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Peppermints in the Parlor (Peppermints #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,173 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
Emily Luccock is looking forward to living at Sugar Hill Hall...She remembers her aunt and uncle's grand old mansion well. But this time things are different. Her aunt's once bright and lively home is now dead with silence. Evil lurks in every corner and the dark, shadowed walls watch and whisper late at night. Emily is desperate to uncover the truth about what is happenin ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Aladdin (first published July 1st 1980)
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Angela Dabb Yes- read it quickly. then your mind won't stumble on the hyphenated broken English.

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(showing 1-30 of 1,909)
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Aug 07, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, younger
Cute alliterative title! Cute Blanche Sims cover!

I was expecting something like a cross between A Little Princess and John Bellairs (um, his books, that is). This is a lot darker than that. Have you read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase? Imagine if the entire book were like the middle section, when Bonnie and Sylvia are sent to the horrible "orphanage" workhouse, where all the girls work their fingers to the bone while cold and hungry and afraid. Anyone would bare tales for a morsel of food, so t
Feb 19, 2010 Janice rated it it was amazing
What a fun way to introduce children to the mystery genre! I loved this book each year my 4th grade class read it. And looked forward to the month that we were reading mystery books to see the pleasure in the eyes of my students as we discussed the book. You really need to read this charming book!
Jun 11, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the boxcar children and oppressed orphans
Shelves: childrensbooks
In combination with the [much better-crafted] A Little Princess of Frances Hodgson Burnett, this book shaped many years of my pretending to be an overworked starving orphan at the mercy of a cruel mistress who made me do chores. Any resemblance to my actual mother is probably exaggerated and not really fair, but I can't help what I thought. Other reasons I liked this book, which is entertaining and tolerably suspenseful the first time through although it's not by any means a masterpiece, include ...more
Mar 22, 2009 Caitlyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Caitlyn by: my 5th grade teacher
For so long I had a vague memory of this book from when I read it in 5th grade. I knew it had something to do with a parlor and I could almost picture the front cover... but beyond that I couldn't remember a thing. A couple of weeks ago, out of nowhere, the name Peppermints in the Parlor popped in my head and within 10 minutes I had purchased the book on amazon. I just finished it this morning and it was every bit as good as it was when I was 10. I was on the edge of my seat during the entire bo ...more
Dharia Scarab
Sep 04, 2016 Dharia Scarab rated it liked it

My love of reading started when i was young, and it gives me immense pleasure to provide books to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that passes them on to children in the community. They are a terrific organization supporting an important cause. If your local I encourage you to check them out. For those living further a field, look in your own community, their may already be a similar program in place. And if not, you can always help start one.

Myself, I go ou
Jan 28, 2016 Jen added it
(1980) Recently orphaned Emily goes to live with her aunt and uncle in their mansion, but when she arrives she is surprised to find that the beautiful house is dark and dull and her uncle isn't there. Instead, the home is being run by two mean women who are running a nursing home out of the old house. Soon Emily finds that she and her aunt are the house slaves and that the rules in the home are so strict that stealing a peppermint from the bowl in the parlor is considered a serious crime. Emily, ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it
This is a good read & a good book to introduce kids to mystery books. An agent said everyone should read this book, so I got it, but I didn't expect it to be that great. The beginning is a little dry & very dark. But of course the tone has to be set. Barbara Brooks Wallace did a very good job of that. The villains are horrible. The little girl is a bright little ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary existence who makes a change for those around her in spite of villains.

