One for Sorrow
Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie's friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

One for Sorrow Details

TitleOne for Sorrow
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 18th, 2017
PublisherClarion Books
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Historical, Paranormal, Ghosts, Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult, Juvenile, Fiction

One for Sorrow Review

  • Jenny (Jenny's Book Bag) Baker
    May 13, 2017
    4.5 starsThis was such a page-turner for me that I read it in one day. The story and characters were so captivating that I was hooked on page one. I think this is the first time I’ve ever read an entire book in one day.This is a suspenseful story that’s a mixture of historical fiction and a children’s ghost story. I didn’t want to stop reading this because I HAD to know what happened next. I was so engrossed in this story that I didn’t watch the baseball game on TV. I watch just about every Balt 4.5 starsThis was such a page-turner for me that I read it in one day. The story and characters were so captivating that I was hooked on page one. I think this is the first time I’ve ever read an entire book in one day.This is a suspenseful story that’s a mixture of historical fiction and a children’s ghost story. I didn’t want to stop reading this because I HAD to know what happened next. I was so engrossed in this story that I didn’t watch the baseball game on TV. I watch just about every Baltimore Orioles game, but I couldn’t put this down, so I skipped the game. The characterization is fantastic! Each character is distinct not only in dialogue, but also in behavior and action. In addition, their relationships with each other were well defined. The characters are well developed, especially Annie, Elsie, Rosie, Jane, Lucy, and Eunice. Elsie is creepy! She’s needy, spiteful, controlling, and obsessive. On Annie’s first day of school, Elsie demands that she be best friends with her and she won’t allow Annie to be friends with anyone else. She forces Annie to hold her hand and drags her around the playground. When the other girls try to talk to Annie, Elsie answers on her behalf. Elsie goes out of her way to threaten and intimidate Annie. I felt so sorry for Annie, especially when Elsie’s ghost taunted Annie. Everyone thought Annie was either crazy or irresponsible whenever she told them that Elsie’s ghost was responsible. Even as a ghost, Elsie was trying to get Annie in trouble.The pacing was perfect. I can’t think of a single time when the story dragged. The setting was vivid allowing you to feel like you’re living in 1918. The hearses were horse-drawn and it was a luxury for people to have cars. There’s a strong sense of the political climate, especially when the characters talk about the war and government action. Wakes were common, complete with coffins in the living room. I could feel the ambiance as the guests paid their respects. It has a nice tidy ending giving the story a satisfying resolution.If I were a child reading this, I would have found it disturbing. As an adult, I loved every moment of it! I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good ghost story.Jenny’s Book Bag | Facebook | Twitter
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  • Tammie
    June 30, 2017
    Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. 2.5 stars. I've read a few of Mary Downing Hahn's books and liked them quite a bit. I don't read a lot of middle grade, but her books are usually fun, creepy reads. This one I did not like as much as the others I've read. Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. 2.5 stars. I've read a few of Mary Downing Hahn's books and liked them quite a bit. I don't read a lot of middle grade, but her books are usually fun, creepy reads. This one I did not like as much as the others I've read. Despite there being a ghost, this was not a creepy book, and that disappointed me. Most of this book was not pleasant to read. There is a lot of bullying done among school girls and although I wanted to feel badly for the girl that was being bullied, and I did at times, it was hard to because she was just as mean as the bullies. For most of the book none of the girls were really likable because of all of the meanness, but in the end the girls all do change. But it does take a vengeful ghost to get them to that point.The thing I found most interesting about this book was that it was inspired by a story from the author's mothers own experience of living during the Spanish influenza and surviving it. The part in the book when the girls go to the different homes to pay their respects to and view the dead, mainly so they can get free cake, candy, and punch was something her mother and her mother's friends actually did, and they really did end up at a house that belonged to one of their classmates that they had no idea had died until they saw her in the coffin.If you like reading books about mean girls or vengeful ghosts you might like this book, but for me it was just ok.Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for giving me a copy of this book.Review also posted at https://writingsofareader.blogspot.com/
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  • Jen Naughton
    February 2, 2017
    I jumped this ahead in my queue after reading the first four pages. Spooky time infused with history as this is set during the influenza epidemic of 1918. I haven’t read a genuinely scary book for awhile. It’s going to be hard to review this without giving away spoilers. I’ll set the stage, and you can deduce the rest. Annie is the new girl at her school. She has just moved to town with her mother and father. She has an uncle away fighting World War 1, and they are hopeful that the war will end I jumped this ahead in my queue after reading the first four pages. Spooky time infused with history as this is set during the influenza epidemic of 1918. I haven’t read a genuinely scary book for awhile. It’s going to be hard to review this without giving away spoilers. I’ll set the stage, and you can deduce the rest. Annie is the new girl at her school. She has just moved to town with her mother and father. She has an uncle away fighting World War 1, and they are hopeful that the war will end soon and that he will be home by Christmas.On her first day of school, Annie sets off confident that she will make new friends. Her first day academically goes great, and she is befriended by Elsie who isn’t all that nice. None of the other girls like Elsie either and therefore turn against Annie. As a reader, you can see why. Elsie is bossy, mean, and just plain unlikeable. She lies, steals, breaks Annie’s doll and is just awful. Then she dies. Annie soon becomes good friends with the girls who had rejected her by association with Elsie.Influenza is killing people all over their town, and the girls get the bright idea to go to viewings pretending they know the deceased to get cake and other sweets.I don’t want to spoil the plot any further- but know that the premise of this plot is that ghosts are real- so if that doesn’t jive with your beliefs, you think it will scare the heck out of your kid, then skip this one.If you are up for some conversations of what may or may not be real, bullying and girl cliques or just want a good scary book, then you should pick this one up. I binge read it in a few hours, I could not put it down. Small spoiler- there is a happy ending.
