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.
Hardcover – July 18, 2017
by Mary Downing Hahn (Author)