BN.com Gift Guide

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

( 649 )

Overview

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$6.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (136) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $2.32   
  • Used (124) from $1.99   
Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.49
BN.com price
(Save 7%)$6.99 List Price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can't get any worse.

But they do -- when Helen comes.

Molly and Michael dislike their spooky new stepsister Heather but realize that they must try to save her when she seems ready to follow a ghost child to her doom.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A ghost story par excellence in which a difficult seven-year-old is drawn into a frightening relationship with the ghost of a dead child." — Booklist, ALA, starred review

"Genuinely scary, complete with dark secrets from the past, unsettled graves, and a very real ghost." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"An unusually scary, well-crafted ghost fantasy." -- Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 Ghost story fans have a spooky treat in store with Hahn's eerie new novel. Molly, the 12-year-old narrator, and her brother Michael dislike their bratty 5-year-old stepsister Heather and resent the family move to an isolated converted church in the country. The adjourning graveyard frightens Molly, but Heather seems drawn to it. Molly discovers that the ghost of a child (Helen) who died in a fire a century ago wants to lure Heather to her doom. Molly determines to save her stepsister. In so doing, she learns that Heather's strange behavior stems from her feelings of guilt at having accidentally caused her mother's death by playing near a stove and starting a fire. Eventually, Molly wrests Heather from Helen's arms as the ghost attempts to drown them. The girls discover the skeletons of Helen's parents, and their burial finally puts to rest Helen's spirit. This is a powerful, convincing, and frightening tale. The details of everyday life quickly give way to terror. The pace never slackens. Characterization is strong, and descriptive passages set a mood of suspense. There should be a heavy demand from readers who are not ``faint at heart.'' Judy Greenfield, Rye Free Reading Room, N.Y.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547028644
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/21/2008
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 61,873
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"You've Bought a church?" Michael and I looked up from the pile of homework covering most of the kitchen table. I was in the middle of writing a poem for Mr. Pelowski's English class, and Michael was working his way happily through twenty math questions.

Mom filled a kettle with water and put it on the stove. Her checks were pink from the March wind, and so was the tip of her nose. "You and Molly will love it," she promised. "It's exactly the sort of place Dave and I have been looking for all winter. There's a carriage house for him to use as a pottery workshop and space in the choir loft for me to set up a studio. It's perfect."

"But how can we live in a church?" Michael persisted, refusing to be won over by her enthusiasm.

"Oh, it's not really a church anymore," Mom said. "Some people from Philadelphia bought it last year and built an addition on the side for living quarters. They were going to set up an antique store in the actual church, but, after doing all that work, they decided they didn't like living in the country after all."

"It's out in the country?" I frowned at the little cat I was doodling in the margin of my notebook paper.

Mom smiled and gazed past me, out our kitchen window and into Mrs. Overton's window directly across the alley. I had a feeling she, was seeing herself standing in front of an easel, working on one of her huge oil paintings, far from what she called the "soul-killing life of the city." She has a maddening habit of drifting away into her private dream world just when you need her most.

"Where is the church? " I asked loudly.

"Where is it?" Mom poured boiling water into her cup and added honey. "It's in Holwell, Maryland, not far from the mountains. It's beautiful. Just beautiful. The perfect place for painting and potting."

"But what about Molly and me? What are we supposed to do while you and Dave paint and make pottery?" Michael asked.

"You promised I could be in the enrichment program this summer," I said, thinking about the creative writing class I was planning to take. "Will I still be able to?"

"Yes, and what about Science Club?" Michael asked. "I'm already signed up for it. Mr. Phillips is going to take us to the Aquarium and the Science Center and even to the Smithsonian in Washington."

Mom sighed and shook her head. "I'm afraid you two will have to make other plans for summer. We'll be moving in June, and I can't possibly drive all the way back to Baltimore every day."

"But I've been looking forward to Science Club all year!" Michael's voice rose, and I could tell he was trying hard not to cry.

"You'll have plenty of woods to explore," Mom said calmly. "Just think of all the wildlife you can observe and the insects you can add to your collection. Why, the day Dave and I were there, we saw a raccoon, a possum, a woodchuck, and dozens of squirrels." Mom leaned across the table, smiling, hoping to convince Michael that he was going to love living in a church way out in the country, miles away from Mr. Phillips and Science Club.

But Michael wasn't easy to convince. Slumping down in his chair, he mumbled, "Id rather stay in Baltimore, even if I never see anything but cockroaches, pigeons, and rats."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Michael!" Mom looked exasperated. "You're ten years old. Act like it!"

As Michael opened his mouth to defend himself, Heather appeared in the kitchen doorway, responding, no doubt, to her built-in radar for detecting trouble. Her pale gray eyes roved from Mom to Michael, then to me, and back again to Mom. From the expression on her face, I imagined she was hoping to witness bloodshed, screams, a ghastly scene of domestic violence.

"Why, Heather, I was wondering where you were!" Mom turned to her, infusing her voice with enthusiasm again. "Guess what? Your daddy and I have found a new place for us to live, way out in the country. Won't that be fun?" She gave Heather a dazzling Romper-Room smile and reached out to embrace her.

With the skill of a cat, Heather sidestepped Mom's arms and peered out the kitchen window. "Daddy's home," she announced without looking at us.

"Oh, no, I forgot to put the casserole in the oven!" Mom ran to the refrigerator and pulled out a concoction of eggplant, cheese, tomatoes, and bulgur and shoved it into the oven just as Dave opened the back door, bringing a blast of cold March air into the room with him.

After giving Mom a hug and a kiss, he swooped Heather up into his arms. "How's my girl?" he boomed.

