time!!!its a great book and I garuntee everyone will love this book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was great. I thought it Was creepy yet interesting the thought of a young boy alone and an equal who looked and sounded like him living 100 years or so back in time
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mary Downing Hahn is a fantastic author who writes a book about Drew who is going to stay with his Aunt Blythe during the summer while his parents are in France.One night he was in his room and from the attic came a boy named Andrew. They looked exactly alike and Drew found out it was his cousin from the past.Andrew was very sick with diptheria so they switched places so that Andrew could get well. That's when the fun begins!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbooooooooooooookkkkkkkkk hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is AWESOME it might not sound intresting BUT it is!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is super awesome i was really sad when it was over
Guest More than 1 year ago
Time for Andrew is an outstanding book about two identical boys that switched places.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Time for Andrew is exiting! 3-6 graders would like it a lot. Drew meets with his ancester. His name is Andrew. They play marbles. Im not going to give away the ending. You'll have to read it for your self!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Time for Andrew by Mary Downing Hahn is a great suspense book. I liked it because it had some scary parts and some really exciting parts. I recommend this GREAT book to third graders (or older) who likes suspense books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Time For Andrew was a great story. In my room I have a door that leeds to my attic. When I read this book I was scared to go up to my attic. But the book itself was great. I could read it over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thisbook made me cry please read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iam scared"!!!!!:):(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good and it isnt really scary but its not boring i think anyone should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish that mary downing hahn would write more ghost stories!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 11 and i love mary downing hahn. But do you think i should get this one?????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ilove mary dowing hahn books they are the best books in the world I have not read this one but I am going to read it I beat it will be asome it wont be scary to me because I am not scared of eny thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago