All the Lovely Bad Ones
All The Lovely Bad Ones
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Publisher/Release Date: Sandpiper/Reprint edition August 17, 2009
No. of pages: 192
Reading level: 9-12 years
When I was scanning the shelves at my school’s spring book fair, I saw the name, All The Lovely Bad Ones. I wondered what it could possibly be about, so I read the information on the back.
It sounded creepy, and as soon as I saw the words "ghost story," I knew I just had to read it! Nothing interests me more than a good book about mysteries and ghosts, and this book was no disappointment in that category.
I really enjoyed this book because introduces you to the characters so well that it makes you feel as though you know them. The suspense also builds and builds, keeping you turning the pages.
The main characters are Travis, 12, and his younger sister, Corey. The are spending the summer at their grandmother’s farm in Vermont, which is reportedly haunted. When they decided to pull some pranks, they unintentionally stir up the real ghosts of young children who were killed on the farm by the evil Ms. Ada. Now Travis and Corey have to find a way to release the children's tortured spirits.
Author Mary Downing Hahn provides just enough detail—yet leaves just enough out—for your imagination to go wild filling in the blanks. From learning about the ghastly “lovely bad ones” to almost feeling evil Ms. Ada grab you with her stone cold bone hands, the story provides entertainment and an educational experience.
It’s a good ghost story and an opportunity to learn about poor houses in the 1800s. You also learn about poet James Whitcomb Riley, whose inscription to his famous “Little Orphant Annie” poem is the basis for the book’s title and the inspiration for the story:
To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones; The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones; The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.
PHOTO: Book Cover Courtesy Sandpiper