Heather twined her arms possessively around his neck and smiled coyly. "They were fighting, " she said, darting a look at Michael and me.

Dave glanced at Mom, and she smiled and shook her head. "We were just discussing our big move to the country, that's all. Nobody was fighting, Heather." Mom turned on the cold water and began rinsing lettuce leaves for a salad.

"I don't like it when they fight." Heather tightened her grip on Dave's neck.

"Come on, Michael." I stood up and started gathering my books and papers together. "Let's finish our homework downstairs."

"Dinner will be ready in about half an hour," Mom called after us as we started down the basement steps.

As soon as we were safely out of everybody's hearing range, I turned to Michael. "What are we going to do?"

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 649 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(532)

4 Star

(65)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(20)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 652 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2008

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!

    I LOVE this book!!!! It is Amazing!! The story is wonderful, Amazingly Written, and scary. Mary Downing hahn is an Amazing writer, trust me, READ THIS BOOK!!!!! Amazing book!!!

    77 out of 89 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wait Till Helen Comes

    I loved this book! It was the first Mary Downing Hahn book I read and it got me hooked on her ghost stories. Now she is my favorite author and Wait Till Helen Comes is still my favorite Mary Downing Hahn book. It is about a girl who has a really bratty stepsister...but then her sis starts acting weird. This isn't one of those "Friendly Ghost" stories, I assure you. But it also doesn't leave you wondering about Helen, and why in the world she would do all those things. Everyone had a story and it made for a chilly but warming (sort of warming...at the end) novel.

    59 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 26, 2007

    This book is great!!!!

    Wait til Helen Comes is about a girl named heather whose mother died in a fire years ago. Now her father is married to Jean who has two kids, Michael and Molly. Heather tells lies to her father to get them in trouble. Heather is a hateful little girl and hard to get along with. Yet she makes a ghost friend when they move into a church. This book teaches you an important lesson about being friends and being brave when something bad is about to happen. I liked this book because it is scary. This book is great for you if you want to be scared. Check it out!!!

    46 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A first rate thriller for young girls!

    I remember reading this when I was about 12 or so, I have been looking for it ever since (so about 11 years). I couldn't remember the name up until I saw it mentioned in a BN book club.
    Anyway, this book scared the living daylights out of me, but in such a good way. It's got to be one of the best ghost stories for younger girls I have ever read. I am actually considering ordering it and rereading it, since my copy is long gone.
    If you are a girl in the age range of 9-13 (depending on your maturity), or you are buying for one, and you are looking for a great scary story, this is totally it.

    41 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 9, 2008

    abigail, i love any book like this

    this book just played a little movie in my mind. I wish that anybody could have this book! I almost thought that this story could happen in the real world. this book is about how these two sisters deal threw not talking to each other then everything changes when Helen comes to ruin all of the family.

    24 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 18, 2008

    Cool 7th Grader

    This was a great book. It had great detail. Not only that, but it went really smooth. It really fritened me, I felt like it was a movie. It really got me thinking, I asked myself lots of Questions like is there really such things as ghosts? or like How do the charictors feal in this posistion? or are the charictors worried? All I have to say is this book is one of the best books I have ever read, after 'Someone Like You'.

    22 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great

    This book is really good! Most of it is action and spine-chilling, but the only part I don't like is how mch of a brat Heather is, even when I found out why, I still really didn't like her. If you're interseted in ghost books, this is the book for you.

    21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 4, 2009

    Review by 10 year old girl

    On a scale of 1 to 10 this book was an 11! It takes a few chapters to get into it but once you do it is a really exciting mystery. I like reading about ghosts and mysteries so I loved this book. The book also had a happy ending and I like that too.

    Added by Mom: The book is not too scary - but there is a real ghost in it - and has some good points for discussion - about why people do things and about forgiveness.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 29, 2012

    A half to read !!!!!

    I am pretty picky about ghost storys. I did not really know if i would like it or not, but i read it and WOW it is now my all time favorite book. I can really relate to Molly too!! I WOULD RECOMENDED FOR AGES: 8_ 12 love this book!!!

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 2, 2008

    just a WOW book

    Mary is a amazing book writer. After I read the first page of this book I was so into this book. Ghost stories are my type of books. Keep writing ghost stories Mary!!!!!!

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Amazing!

    One of three of my all time favorite books!

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 25, 2009

    Awesome Book!

    I read this and I absolutely loved it! If you are interested in spirits/ghosts then you will love this book like I did :).

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 27, 2002

    My Favorite!!!!!!!

    I thought this book was more than great!It was just creepy enough.If you are looking for a book you can't put down,GET IT!!!!!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 12, 2012

    WOW

    I was so scared for Molly and Heather I almost cried. It is a great book

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Awesome

    My 5th grade teacher read this book to us and it was awesome it is an edge of ur seat kind of book.
    Get it get it not a waste of money

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Best book

    Omg i love this book i couldnt put it down once i started it!
    Such an intence mystery!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Aesome

    We are readingtihs in class and we watgced the trailer i was
    so scared

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 9, 2012

    i just finished reading this book for my second time, and it is

    i just finished reading this book for my second time, and it is still such a great book. It's the type of book that you just dont want to put down! It is a great story about a 12 year old girl Molly. Molly has a brother, and now that Molly's mom married Dave, Molly has a step sister, Heather. When this family moves out in the country in a house that used to be a church and a graveyard in the backyard, Molly gets scared. But more fear is to come when Heather says there is a ghost, Hellen, who is Heather's friend, and is now going to come get revenge on Molly and her brother for all the things they have done to Heather. So, just WAIT TILL HELEN COMES!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Saikeerthna

    Best ghost story ever!!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Alexis

    Love this book

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 652 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)