Jan 18, 11
Read in January, 2011
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, narrated by Ellen Grafton, is an excellent tale of a blended family whose move to the country deepens the divisions between siblings Molly and Michael and their step-sister Heather. Heather's mother died in a fire when Heather was just three and she resents her father's new wife and stepchildren. She does everything she can to disrupt the new relationships and and sow discord. The children's parents, both artists, buy a former church with an old graveyard attached to property. When Heather discovers the grave of Helen, who died with her parents in a fire, Heather begins to communicate with Helen's ghost. As she grows closer to spirit of Helen, she becomes even more devious in her attempts to push her father away from his new family and keep him to herself. She warns Molly and Michael that Helen has unpleasant things in store for them. Only Molly and Heather can see Helen, a situation that Heather uses to her advantage. As events escalate, Molly becomes frightened for Heather and determines to protect her as best she can. But how do you defeat a ghost?
Hahn has created a very entertaining psychological thriller for youthful readers. The characters and relationships ring true while her use of the paranormal is sensitive and well-executed. I highly recommend this book for young readers.