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  • Holly
    December 30, 2015
    Yessss. I love that Mary Downing Hahn is releasing more ghost stories lately. She's the best <3
  • Wendi Lee
    June 28, 2017
    *I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*For a middle grade book, this is quite scary!! I know I read some of Hahn's other novels when I was in elementary school/early middle school, but that was a long time ago. I only remember thinking that her novels weren't scary, but by 7th grade I was reading Stephen King. I stand corrected! "One for Sorrow" isn't Stephen King-esque horror, but it is a well nuanced ghost story. Eliza desperately tries to befriend the *I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*For a middle grade book, this is quite scary!! I know I read some of Hahn's other novels when I was in elementary school/early middle school, but that was a long time ago. I only remember thinking that her novels weren't scary, but by 7th grade I was reading Stephen King. I stand corrected! "One for Sorrow" isn't Stephen King-esque horror, but it is a well nuanced ghost story. Eliza desperately tries to befriend the new girl at school, Annie. But Annie soon realizes that Eliza has a mean streak ('mean' might be too kind of an adjective), and decides to have nothing to do with her. Instead, she becomes part of the popular clique, led by charismatic Rosie. When Eliza dies of the 1918 influenza, like so many others in their community, she begins to haunt Annie. Eliza was a spiteful twelve year-old, and her ghost is even more vicious. If she can't be a happy living girl, Annie won't be able to, either!While reading, I was really afraid for Annie. Eliza is a relentless force, and she places a lot of blame on Annie for the shortcomings in her own life. I did feel a little uneasy about the way Annie and her friends antagonized Eliza, partly because of her unflinching personality, but also because she and her family are one of the few Germans in town. America is still in the midst of WWI during the novel, and German-Americans are shunned and persecuted. Annie does seem to realize (however vaguely) that shouting racist epithets isn't good behavior, but this isn't fully addressed, and the lines are drawn too starkly between the good (Annie) and the bad (Eliza).
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  • Jen
    April 29, 2017
    I have ADORED Mary Downing Hahn's books since I stumbled upon Wait Til Helen Comes in my elementary school's library. My friends and I checked it out over and over, shivering with fear every time the main character ended up haunted. I continued reading the rest of Hahn's oeuvre that was available in the library, and fell in love with her historical fiction and coming of age stories like Stepping on the Cracks and Tallahassee Higgins. Hahn has always been a treasured writer of mine and I am thril I have ADORED Mary Downing Hahn's books since I stumbled upon Wait Til Helen Comes in my elementary school's library. My friends and I checked it out over and over, shivering with fear every time the main character ended up haunted. I continued reading the rest of Hahn's oeuvre that was available in the library, and fell in love with her historical fiction and coming of age stories like Stepping on the Cracks and Tallahassee Higgins. Hahn has always been a treasured writer of mine and I am thrilled to say she is still writing and her new book is fantastic.One for Sorrow is a good combination of Hahn's various book styles - it is a ghost story, coming of age story, and historical fiction novel all rolled up into one. It is set during WWI and the Spanish Influenza epidemic in America, but the setting/era and characters (especially Annie, the main protagonist) are very approachable for readers. I did not find it "old-fashioned" or "outdated", though it had an appropriate number of historic touches. I especially liked the inclusion of jump rope songs, which morph eerily into a haunting refrain that appears again and again throughout the book.I don't want to spoil too much, but this is a solid story. Young readers who like a little bit of spookyness (without over the top supernatural nonsense) or stories about drama among friends will really enjoy this. I would say this would be best for late elementary school or middle school. If you like any of Hahn's other books, you won't be disappointed here.I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (Thanks for granting my wish!!)
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  • L.P. Logan
    April 26, 2017
    This is a nice hot cup of nostalgia to me. I adored Mary Downing Hahn when I was younger, and One for Sorrow did not disappoint. An excellent ghost story. Although I will not go into specifics, I can say simply that I genuinely enjoyed it and am looking forward to buying it in hard copy for my own kids.
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  • Sangria
    March 24, 2017
    First, I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The first book I loved was Wait Till Helen Comes. I found it in my school library when I was in second grade. That was when I had discovered that reading scary stories were just as cool as watching them.It’s been years since I read a book by this author and so I was thrilled when I learned of this book. The cover and title alone sent me chills, th First, I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The first book I loved was Wait Till Helen Comes. I found it in my school library when I was in second grade. That was when I had discovered that reading scary stories were just as cool as watching them.It’s been years since I read a book by this author and so I was thrilled when I learned of this book. The cover and title alone sent me chills, the book’s summary added the thrill. I won’t reiterate the story here as the one posted here on Goodreads is more than enough. The main characters, all children, had their own unique personalities. I was pleased to find how the story evolved based on how the characters stayed true to their individual personalities. The ghost became progressively frightening, especially toward the end, but I think it was just enough. I particularly liked the ending. There was closure but there was still a sense of something to be afraid of. To be wary. I think there was the perfect balance of fear and horror.Another classic by Mary Dowling Hahn. Fans will not be disappointed. Happy reading.
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  • Lori Parrish
    July 23, 2017
    I absolutely adore Mary Downing Hahn. She has a great talent for writing Ghost stories. Wait until Helen comes was my fave but now I think I'll make this one my fave of all times. You know, karma comes in all shapes,sizes, and forms. Even after death it seems.I am disappointed in Annie Browne.I never thought she would've did what she did.Even if I had wanted to have friends that is not what I how I would've gotten them.I can relate to Elsie in so many ways.I hated being made fun of. As the old s I absolutely adore Mary Downing Hahn. She has a great talent for writing Ghost stories. Wait until Helen comes was my fave but now I think I'll make this one my fave of all times. You know, karma comes in all shapes,sizes, and forms. Even after death it seems.I am disappointed in Annie Browne.I never thought she would've did what she did.Even if I had wanted to have friends that is not what I how I would've gotten them.I can relate to Elsie in so many ways.I hated being made fun of. As the old saying goes, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is so very not true.Words and actions from others do hurt. More than some ppl realize. I think tho that Elsie brought some of those problems herself. I finished this book in two days! I almost had it finished in one. This is young adlit genre but the way Mary wrote it it's almost directed towards adults who love ghost stories too!!Another reason is because it's written in first person. I can usually relate to the character much better. This book will make you shiver even in the bright sun!!!!This book is a 5 star for sure!!!
