The Girl Behind the Glass
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Girl Behind the Glass

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  159 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The house on Hemlock Road used to be someone’s home. Until something happened. Something that even after 80 years, can never be forgotten or forgiven . . . .

Eleven-year-old twins Hannah and Anna agree about everything—especially that they don’t want to move to the creepy old house on Hemlock Road.

But as soon as they move into the house, the twins start disagreeing for the...more
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Random House Children’s Books (first published 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Supernatural Hero by Eran GadotWait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing HahnThe Shadow Guests by Joan AikenThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanGhosts I Have Been by Richard Peck
Middle Grade Ghost Stories
18th out of 98 books — 15 voters
Doll Bones by Holly BlackThe Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing HahnThe Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire LegrandA Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam GidwitzThe Theft & the Miracle by Rebecca Wade
Spooky Middle Grade Reads
63rd out of 109 books — 5 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 615)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Chris Murray
Summary: (
When their older sister Selena fails to get into a decent New York City private school, identical twins Hannah and Anna aren't exactly surprised – Selena has never been the bright one in the family. In search of a new school the whole family up and moves from their beloved Brooklyn neighborhood to a small suburban town. The old house they're renting while their new house is being remodeled is creaky, smelly and teeming with critters. What with the mice in the cupboards and t...more
I've been reading a lot of middle grade ghost stories lately, so this one popped up as a recommendation on Goodreads. I wasn't overly interested, but I was able to find it easily, so I decided to read it.

It was ok. I'm sure a tween girl would enjoy this more than I did, and it's a good thing that is the target audience. I found the narration interesting, but that's something that others might not like. The story itself is fairly typical of a middle grade book with ghosts. Nothing new to see here...more
Debbie Graham
I really liked the "voice" narrating the story...for the target audience it will take awhile to figure out who that is! Gives an interesting portrayal of a twin relationship/family relationship between torn asunder-at least momentarily. As believable as a ghost story for kids can be, without being gory. Definite girl appeal, perhaps not so much for boys...
Sep 21, 2011 Amy added it
Shelves: 2011, j-paranormal
Hannah and Anna Zimmer are twins, best friends, and not at all happy when their family moves from their trendy Brooklyn neighborhood to a creepy house in the country (dubbed "the house on Hemlock Road"). The narrator is a mysterious omniscient entity who has special knowledge about the house's past inhabitants, and repeatedly refers to the terrible things that have happened there. Not surprisingly, strange things start happening as soon as the Zimmers move in: the older sister, Selena, is terrif...more
The Rusty Key
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: Though the story contains but one male character, the spooky plot line and tomboyish main characters should make this book equally appealing to both boys and girls. While there is no violence to speak of, there are some bloodless deaths, making this better suited to ages 8 to 12.

One Word Summary: Spectral.

I never get tired of haunted house tales. The creaky floorboards, the mysteriously locked doors, the chilling whispers, it’s th...more
Overall Review: How scary it must be to live in a haunted house. Hannah and her twin sister Anna (and their family) have moved into a house that is purported to be haunted by a ghost with green eyes. But ghosts aren’t real, right? But what if the house you live in seems to have random gusts of wind…inside? And a tree branch (just one) that waves at you? And what if the longer you live there, the more you start to feel anger and hatred and suspicion of everyone around you? And is that a voice I h...more
Erin Schuett
In this book a family of five moves into an old, scary house. The people in the family are mom(Mrs. Zimmer), dad(Mr. Zimmer), Selena the teenager, and Hannah and Anna, the 12 year old twins. The thing is that when they get there, Anna meets a new group of friends, while Hannah just wants things to stay the same with each other being their best friends. But that's okay because Hannah meets a new friend, her name is Ruth, Ruth doesn't like anyone but Hannah though. She has lived in this house for...more
Caryn Caldwell
When eleven-year-old twins Hannah and Anna move into the house on Hemlock Road, they are as close as two sisters can be. But there is another presence in the house -- one that speaks to Hannah, haunting her mind and tearing the girls apart. Told from the viewpoint of this ghostly presence, the story weaves together both the twins' family's present and the ghost's past, bringing them closer and closer to the big climax.

