Will doesn't like city people. He thinks they disrupt the seaside resort of Paradise. However, he joins forces with a couple of city kids to give spooky tours of an abandoned old house--and the first tour is a huge success. But soon, more than the tour is spooky. "A well-wrought, suspenseful tale with a satisfying, dramatic conclusion".--Kirkus ...
Will doesn't like city people. He thinks they disrupt the seaside resort of Paradise. However, he joins forces with a couple of city kids to give spooky tours of an abandoned old house--and the first tour is a huge success. But soon, more than the tour is spooky. "A well-wrought, suspenseful tale with a satisfying, dramatic conclusion".--Kirkus Reviews.
Very Good. Aladdin 1992 Light wear to bright cover, tight tanned pages. From An abandoned house in a seaside resort becomes a site for suspense in this engrossing middle-grade mystery. Ages 8-12. 1992 From School Grade 5 Up--Twelve-year-old Will's best friend has moved away from their small Maryland town, and he's sure he won't like the brother and sister who have moved into his friend's old house. But when his dog is killed by a car, his loneliness intensifies and he finds himself drawn into a tentative friend with them because of a mutual interest in fixing up an abandoned mansion as a haunted house to give tours. When they realize someone is tampering with the: house, trust is tested and, eventually, lives threatened. This is about change in various guises, and some compelling tensions crisscross, mainly between those who want to see change and those who don't. The main characters are clearly drawn, and there are some fascinating minor ones--Will's friend with the cook in his family's diner is touching--but the number of minor characters sometimes makes the story confusing. The writing is also unclear at times in terms of who said or did what. A lot of information is conveyed efficiently in the space given, some of it so clever that readers won't realize its importance until the end. The sights, smells, and thrills of an abandoned house are crisply evoked, but there aren't enough details about how they set up the haunted house. As it is, readers don't have much of a feeling of involvement or an interest in its survival, and the motivations for "haunting" the house are not so compelling as to create real tension when the project is threatened. There is much to recommend this book, and its ending, while somewhat abrupt, brings more things together than readers will suspect, but there is a sense that the plot hasn't been fully fleshed out. --Annette Curtis Klause, Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries, MD 1989.
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