I really enjoyed
Angela Dabb
Mar 21, 2016 Angela Dabb rated it really liked it
I read this to Karlee (10) to help her find magic in books other than those she is currently reading. She fell in love with it! Couldn't put it down in fact.
This is a mystery book about a young girl who is unfortunate in her new home life living with her Aunt Twice in a retirement hotel where no one is allowed to enjoy a peppermint from the large glass dish positioned in the parlor. A couple of scary hotel owners make Emily work day and night as a house keeper. She finds a friend and together t
Feb 08, 2016 Arwen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Children
This is a fun book. I don't recommend the sequel though.
Jan 21, 2016 Booey rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, juvenile
At first I couldn't figure out why this book had been recommended to me. It was like an even more depressing version of a Series of Unfortunate Events. But about 50 pages in, the book really lit up for me. The mystery deepened, new characters were introduced, like Clarabelle and Kipper, and some hope came back to Sugar Hill Hall. This is a fantastically creepy Gothic children's mystery, with plenty of sass and intrigue. The ending is slightly contrived, but still held up well enough that I was s ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Gabrielle rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
Sugar Hill Hall is one creepy place, let me tell you. I would hate going there—regardless of if I were Emily, one of the older folks, or just an innocent bystander. Yes, I could predict this book (for the most part) but I did still enjoy it.

It is a good talking point for readers. Inevitably the question of “how could they do that to those people” will come up—and it is a hard question to answer. Because sadly, we do sell people out for our own greedy gains. Even something as simple as a peppermi
Sarah Sammis
Nov 17, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it it was ok
When I was in the library The Perils of the Peppermints caught my eye. Knowing my personal history of reading books out of order, I decided to check first before grabbing it. Sure enough, it's a sequel. I opted to read the original first, Peppermints in the Parlor by Barbara Brooks Wallace.

A young well to do girl, Emily Luccock, is sent to live at Sugar Hill Hall in San Francisco after the untimely death of her family. She remembers happy times there with her aunt and uncle and is shocked to see
Jan 02, 2015 Noelle rated it really liked it
I found Peppermints at the library the other day when I was pulling holds and immediately sat down and started reading it, much to my manager's irritation. But when you find an old friend you haven't even thought of in 30 or so years, what else can you do but say hello? Re-reading the novel as an adult dampened its magic just a tad--did I really admire goody-two-shoes Emily as much as I remember?--but all in all, the exciting mystery with real villains and serious stakes holds up.
May 27, 2009 Treasa rated it liked it
I picked this book off the shelf based on its title, which I really like. It was an enjoyable book, although not exactly my favorite book ever. Emily is a likable and sympathetic protagonist, and the story is written effectively so that the reader discovers things at the same time as Emily. I was kind of amused to discover that it is considered "horror." Nothing really scary happens in the book. I hated scary things when I was younger (actually, I still do), and I would have been fine with this ...more
Suzie Oliver
Feb 26, 2016 Suzie Oliver rated it it was amazing
This is my absolute all time favorite book ever!! I love books, read constantly across many genres, and have tons of "favorite books", but this remains my top pick!! It is a delightful read aloud for my class of fourth graders! This suspenseful story is full of figurative language, mysterious doings, and quirky characters set in a once grand mansion that has now fallen into ruin. To read it is to love it! Stock up on Bob's puffy peppermints and start reading!
Aug 23, 2010 rabbitprincess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: great-great aunt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Candice Pedersen
I read this book because a few of my students told me they loved it when their fourth grade teacher read it to them. So I picked it up at the school library expecting it to be a quick read. However, it took me a lot longer than I expected to read the book. I didn't really get into the book till about page 140 and then the last 50 pages were the best part of the book. I think the author spent too much time trying to set up the characters and in the end confused me on pretty much everything. The t ...more
Leigh Stuart
Dec 04, 2014 Leigh Stuart rated it it was amazing
Some books make you fall in love with books. Some books - especially when you are first learning to read - hit that perfect chord of excitement, mystery, fear and love for the characters that makes you want to keep reading to see how many more books can do that. Some books are the beginning of an amazing adventure that lasts the rest of your life.