The mysterious point-of-view is what makes this book unique, as it keeps the r...more
Asia Ludwig
What did you like about the book? why? I liked it when they first moved to the new house. Hannah and Anna got mad at their sister Selena because they think she was the one to convince their mom and dad to move. But they had to move because their house is getting rebuilt. When they move, they sit in a car and they get in trouble for doing it. They would draw alot and they drew something of a tree and other stuff. Then they decided to scare their sister when their mom goes to the store.

Do you want...more
It was a very powerful story. The narration was similar to the narration of The Book Thief with one major difference. In The Book Thief the death narrator helps to calm things down. In this story the narrator is the ghost and she keeps the tension high because the ghost is so angry and keeps hinting that something awful happened.

The parents are a bit too clueless and too unexcepting that maybe there is a ghost. As a reader it does bug that people never seem to remember the lessons of ghost stori...more
This is a good solid scary story. Kelley does a good job of helping the reader feel suspense. I enjoyed the narration and the growth of the characters.

I was remined of Hahn's Wait Till Helen Comes, but this one has a different ending, but like Hahn's shows the danger of anger and hatred.
Stephanie Mohler
Ghost story with an unique voice- one that I really couldn't get into.
Hannah and Anna are 11 year old twins who move into an old house with their family. While one twin moves on and makes friends, the other one doesn't. Instead- she meets Ruth and quickly learns the secrets of the house.
Mar 19, 2012 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Older elem./tween readers looking for ghost stories
To paraphrase Indiana Jones: "Bats. Why did it have to be bats?" I would have given this book 4 stars, but it had too many scenes with bats. Even reading about them gives me the heebie jeebies. All in all, though, this was a decent ghost story that is just creepy enough to give older elementary kids or tweens a good scare, but not too scary that they'll have nightmares. The book is narrated by the ghost of a young girl named Ruth. She starts communicating with Hannah, one half of a pair of twins...more
The Girl Behind the Glass is a nice ghost story for middle graders! The twins Hannah and Anna are great characters. They look out for each other, are caring and like to play tricks with their older sister. Oh and they also adore reading! At first I was confused with the narrator of the story. I didn’t know who it was. But, I figured it out and I guess for middle graders “the voice” would be very creepy. It gives an spooky vibe to the story. The plot itself is quite easy to understand and to foll...more
When twins Hannah and Anna are uprooted from their New York home they think things couldn't get much worse until they move into a dilapidated mouse and bat infested rumored to be haunted in a small town. Hannah and Anna have always been inseparable but now something, or someone, has come between them and unease settles over the old house.

The Girl Behind the Glass is a not-too-tingling ghost story about a supremely unhappy ghost set on revenge for all the time she has been left behind, forever s

Alice T
Typical ghost story where a child can communicate with a ghost and the resolution is to solve why the ghost was unhappy/angry. The twist to this book is that its told from the ghost's perspective. You get hints here and there about what happened. My imagination thought it'd be something terrible but the end was decent enough. There wasn't a lot of hints about what really happened, just enough to tease you until it all unfolds in the end. The author managed to create some characters that you woul...more
Quote: “She sat down at the desk and turned on the contraption they called the computer, even though no one ever used it for computing.” So prevalent and ironic.
Kim Fortin
I abandoned this book maybe 10 pages in because I couldn't handle the the third person narrator having its own personality. I'm guessing people will tell me that the third person narrator is actually the ghost but it was just really offputting because I had hoped it would be a neutral, third person point of view or first person from the POV as one or both of the twins.

Oh well. I'm sure I'll find more books that are about haunted houses that I like.
MG(9-12), Mystery.

