The Headless Cupid (Stanley Family, #1)
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The Headless Cupid (Stanley Family #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,048 ratings  ·  113 reviews
When the four Stanley children meet Amanda, their new stepsister, they’re amazed to learn that she studies witchcraft. It’s not long before Amanda promises to give witchcraft lessons to David, Jamie, and the twins. But that’s when unusual things start happening in their old house. David suspects Amanda of causing mischief, until the children learn that the house really was...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1971)
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Myles
Me and my reading nostalgia. The Headless Cupid was my first Zilpha Keatley Snyder book and made her my favorite author from when I couldn't remember how to say her name right let alone spell it to when I discovered Redwall.

All grown up now, this is definitely one of her best books, striking the perfect balance between troubled youth and the supernatural.

Snyder knows that the kids aren't alright, and that is what makes her books worth reading. Because yes, it's true that her plots aren't intri...more
leigh
Zilpha Keatley Snyder simply smacks of awesomeness. Even her name is unbelievably rad. (I’m not a huge fan of the Snyder part but it serves a great purpose in keeping the name from being painfully hip or stripper-esq.)
The Headless Cupid stirred up many of my own childhood memories and made me smile a lot. My only two issues with the book were the title and the length. The title in my humble opinion is lame as it sounds like a rejected Nancy Drew book. The length is that of a typical middle gr...more
Victoria
One of my favorite books when I was younger, any fan of ghost stories or paranormal mysteries should really enjoy this.

David Stanley tries his hardest to play the ultimate big brother to his three very different young siblings. With their mother dead, and their father often away working and preparing for remarriage, he is the one they look up to. But David is about to have problems of his own, arriving in the form of his new stepsister, Amanda. And Amanda brings more than the usual problems. She...more
Desiivy
I was 12 when I first picked up this book, I had just move hundreds of miles away from my home to a new school new step family and knew nobody. Honestly I only desided to read it because the two main characters were David and Amanda. David and Amanda were the names of 2 cousins I missed very much.
But after that it was the story that carried it, it was the very first book I read completely and then read again. I fell in love with the characters as well as the author. At the time 1989 I could on...more
Emily
One of the rare books that I loved as a kid that still holds up upon reading as an adult. David's new step-mom has a daughter, Amanda, who is quite taken with the occult and also not terribly pleased with being moved to the country to live with her new family. Amanda decides to make the kids her "neophytes" and initiate them into magic and spells. However, a real supernatural occurrence is more than she, or anyone, bargained for.
I never knew when I was a kid that this was the first in a series...more
Heather
0.5 stars.
I really didn't like this book. I only got to page 69 and it was so dead boring that I was almost falling asleep.

The main female chacter was sooo snotty. She thought that adults were despicable things that didn't even deserve to be called humans. She hated her mom with a passion and though that the main male caracter's dad was the devil himself. The main female was also super cruel to all animals and even worse to young children (she called them things). She hates everything but her b...more
evelyn
Finished my book on the train to work and realized the battery on my Kindle was dead, so I grabbed a book form my classroom library I hadn't read in a while. I've been recommending this to all my kids asking for scary stories even though I hadn't read it since I was their age. It's still great, although I'm not sure that the kids looking for a scary book will be very satisfied. The only scary parts are close to the end. The characters are so well-written, though.
Ana
I read this as a young girl and loved it and recently read it again to my children and loved it even more. My 15 year old son even commented on how he liked the way she did the characters--one of the big reasons I like it so much too. It is a great read-a-loud for many ages--I read it to all my kids. The three year old didn't get into it but from ages 6-15 they were spellbound.
Debbie
At one of the library's booksales, I picked up a bunch of books that I liked or were super-popular when I was in elementary school. This is the first one I've actually read, and it was fun to indulge the nostalgia. While resolution at the end was a little too quick, I thought, the rest of it was still good!
Cassie
I really enjoyed this book again. I hadn't read it since childhood. I do enjoy Z. Keatley Snyder a lot. The Egypt Game is another favorite by her. I know that there is another book with the same family that is set in Italy I think. I'm going to check that one out.
Wealhtheow
Children deal with living in a haunted house. When I was a kid, this was an unbearably spooky book.
Karl Kindt
I read this because it is one of the books that Lemony Snicket slyly recommends in the series "All the Wrong Questions." Clearly the tips in the Snicket series are books that the actual author of the series enjoyed and thinks are worth recommending. Normally, I never read this kind of book. I will read "children's books," but not this genre of kid lit.