This book was one of those books for me.
Narrated on audio by Angela Lansbury. Newly-orphaned Emily is sent to live with her Aunt Twice at Sugar Hill Hall. But she finds the place is now a home for old people, overseen by the mean Mrs. Meeching and her partner Miss Plumly. Aunt Twice is unable to rectify the situation and Emily is put to hard labor around the house until she uncovers the scam that's in place.
Apr 24, 2016 Christen rated it it was ok
I don't remember where I heard about this book but it just didn't do much for me. There was very little character development and the plot was very mild with little consequences or true danger for anyone. I like my mysteries and gothic novels with a little more action/oomph. Also, I'd like to know what the deal with the ding dang peppermints actually was.
Jun 27, 2014 Kristin rated it it was amazing
I read this book in elementary school and it stayed with me. I could not remember the name of it, however. Recently I went to the library with my daughter and was perusing the youth fiction shelves for books for my son and boom, there it was! It was wonderful to re-read it and discover my memory of it was pretty spot on. A lovely read for 10 and up as there are some older themes.
Shiralea Woodhouse
Feb 20, 2016 Shiralea Woodhouse rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-for-tweens
We read this with our little 4th grade language arts class and they really seems to enjoy it. Some of the wording was a little beyond them, but we would just stop and explain. It is a great little mystery... It reminded me somewhat of "A Little Princess," though a bit more gothic.
Julia Forrester
Jan 03, 2015 Julia Forrester rated it it was amazing
My 5th grade teacher read this to us and I loved it then, almost twenty years later it's still one of my all time favorite mysteries. The mystery is on par with the suspense and mystery found in a Nancy Drew book. Great twists and turns keep you reading page after page!
Apr 17, 2016 lp rated it liked it
A creepy, adventure/gothic novel for kids. I had fun reading it, just as I did 25 years ago. Again, why can't writing be better for kids? Such plain language, so many cliches, annoying blunt lessons. Kids can take more elevated writing. They deserve it!
Interesting little mystery story. Lots of questions to ask. I enjoyed the ending. Best of all, we met the author! This was for a book club for William and his friend, Brian. We'll do some peppermint activities, explore aspects of mysteries. We had a fun visit with Mrs. Wallace. She was happy to see that the boys enjoyed her book and signed a copy for each of them. She talked about the challenges of being an author and also the excitement at having received some awards for her writing and answere ...more
V. Gingerich
Jun 05, 2016 V. Gingerich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, gothic
I don't remember reading a gothic novel for kids, but I'm glad I've found one. (Actually, two. I also just read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, which was similar to this book.) Now I can't wait to share them with my students.

The setting is The Best: a fabulous old house gone to ruin and turned into an old folks' home, of all things. I'm fairly neutral about the main character and her aunt, but the antagonists are pretty much priceless: evil women who eat all the good food and have turned the poo
Mar 22, 2015 CJ added it
I received this book as a gift while I was in elementary school and while I haven't read it in nearly two decades at this point I did adore it when I was a child. Will likely buy a copy for my niece when she is a bit older.
Jan 04, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
I read this as a kid and remembered liking it, but didn't recall the story well enough to rate it. Unfortunately, it didn't stand up as well as I wish it had, although still sweet and fun. Probably really a 3.5.
It's really a shame that Goodreads doesn't display the original Atheneum hardcover because the art is exquisite, and it's what drew me to the book in the first place. The characters are instantly recognizable and oozing with personality, while the rich colors and patterns of the parlor and old-fashioned curlicues woven into the type offer a visual feast. In contrast, the various reissues appear somewhat garish and fail utterly to capture the spirit of the book.

At any rate, the story had it's ups
Anna Welch
My fourth grade teacher let me read this out loud to the class when she had a sore throat and they loved the way I read. Made me feel good about myself.
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Award-winning American children's writer. Has received, among others, the NLAPW Children's Book Award and International Youth Library "Best of the Best" for 'Claudia' (2001), as well as the William Allen White Children's Book Award for 'Peppermints in the Parlor' (1983).

Wallace was born and spent her childhood in China, but then moved to the United States. San Francisco was often a port of entry f
More about Barbara Brooks Wallace...

Other Books in the Series

Peppermints (2 books)
  • The Perils of Peppermints

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