A story about SISTERS: Jealousy, Hate, Friends, Loneliness & Redemption. Author Kelley assigns omniscient POV to a GHOST, setting up a unique interaction between characters. Initially I favored this as a mediocre read until I understood the turmoil of the GHOST and what motivated her actions in the story. The book presents "insights" into real-world feelings of tween girls.
Love the writing style but I totally HATE the plot the characters were fleshed out. I thoroughly hate the elder sister which is perfectly fine because that proved that the other got her point across. So I'd only give it 3 stars only because I liked the way it was written that it kept me reading the book if even though I sincerely hated it. =)
Good and creepy in the beginning but gets kind of muddled in the 2nd half of the book. Still it is a good ghost story for 2-4th graders wanting something that will scare them but is not too horrific. Overall there were good creepy parts, and some great suspense but the whole thing somehow felt disjointed. Bonus for a good cover.
Jun 03, 2011 Deb added it
Um, just a quick wow. Kind of wanted to start reading it all over again. Subtle ghost story, compelling mystery behind the who and the why and how the author told the story itself. More detailed review closer to release date. This is an ARC from the publisher that I borrowed from a friend-need to return in June 4.
Delightfully creepy thriller for the +Fic set, more appeal for girls. I especially appreciated the unusual narrator and her way of foreshadowing. Echoes of Anna Dressed in Blood and Miss Peregrine's... but less violent than the former and a much easier read than the latter, obviously accesible to a younger audience.
Eleven year old twins find themselves involved in seperate situations for the first time. If being 11 years old and in a new school isn't enough - enter a "ghost?" The story keeps you turning pages to find out what/who is happening to this seemingly normal family. Various plots keep the reader guessing.
Yawn...A boring little story that doesn't spur you to read on. It is the story of a family who moves into a haunted house, only one child can hear the ghost, and her family begins to think she's losing her mind.
The story is told from the ghost's point of view which makes the entire story confusing.
Joanne Palin
This is an original ghost story that is narrated by an angry ghost. A good choice for older elementary children. There are references to an older sister kissing her boyfriend on her bed, but nothing to make it too bad to put on elementary school shelves. I enjoyed the resolution of the story.
This is a good pick for kids who want a ghost story but are slightly too young for Mary Downing Hahn. It's told from the perspective of the ghost, which takes the creepiness down a notch because the reader knows what's going on in the ghost's mind and knows what the ghost will do.
Karen Arendt
Ruth died 80 years ago and when the Zimmer's move into the house, Ruth decides to come between Hannah and Anna. This story is told from the ghost's point of view, which I enjoyed. It was suspenseful enough for me to wonder if Ruth would harm anyone living in the house.
Part ghost story and part mystery. I liked that the story was told from the ghost's perspective. I took it for what it is, a Y/A novel. It was good for the age group it's intended, which is pre-teen. Adults who judge it too harshly are expecting something it's not.
Read-alike to "The Spiderwick Chronicles". A family moves into a spooky old house, and someone is watching them. Someone is reading their thoughts and trying to communicate the bad things that happened there before. Someone wants a friend...perhaps forever!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ghostly Encounters: True Stories of America's Haunted Inns and Hotels
  • Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow
  • R My Name Is Rachel
  • The Siren's Cry (The Otherworldlies #2)
  • Here Lies Linc
  • The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman
  • Vanishing Acts
  • The Storm Makers
  • Vanished
  • Look Both Ways (Midnight Twins, #2)
  • The Adventures of Beanboy
  • Sylvia & Aki
  • Prairie Evers
  • Elvis and the Underdogs
  • Odd, Weird & Little
  • The Crossroads (Haunted Mystery, #1)
  • Legend of the Ghost Dog
  • Tunnel Vision
Jane Kelley lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and her daughter. She is honored to be chosen as the 2013 Thurber House Children's Writer in Residence. Jane says, “I grew up in Wisconsin, near a forest that was my refuge and a source of inspiration. I still love to be in nature, whether I’m exploring Vermont or an untamed corner of our city park. No wonder I wrote my first book about a g...more
More about Jane Kelley...
Nature Girl The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya

Share This Book