It is well written. The characters are well wrought. The plot is expertly handled. I will not read any more of this author or this series because...more
Toni
I absolutely LOVED this book as a child. I read it when I was about 10 or 11 and I was fascinated by Amanda. Her obsession with the occult was a new and exciting concept to me and I wanted to find a mirrored triangle to put on my own forehead. The idea of conjuring spirits and making others wonder about my mysterious inner workings was exciting. I was already avidly reading chapter books - namely, the Babysitter's Club series, but this was my first introduction to mystery and suspense and I fell...more
Awallens
When the four Stanley children meet Amanda, their new stepsister, they're amazed to learn that she studied witchcraft. They're stunned to see her dressed
in a strange costume, carrying a pet crow, and surrounded by a pile of books about the supernatural. It's not long before Amanda promises to give witchcraft
lessons to David, Janie, and the twins. But that's when strange things start happening in their old house. David suspects Amanda of causing mischief, until
they learn that the house really was...more
Emma
After David's mother dies he mostly takes care of his younger siblings, that is until his father gets remarried. Davids new step mother, Molly, has a 12 year old daughter named Amanda who is a year older than David. She claims to be part of the occult world and practices supernatural things. Everything she does is strange or rude but yet she still has a unique sense of coolness according to David. Living in an old house made David suspect that is was haunted, but with Amanda there his suspicion...more
Ms Crow
Two families merge into one and move into an old house in the country. Everything seems to be going well until the new stepsister Amanda moves in. Amanda is not your average teenage girl, after all she brings with her her pet crow. Amanda tells the Stanley children she studies witchcraft and is willing to give them lessons on becoming witches themselves. The Stanley kids must endure all sorts of antics that has the potential to get them all in serious trouble. All seems fine until they realize t...more
Kirsten
A Newbury honor book from 1972. I picked it up off the bookshelves at church, not knowing much more than that it was supposed to be spooky. This is an early book in the blended family genre and shows some of the difficulties when your parents are divorced and one remarries. There are four kids whose mother has passed away and "Dad" has remarried Molly, who is divorced and has one preteen/early teen daughter named Amanda. Amanda is moody and mysterious and invites David and his younger siblings t...more
Chris
This was a pretty neat story. The core plot is pretty simple. David Stanley suddenly has a new stepsister and mother move into his life. Amanda is very strange and obsessed with the occult. She dresses unusual and has a rather unapproachable demeanor, not wanting to interact with the family, until she eventually opens up and lets David and the younger kids (who are 4-6 years old) join in on her love of the supernatural. She will train the "neophytes", as she calls them, in the ways of the otherw...more
Angela Berg
Two families merge into one and move into an old house in the country. Everything seems to be going well until the new stepsister Amanda moves in. Amanda is not your average teenage girl, after all she brings with her pet crow. Amanda tells the Stanley children she studies witchcraft and is willing to give them lessons on becoming witches themselves. The Stanley kids must endure all sorts of antics that have the potential to get them all in serious trouble. All seems fine until they realize thei...more
Tristin Smith
I like this book because in the story people think that their new stepsister is weird. For example, when the four Stanley children meet their new stepsister they found out that she reads about the supernatural (pages1-6). Another example is when Amanda gets to her new family on the night that the Cupid was cut in half (pages 20-30). One challenge that was in the book was when the Stanley children thought that Amanda broke the Cupid when she didn’t (page 35). Another challenge is do not judge peo...more
Denise Kang
I will tell you beforehand that this book can be deceiving. I honestly thought the story line would deal with complete mystery and be an intriguing ghost story. It had me fooled for a time.