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  • Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis
    June 4, 2017
    I usually love this author, but this book left me disappointed. The writing did not seem realistic from a historical perspective . These were mean girls and a bit modern for this time period. I didn't find the story creepy or scary. I think this was just not for me. I am still a huge fan of Hahn but this is not one I would read again or give as a gift.*Thank you to NetGalley, Mary Downing Hahn, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced arc of this book in exchange for an honest revie I usually love this author, but this book left me disappointed. The writing did not seem realistic from a historical perspective . These were mean girls and a bit modern for this time period. I didn't find the story creepy or scary. I think this was just not for me. I am still a huge fan of Hahn but this is not one I would read again or give as a gift.*Thank you to NetGalley, Mary Downing Hahn, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced arc of this book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Marzie
    May 13, 2017
    I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.One for Sorrow is an old school horror story with a ghostly theme. The story opens with cruel children, and by that I mean tinged with Shirley Jackson-levels of meanness, taunting Elsie, a German-American girl during WWI, just before the infamous Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. The meanness of these little girls, which is quite heavy-handed, spurs Elsie's lingering ghost status, after she succumbs to the flu due I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.One for Sorrow is an old school horror story with a ghostly theme. The story opens with cruel children, and by that I mean tinged with Shirley Jackson-levels of meanness, taunting Elsie, a German-American girl during WWI, just before the infamous Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. The meanness of these little girls, which is quite heavy-handed, spurs Elsie's lingering ghost status, after she succumbs to the flu due to misadventure, because of the mean girls. The protagonist of our story, Annie, is eventually quite remorseful, due to her being haunted and her recognition of her former status as a decent, kind little girl. I'd have to say that there were not many likeable characters here. Even Jane, a sweet child, was all too easily peer-pressured into cruelty.This book felt oddly written in terms of language and style for the period. While the author clearly anchored the time period with WWI and Woodrow Wilson, I felt the language and manners were not very typical of the period. People simply didn't speak this way, especially not children to adults, in this era. Little girls wandering on their own or in groups, out in public, without an older child, seems very out of character for the time, unless the town was very small. Likewise, the rather sketchy attention to dress, interiors, and even Annie's father's car was peculiar. (Cars were still an unaffordable novelty for many in 1917. Why no model, color, description?) There was a pronounced lack of detail. I'm not sure whether the author was worried that descriptive information would weary middle grade readers, whether she was exclusively focused on the child's perspective, ignoring pertinent details, or whether she simply didn't research the period in depth. Given the dialogue, I wonder if it was more of the latter.It isn't a bad ghost story. But I wish it had been a richer one.
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  • Kerry
    March 18, 2017
    I am a life-long fan of Mary Downing Hahn and not only do I buy myself a copy of her ghost stories when they come out but I make sure my library has a copy too. Her books are not just scary but they are so well written! Historical details that have obviously been so well researched and a great skill at storytelling make her books a standout. I always recommend when children are looking for something scary.
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  • Penmouse
    May 2, 2017
    One for Sorrow is either an expertly written book or a very bad book. I have waffled back-and-forth on whether the author, Mary Downing Hahn, intended to make the characters so unlikeable the reader would find them abhorrent. If this was the author's intention, she has done a fine job of creating characters that are mean, nasty and spoiled. That includes the character Elsie who received a pretty bad rap in life and was forceful in creating a friendship with Annie Browne. I found the characters s One for Sorrow is either an expertly written book or a very bad book. I have waffled back-and-forth on whether the author, Mary Downing Hahn, intended to make the characters so unlikeable the reader would find them abhorrent. If this was the author's intention, she has done a fine job of creating characters that are mean, nasty and spoiled. That includes the character Elsie who received a pretty bad rap in life and was forceful in creating a friendship with Annie Browne. I found the characters so off-putting I really wanted to quit reading the story. I slugged it out and finished the book.As ghost stories go it was a mildly creepy tale.The positive things I can write about One for Sorrow is the ending is a bit better than the beginning. The historical research is excellent and the book covers a subject not often written about the influenza pandemic that took place at the end of World War I.The intended reading audience is for ages 10 to 12. I don't think I'd want my children reading this book at that age. Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.
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  • Magdalena
    July 22, 2017
    If you like middle grade ghost stories, you're familiar with the name Mary Downing Hahn and have probably read a number of her books. This newest book is comparable to some of her previous ones like Wait Till Helen Comes and Deep Dark and Dangerous in terms of tone, a couple basic plot points, and degree of spookiness. Unlike many of Hahn's most popular books, it has a historical fiction setting and begins before the death of the ghost character. It's 1918, and twelve-year-old Annie Browne is If you like middle grade ghost stories, you're familiar with the name Mary Downing Hahn and have probably read a number of her books. This newest book is comparable to some of her previous ones like Wait Till Helen Comes and Deep Dark and Dangerous in terms of tone, a couple basic plot points, and degree of spookiness. Unlike many of Hahn's most popular books, it has a historical fiction setting and begins before the death of the ghost character. It's 1918, and twelve-year-old Annie Browne is new at the Pearce Academy for Girls. She'd like to be friends with Rosie O'Malley, a boisterous and popular redhead who seems exciting and fun. But Annie has attracted the interest of Elsie Schneider, a clingy and lonely girl so unpopular that Annie is immediately ostracized for associating with her. Elsie invites herself to Annie's home, and Annie learns firsthand why Elsie doesn't have friends: Elsie breaks Annie's favorite doll, bullies Annie into keeping secrets, and displays an angry and volatile disposition. Although Elsie makes comments revealing an unhappy home life, she is just too unlikable for Annie to shrug off her bad manners and behavior. When Elsie is home sick the following week, Annie finally gets her chance to join in playground games with Rosie and her friends, and from then on, she's part of the popular crowd and actively dislikes Elsie. That November, when the Spanish flu epidemic is at its worst and school is closed, Annie and her friends realize that they can get free cake and candy by attending visitations for random strangers, and they accidentally discover that Elsie has abruptly caught the flu and died. Not long after that, Annie has a sledding accident and hits her head on what she later realizes is Elsie's tombstone. From then on, Elsie's ghost follows Annie around, threatening and taunting her, and even controlling her and forcing her to misbehave. Concerned that her actions are the result of brain injury, her parents send her to a convalescent home, (i.e. rehabilitation) where Annie joins forces with Mrs. Jameson, a fellow patient who is the only one who believes her about Elsie's ghost, to try to help Elsie move on and reunite with her long-deceased mother.I have mixed feelings about how to rate this book. I enjoyed the basic plot-line, but some parts struck me as unnecessarily repetitive and the characterization was shallow. The setting was interesting, especially because the 1910 decade is underrepresented in children's historical fiction, but I think that the target audience will need more historical context than what is given. For example, as an adult reader, I was well aware that Elsie's German heritage was a big deal and probably seemed like a valid reason for her classmates to hate her. There are hints that the intense animosity between Rosie and Elsie is largely due to Rosie's feelings about the war. But I think that modern middle-grade readers will miss the fear and defensiveness behind Rosie's anti-German slurs and will interpret her taunts as senseless bullying. The more I think about it, the more possibilities I come up with for ways that the war could have played a somewhat larger role in the book, and ways that parallels could have been drawn between the fear associated with the war and the fear associated with the flu. There are intellectual, philosophical, and moral points that could have been made about stereotypes, the nature of friendship, people's reaction to fear and to death, family relationships, mental health, the fragility of life, the fragility of reputations, etc.But in all fairness, few middle-grade readers will mind or even notice if this story is a little more shallow than it could have been, and all of the messages that Hahn could have conveyed exist in other books somewhere. (Or could exist in some book that has yet to be written.) I'm giving this book four stars rather than five mainly because of the lack of depth in characterization, and also because of the redundancy of some scenes here and there. But ultimately, I consider this to be a good book and a worthwhile read for fans of the genre.
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  • Dachokie
    July 16, 2017
    Standard Ghost Story Template …This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free copy of the book.My youngest daughter was enamored with Mary Downing Hahn’s “Took”, so ONE FOR SORROW seemed like a logical follow-up read. While I enjoyed the time period the story is set, I found the ghost story itself rather routine.ONE FOR SORROW is a decent ghost story for children ranging from 8 to 12 years of age. The book aims at the 10-12 age group, but there is nothing in the bo Standard Ghost Story Template …This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free copy of the book.My youngest daughter was enamored with Mary Downing Hahn’s “Took”, so ONE FOR SORROW seemed like a logical follow-up read. While I enjoyed the time period the story is set, I found the ghost story itself rather routine.ONE FOR SORROW is a decent ghost story for children ranging from 8 to 12 years of age. The book aims at the 10-12 age group, but there is nothing in the book that is too awful or mature for an avid 8-year old reader to get through without issue.The stage for this story is set in early 20th Century America … during the First World War, when the an epidemic of Spanish Influenza proved to be just as deadly as the war itself. The main character is twelve year old Annie and she’s experiencing her first year at a new school. The story builds as Annie’s growing friendship with the school’s more popular girls abruptly ends a one-sided friendship with the class outcast. With elements of World War I and the Spanish Flu weaving throughout, the story takes a tragic turn that eventually leads to revenge and futility.Hahn tells a good story. What I enjoyed most about ONE FOR SORROW is her descriptive narrative. It is easy to visualize most every aspect of the story; we see and feel everything being discussed. I find this talent particularly helpful when trying to get young readers motivated to read because creating an immersive environment is critical … Hahn nails this. I feel the book offers that immersive quality that will make young readers feel like they are there, watching events happen as they read. The story itself is likely to interest a young reader as it is full of the friendship drama that most kids experience in school: popular kids, the outsider and all the typical behaviors they elicit when combined (jealously, meanness, revenge, regret, etc.). While I found the ghost-story line rather cliché, I’m sure my age has something to do with it. To me, the whole meanness/tragedy/revenge plot is standard fare for a ghost story; Hahn simply delivers this dish with a few extra spices for a little different flavor (World War I and the Spanish Influenza). Kids will likely find this story interesting, but not scary. With the war and Spanish Flu, the theme of death is present throughout, but it is more thought-provoking reality than scary. The experiences of the author’s mother as a child provided the background for this particular story (she survived a bout of Spanish Influenza).Overall, a good book with a solid, but fairly predictable ghost storyline. If your child likes to read, this is a well-written book that will keep them engaged from beginning to end without scaring them.