David, the eldest of four, now to be the second eldest of five. His father has just remarried to Molly, and let me tell you her daughter isn't so pleasant. Amanda, the new step sister is rude and completely supernatural. She claims to be skilled in the arts of magic. One day while Molly is away Amanda decides...more
Jailine
I saw the book The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder and it caught my eye instantly. I started to read it because the title and cover page were interesting. "The headless Cupid" it made me wonder why it was titled like that and right away I started reading it.

From the beginning I knew it was going to be a great book. I read the first pages and it was descriptive I understood the story easily. David is the oldest of 3 and Amanda is their new step sister, since Amanda's mom and David's dad a...more
Jennifer
I originally started reading The Headless Cupid about ten years ago, but then had to stop because I had to return it to the library or something. I began reading on the recommendation of a friend, and didn't remember particularly liking it, which made me more afraid that, despite the fact that it's a Newbery Honor book, that I wouldn't like it, just like childhood cartoons that we've cherished don't hold up to the scrutiny of our older minds. However, I did like The Headless Cupid, not only beca...more
Kendall
This is a book for fourth through sixth grade readers. I didn't like the book, and I think that if you're a student considering reading it, then you should try Sammy Keyes mysteries, The Graveyard Book, or Skeleton Creek before reading this one.


This book was a Newbery Honor book in 1971. At the time, there wasn't much out there for adolescents. Although probably good adolescent literature for its time, there are much stronger pieces of literature out there today. The plot seems too contrived and...more
Jody
Not the most amazing story compared to today's books - but truly a cherished book from childhood. I still remember when the 'Reading Is Fundamental' or RIF club lady came and presented this book at my school when I was in second grade, and although it was in the 5th grade suggested selections - I was determined to read it.

It was truly THE book that began my lifelong love affair with books. I distinctly recall the librarian (Mrs. Fry) questioning whether the book was 'a bit too advanced' for me...more
Cliff
This was the third book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder that I have read. (Witches of Worm and the Egypt Game being the other two.) Of them, this one stuck with me the most.

Snyder has a gift for crafting believable children which can only come from years of experience and observation. The parent-child relationships, especially in the homes of single-parent children, seems to be a recurring theme with her. But she does it remarkably well. The books hold up nearly 40 years since they were written.

The sto...more
Monica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha-Ellen Bound
This book was recommended to me as a Newberry Honour book, and I really did enjoy it. The tone of the story-telling reminded me so much of the books I devoured as a kid - those sort of hidden away ones at the library which are always older than the rest and what I tended to resort to when I had read everything else or the book I wanted wasn't there. Of course, these are the ones which then kept me in the lounge room chair all weekend, and that is just what this book reminded me of - deceptively...more
Sebastian
Yet another Newbery Honor book from Zilpha Keatley Snyder. The book is based on a family, the Stanley's, who just got a little bigger. There are four sibling, David, Janie, Esther, and Blair, the last two being twins. The Stanley's dad marries a woman named Molly who has a daughter named Amanda. Amanda joins the household in a very unpleasant mood. She considers herself a expert of the occult and the Stanley kids want to be apart of it until it appears that there is something really supernatural...more
Maria
This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. I am happy to report it has stood the test of time pretty well (although it is a shorter read as an adult). I like the individual personalities of the kids in the books and the way they interact with one another. One of the best aspects of the book is the humor. The physical comedy is wonderful and I always find myself laughing aloud. And of course I love the supernatural aspect of the story too. Give me magic or mystery any day and I will eat...more
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The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for "The Egypt Game", "The Headless Cupid" and "The Witches of Worm", Zilpha Keatley Snyder has been writing books for children since 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies", was published. Since that time she has completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for younge...more
More about Zilpha Keatley Snyder...
The Egypt Game The Velvet Room The Witches of Worm The Changeling The Gypsy Game (Game, #2)

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