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  • Janis Hill
    July 20, 2017
    I would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for granting my wish on Netgalley and providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book.Now I want to remind people now that ‘One for Sorrow’ is of the “children’s fiction” genre. I wouldn’t even put it into the YA genre, more the tween (middle school in USA) genre. And I knew this when I asked to read it as, quite frankly, I loved ghost stories when I was that age and the blurb of this book reminded me of such books.And I I would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for granting my wish on Netgalley and providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book.Now I want to remind people now that ‘One for Sorrow’ is of the “children’s fiction” genre. I wouldn’t even put it into the YA genre, more the tween (middle school in USA) genre. And I knew this when I asked to read it as, quite frankly, I loved ghost stories when I was that age and the blurb of this book reminded me of such books.And I wasn’t disappointed!The era the story was based in was clearly researched, and I do love the author’s note at the end explaining the inspiration for the story. Just added to the whole story and explained why the setting was so vivid.And the ghostly hauntings were just right for the age group it is aimed at. A little hair raising, but not so scary as needing to only read it in the daylight (or in your parents room as it’s so scary) - yes, that was me as a tween (all those eons ago) when I was reading a particularly scary kid’s book. I like a scare…. But not such a scare as I couldn’t sleep in the dark. So, yeah, my teacher reading the class ‘The Triffids’ was right out! ;-)‘One for Sorrow’ was a fabulous balance of history, adventure and spine tingling scares - that weren’t so scary that the child might need to lock the book away in a drawer because it scared them too much (me again aged 9). I enjoyed it so much I am going to go hunting for more children’s ghost stories by Ms Downing Hahn and also see if I can encourage my own kids to read them. Sadly, they are not into scary books like I was. No idea where I’ve gone wrong with that area of parenting. ;-)Would I recommend this book to others?Yes I would. My children are aged 13, 10 and 8 and I honestly do feel the older two - if they read ghost stories - would thoroughly enjoy this tale. I am going to try my electronic copy on them next time they tell me they are bored and just see how we go. But yes, I feel this book is perfect for the age group it was written for (and those who enjoy that genre but may be a tad older like me) and would indeed recommend it. Though I would emphasise the obvious - it’s a ghost story. Be prepared if you’re kids do find it too scary. I don’t think they would… but I could be wrong.Would I buy this book for myself?Not for myself exactly, but yes I would definitely consider ‘One for Sorrow’, and others like it by Ms Downing Hahn for my children to read. Ghost stories can be such fun when they are written well, and this one was indeed written well!In summary: A great little ghost tale for children and children at heart who want a little scare.
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  • Majanka
    July 18, 2017
    Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/...One for Sorrow is an another addition to Mary Downing Hahn’s ever-growing oeuvre, and it’s a solid one, although perhaps not as refreshing or as creepy as I had hoped.Against the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie is a new girl at school. She’s immediately claimed as best friend by Elsie, a bossy tattletale classmate who Annie somewhat sympathizes with because of her horrible situation at home. Yet Elsie easily distanc Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/...One for Sorrow is an another addition to Mary Downing Hahn’s ever-growing oeuvre, and it’s a solid one, although perhaps not as refreshing or as creepy as I had hoped.Against the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie is a new girl at school. She’s immediately claimed as best friend by Elsie, a bossy tattletale classmate who Annie somewhat sympathizes with because of her horrible situation at home. Yet Elsie easily distances Annie from the other classmates, destroys her favorite doll, and soon turns out to be the worst friend in history. When Elsie is ill for a week, Annie makes new friends, much to Elsie’s dismay.Then, the influenza epidemic strikes, and Elsie grows ill and dies. She returns from the dead to haunt Annie and her new friends, and to make Annie believes she’s responsible for Elsie dying. She makes Annie’s life a miserable, going so far as to get her locked up in an insane asylum. Annie must find a way to fight back against her unwanted ghostly companion.It’s old school horror, but doesn’t have any of the delicious eeriness that usually accompanies those stories. The historical setting works, the writing is excellent, the children are cruel and wicked, but it’s still missing something. Elsie’s ghost isn’t particularly scary. She lets Annie do wicked things, but it’s not scary, not creepy, not eerie.Also, all the characters are horrible. Even Annie. She decides to hate Elsie right away when it’s obvious and should be obvious to her that Elsie has a horrible childhood and could really use a friend. Maybe Elsie should temper it down somewhat, but she could still use a friend. I found it downright cruel how even the adults were mean to Elsie. That’s terrible. All the girl characters were nasty and spoiled, and the adults weren’t much better.I was also rather annoyed by Annie not being able to do anything on her own. She wanted to get rid of Elsie’s ghost, but she didn’t really do anything about it. She didn’t try research, or try to contact anyone who could help her. She was very passive, and just let things happen to her.Anyway, it’s a good story for middle graders, but not the best, although I did enjoy the writing and pacing, and the historical setting. The characters just weren’t very likeable, and the story wasn’t creepy enough.
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  • Rebekah Crain
    June 18, 2017
    Annie is the new girl in town. On her first day at school she is befriended by a girl who seems desperate for a friend and who, it's quickly obvious, does not get along with any of the other girls. Finding it hard to tolerate Elsie's over the top, forceful invasion into her life and the negative attention hanging around with her gets, Annie is desperate to find a way to get out from beneath her shadow and make friends with whom she wants. When Annie finally drops Elsie to become friends with Ros Annie is the new girl in town. On her first day at school she is befriended by a girl who seems desperate for a friend and who, it's quickly obvious, does not get along with any of the other girls. Finding it hard to tolerate Elsie's over the top, forceful invasion into her life and the negative attention hanging around with her gets, Annie is desperate to find a way to get out from beneath her shadow and make friends with whom she wants. When Annie finally drops Elsie to become friends with Rosie and her best girls, Elsie is none too happy. To make matters worse, Annie's new friends love to tease and torment Elsie. As a new member of the group she too finds herself joining in on the bullying. Annie feels guilty, but at the same time righteous indignation after the way Elsie has tried to worm her way into her life. Then the Spanish Influenza starts claiming victims and soon, Annie finds herself haunted by a vindictive and spiteful ghost who won't leave her alone. One for Sorrow was a good, fast paced ghost story for young readers. Set in 1918 it's a different time and place from today, but the comradery and hateful school yard antics are not unfamiliar. Sadly, this concept of bullying is timeless which is why I think young readers will find the theme easily relatable. Hahn has a great way of portraying her characters so that you can see both the good and bad in them simultaneously. This makes it easy to believe they're real because they're all flawed, and while this is a spooky ghost story it's nothing too scary. As an adult I really enjoyed this book. I liked that the author used her own mother's background as inspiration to start this story because, while I believe the ghost aspect was purely made up for the purposes of this story, it readied the stage for a fun read set in a time I'd not previously spent much time investigating. It seems maybe just this simple historical base will encourage young readers to invest in discovering a little more about the days gone by and therefore open up a whole new world to them beyond the one they see outside their own front doors.Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for giving me this review opportunity.
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  • Ashley
    June 3, 2017
    First Line: Although I didn’t realize it, my troubles began when we moved to Portman Street, and I became a student in the Pearce Academy for Girls, the finest school in the town of Mount Pleasant, according to Father.Summary: Annie is a young girl in 1918. World War I is still raging in Europe and the Spanish Flu is spreading across the United States. When Annie starts at a new school she meets a strange girl, Elsie, who instantly claims her as her friend. Annie discovers that Elsie is not like First Line: Although I didn’t realize it, my troubles began when we moved to Portman Street, and I became a student in the Pearce Academy for Girls, the finest school in the town of Mount Pleasant, according to Father.Summary: Annie is a young girl in 1918. World War I is still raging in Europe and the Spanish Flu is spreading across the United States. When Annie starts at a new school she meets a strange girl, Elsie, who instantly claims her as her friend. Annie discovers that Elsie is not liked by the other girls in the class. She is picked on and teased by others which make Annie a target now too. But when Annie befriends the other girls in the school and drops Elsie things get worse. The flu finally hits Mount Pleasant Annie’s new friends decide to pretend to be mourners and attend funerals in order to receive free treats. When they attend one funeral they are shocked to see that it is Elsie’s. She had succumbed to the flu after the girls had teased her and taken away her flu mask. All the girls feel terrible about what happened but when Annie receives a concussion from a sled ride she starts to see Elsie’s ghost. And she is not happy.Highlights: This is spooky. I read Mary Downing Hahn’s books when I was younger and remember them being scary. Even now as an adult I was a little creeped out by the character of Elsie. It was also a history lesson. I have read and seen many shows that depict the time of Spanish flu but this makes it more real and scary too. To think how many people died and how quickly it happened can be a little terrifying.Lowlights: I got really annoyed with Elsie. The repetition of her obsession with Annie kept dragging on. This I am sure is what the author intended since she is the villain of the story.FYI: May be too scary for younger readers.
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  • Alisha Marie
    July 2, 2017
    I used to see Mary Downing Hahn's books all over my school's library when I was a kid. I never checked any of them out because I'd always preferred my horror to be more adult (think Stephen King). However, as I'm now getting more and more into middle grade novels (they're the perfect books to get you out of a reading slump), I decided to see if Mary Downing Hahn's books were as creepy as they seemed to be to everyone else when I was kid. This particular one wasn't.I'm well aware that as a fully I used to see Mary Downing Hahn's books all over my school's library when I was a kid. I never checked any of them out because I'd always preferred my horror to be more adult (think Stephen King). However, as I'm now getting more and more into middle grade novels (they're the perfect books to get you out of a reading slump), I decided to see if Mary Downing Hahn's books were as creepy as they seemed to be to everyone else when I was kid. This particular one wasn't.I'm well aware that as a fully grown adult who reads all types of hardened horror (not really. I just stick to a lot of ghost stories), a middle grade horror book wouldn't really scare me. However, I just expected more. I wanted to think a bit along the lines of "Wow, that would've creeped me out when I was a kid." But I never really thought that. I think the problem lies with the fact that Elsie wasn't all that creepy, just infuriating as all get out.Elsie wasn't a scary ghost. She wasn't an all that sympathetic one either. All she really did was annoy me so much that I sped through this book because I didn't want to interact with her anymore. On the one hand, great job at One for Sorrow for making me feel something for the characters. Not so great that what I felt was "Ugh, you again." In fact, I think what ultimately made One for Sorrow just an okay read was that there really weren't any sympathetic characters in here. They were all just mean little girls. And despite my affinity for YA novels, I'm not into reading books about mean children/teens.Despite some flaws, I did enjoy One for Sorrow. It was a quick read (when I had time to read it), it flowed nicely, and it served its purpose: to get me out of my reading slump. I think I'll still check out more of Hahn's books as the consensus seems to be that this book is not as creepy as her others. Still somewhat recommended.
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  • Jenny Jones
    March 12, 2017
    I'm going to have to be very careful not to accidentally post any spoilers and in truth I can't really review this book without revealing a few so here's a ****spoiler warning**** just in case.I'm not sure why I haven't come across the work of Mary Downing Hahn before (probably because I'm a school librarian in the UK where she's not as well known?) but I'm very glad that I'm now aware of her writing thanks to this deliciously creepy book popping up in my NetGalley suggestions. The story is told I'm going to have to be very careful not to accidentally post any spoilers and in truth I can't really review this book without revealing a few so here's a ****spoiler warning**** just in case.I'm not sure why I haven't come across the work of Mary Downing Hahn before (probably because I'm a school librarian in the UK where she's not as well known?) but I'm very glad that I'm now aware of her writing thanks to this deliciously creepy book popping up in my NetGalley suggestions. The story is told from the point of view of new girl at school Annie, a not altogether likeable girl with doting, wealthy parents. When Annie starts her new school she accidentally falls in with disturbed outsider Elsie which alienates her from the 'cool girls' that she would otherwise have made friends with. She manages to successfully push Elsie away and restarts her school identity as one of the cool gang who are actually quite naughty and unpleasant themselves.So far so slightly twisted Enid Blyton BUT Elsie is not your usual kooky, misunderstood outsider type of sympathetic character. She is mean, spiteful and seriously unhinged. Then she dies during a flu epidemic and becomes a mean, spiteful and even more unhinged vengeful ghost girl who tortures Elsie for her former bullying and abandonment.What I really enjoyed about this book was the way that Hahn writes those everyday little tortures of school life and the way that girls can be so mean to each other very clearly so that at the beginning of the book Elsie is quite terrifying in the way that she grabs on to Annie so quickly and manipulates the adults around them. The book then takes a quite horrifying lurch once Elsie returns from the grave to haunt Annie and we realise that this formally cruel girl now has total access to Annie's life and has the power to completely destroy it. I also enjoyed the fact that none of the main characters are totally blameless, they are all quite realistic children in the way that they are mean to each other and don't really think through the way in which their actions will affect others. Hahn could have made us feel a lot more sorry for Elsie who has by all accounts had a difficult background and experience of home life compared to the other girls in her school. Hahn leaves this past quite sketchy however and although we do start to feel some sympathy towards the end of the book it's not a story of Elsie's redemption and I don't think that we're supposed to soften our feelings towards her too much. This is a creepy, toe-curling story that I think readers of around 10+ would really enjoy. For UK readers I would recommend this book to fans of Frances Hardinge and to readers of Emma Carroll who wanted to try a bit more horror in their ghost stories.(Honest review in return for a free copy via Netgalley)
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  • Mariana
    July 18, 2017
    PUNTUACIÓN: 4 RESEÑA COMPLETA"Of course, I'm still here. Where else would I be?" In your grave like a normal dead person, I thought. La historia empieza narrada en primera persona desde el punto de vista de Annie; ella es una niña que acaba de mudarse y tiene que enfrentar su primer día en una escuela y vecindario nuevo. Annie no es muy buena haciendo amigos, aunque en su antiguo hogar nunca tuvo problema para tenerlos, es solo que no sabe si logrará adaptarse.Pero, en ese primer día conoce a El PUNTUACIÓN: 4 RESEÑA COMPLETA"Of course, I'm still here. Where else would I be?" In your grave like a normal dead person, I thought. La historia empieza narrada en primera persona desde el punto de vista de Annie; ella es una niña que acaba de mudarse y tiene que enfrentar su primer día en una escuela y vecindario nuevo. Annie no es muy buena haciendo amigos, aunque en su antiguo hogar nunca tuvo problema para tenerlos, es solo que no sabe si logrará adaptarse.Pero, en ese primer día conoce a Elsie, su auto-proclamada nueva mejor amiga, que es una chica algo ruda y de contextura robusta, que convierte a Annie en su compañía así lo quiera ella o no.Un día Elsie no aparece por la escuela, y ese día Annie es libre de jugar en el descanso con las otras niñas. A partir de ahí empieza a pasar tiempo con las populares, con quienes se siente feliz, y olvida a Elsie, al menos hasta los momentos en que ella y sus nuevas amigas la molestan.Eso hasta que... pasa algo con Elsie, algo que lo cambia todo.Así que, esto es lo que tenemos. Es una historia desglosada bastante en la sinopsis por lo que de plano ya sabemos a qué nos vamos a enfrentar, puede que hubiese sido mejor leerlo sin saber algunas cosas pero no afecta demasiado.La autora construye esta historia, que sí, es sobre fantasmas pero sin necesidad de recurrir a momentos aterradores sino atendiendo a los personajes; y logrando una trama simple pero que entretiene y te deja satisfecha al final.
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  • Tina
    June 3, 2017
    In the mood for a good ghost story… the kind told around a blazing camp fire? A ghost story that will keep you looking in corners and jumping at every noise for a couple of days? “One for Sorrow” is just that! This book is set in the midst of the influenza epidemic in 1918 and is written for ages 10 – 12/grades 5 – 7.Annie moves to a new school and is immediately befriended by an outcast, Elsie. Things take a turn quickly when Annie realizes there is a reason that Elsie does not have friends and In the mood for a good ghost story… the kind told around a blazing camp fire? A ghost story that will keep you looking in corners and jumping at every noise for a couple of days? “One for Sorrow” is just that! This book is set in the midst of the influenza epidemic in 1918 and is written for ages 10 – 12/grades 5 – 7.Annie moves to a new school and is immediately befriended by an outcast, Elsie. Things take a turn quickly when Annie realizes there is a reason that Elsie does not have friends and the other girls taunt her. Annie soon dumps Elsie and joins the “cool” girls who taunt Elsie. Elsie contracts influenza and subsequently dies as a result of the other girls’ actions. Elsie does not “move on” and decides that Annie owes it to her to be her best friend forever!I had a couple of issues with this book, but 10-12 year olds won’t even think about them. First, Annie had been to Elsie’s house before. She would have known it was her house and not been surprised when approaching her coffin to see her in her home. Second, Elsie alluded to the fact the thri vamily was poor, but they owned the town butcher shop. Perhaps times were tough because of the war… And, why, when Annie is being taunted by a ghost, would she be reading “The Woman in White”?Remember, this is a children’s book ages 10-12. Should not be super scary. For that age group, it is a perfect read.Release/Publication Date: July 18, 2017Genre: Children’s Books (Age Level: 10 - 12 Grade Level: 5 - 7 )Cover: Perfect!Source: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thanks you!Rating: 4 stars
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  • Susan
    May 6, 2017
    Annie gets a friend as soon as she enters her new school. At first, she is relieved to have a friend (Elsie) so quickly but then realizes that it might be a mistake. Why? She is asked by the popular girl, Rosie why she is friends with Elsie? She doesn't know what say. When Elsie is absent from school, she becomes friends with Rosie and her group of friends. Elsie comes back to school and is angry when Annie isn't her friend anymore. When the flu hits the town, everyone is afraid of catching it a Annie gets a friend as soon as she enters her new school. At first, she is relieved to have a friend (Elsie) so quickly but then realizes that it might be a mistake. Why? She is asked by the popular girl, Rosie why she is friends with Elsie? She doesn't know what say. When Elsie is absent from school, she becomes friends with Rosie and her group of friends. Elsie comes back to school and is angry when Annie isn't her friend anymore. When the flu hits the town, everyone is afraid of catching it as many die when they get sick from the flu. Elsie catches the flu and dies. Elsie haunts Annie. She makes Annie do things and say things she doesn't want to. Annie doesn't know what to do, no one believes that Elsie is tormenting her. Will Annie be able to stop Elsie?This novel talks about the historic time of the Spanish influenza and how it affected people. It also brings up the subject of bullying indirectly besides a girl feeling unloved because her mother died giving her life. Her father blamed the girl for her mother's death. It is not an easy book to read in that the terror Elsie did to Annie was awful. The author did an excellent job of writing this historical novel. It is a book to start a conversation about the time period and what the Spanish influenza did to the country.Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book free from the author/publisher from Net-galley. I was not obliged to write a favorable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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  • Margaret
    July 3, 2017
    Who doesn't love a good ghost story! Though I have never read anything by this author I have read reviews with positive remarks about her previous works. For a middle grade audience I knew it couldn't be too too spooky but still enough to grab the attention of that age group. I have to admit at the 30% mark I was ready to give up, to me this was just Mean Girls on steroids. I got the just of the picture the author was painting but it just seemed to go on and on. When we were first introduced to Who doesn't love a good ghost story! Though I have never read anything by this author I have read reviews with positive remarks about her previous works. For a middle grade audience I knew it couldn't be too too spooky but still enough to grab the attention of that age group. I have to admit at the 30% mark I was ready to give up, to me this was just Mean Girls on steroids. I got the just of the picture the author was painting but it just seemed to go on and on. When we were first introduced to Annie she comes across as a sweet shy girl then she becomes so nasty, I get how that fit into the story but it felt to fast and uncharacteristic. I would have loved to known more about Elsie's home life and why she was a tattletale, liar and thief. As for the ghosty scary spooky side of the story I didn't feel that at all and again there was a stretch in the middle/last third that was the same thing over and over again. There was no surprise or suspense in who the ghost was and I only continued to read because I was curious about the ending. It was a good ending and I liked how the author played on her mother's own history here. It's a time period lacking in MA HF and I commend the author for tackling it.However I did find this book somewhat disturbing and not really one that I would recommend to my nine-year-old granddaughter. Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC ebook copy.
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  • Liz Friend
    July 23, 2017
    The story: Elsie, a girl in Annie's class at her new school, is deeply unpopular--so when the girl dies of influenza in the great 1918 epidemic, Annie is taken aback, but not particularly sad. That is, not until a sledding accident in the cemetery opens a conduit for Elsie's vengeful ghost to start haunting Annie, changing her comfortable life so much that the girl soon ends up in an asylum. Only one old ghost hunter might be able to help--but only if they can deal with Elsie before she exacts h The story: Elsie, a girl in Annie's class at her new school, is deeply unpopular--so when the girl dies of influenza in the great 1918 epidemic, Annie is taken aback, but not particularly sad. That is, not until a sledding accident in the cemetery opens a conduit for Elsie's vengeful ghost to start haunting Annie, changing her comfortable life so much that the girl soon ends up in an asylum. Only one old ghost hunter might be able to help--but only if they can deal with Elsie before she exacts her revenge.June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; violence PG; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse G; Magic & the occult PG; GLBT content G; adult themes (hauntings, implied possession by an evil spirit, scary situations) PG; overall rating PG.Liz's comments: I'm always kind of uneasy when the story involves a child either being possessed or tormented by an evil spirit, and this story certainly has that. However, I thought the WWI setting added interest, and luckily Annie is able to find an adult who not only believes her, but who can help her--pretty important for a book aimed at grades 4-6. Hand this one to girls looking for something scary...but not too scary. (There's not a boy character in sight, sadly.)
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  • P.D. Pabst
    July 17, 2017
    ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.While this was an easy read, Elsie did ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.While this was an easy read, Elsie didn't become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I'd anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff--a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you're looking for a darker read, this is for you!
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  • Jess Macallan
    June 8, 2017
    I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I love middle-grade ghost stories and Mary Downing Hahn is one of my favorite authors in this category. Elsie wants nothing more than to have Annie as a best friend, but her behavior makes her anything but BFF material. Elsie can't forgive Annie when she makes friends with a different group of girls, and they taunt Elsie mercilessly. I don't want to add spoilers, but the big question is: Can Annie survive Elsie's fo I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I love middle-grade ghost stories and Mary Downing Hahn is one of my favorite authors in this category. Elsie wants nothing more than to have Annie as a best friend, but her behavior makes her anything but BFF material. Elsie can't forgive Annie when she makes friends with a different group of girls, and they taunt Elsie mercilessly. I don't want to add spoilers, but the big question is: Can Annie survive Elsie's form of revenge?The author's inspiration for Annie and Elsie's story is as intriguing as the story itself. I loved the historical setting and the way she weaved the impact of Spanish influenza into the ghost story. This book is creepy enough to satisfy young readers craving a ghost story. From a parent's perspective, I like the historical context and that it's age-appropriate and well written. I'll definitely have my middle-grade readers try this book when they want something scary.
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  • Margaret Sholders
    July 16, 2017
    This is a ghost story. It is partial true. This is kind of a different book. Mary kept me wondering who was doing something now. This is based during the Spanish Flu that is true. It was during the WW I war. Annie is the new girl and nothing is worse than the old girls turning bully. No one liked Elsie the bullied back. She was mean. Rosie was the ring leader. Then Elsie catches the flu and dies. Annie was sledding in the cemetary and woke Elsie in her coffin. For the future Elsie, Elsie is worr This is a ghost story. It is partial true. This is kind of a different book. Mary kept me wondering who was doing something now. This is based during the Spanish Flu that is true. It was during the WW I war. Annie is the new girl and nothing is worse than the old girls turning bully. No one liked Elsie the bullied back. She was mean. Rosie was the ring leader. Then Elsie catches the flu and dies. Annie was sledding in the cemetary and woke Elsie in her coffin. For the future Elsie, Elsie is worrying Annie and people think Annie is a bad girl. Now Annie meets Mrs. Jameson. She also sees ghosts. This is important. You should check out this to be able to read to the end. There is a lot of action with everyone all over the place. I hope you will chose to read this story. Enjoy!
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