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The Haunting of Falcon House

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A long undisturbed bedroom. A startling likeness. A mysterious friend.
When twelve-year-old Prince Lev Lvov goes to live with his aunt at Falcon House, he takes his rightful place as heir to the Lvov family estate. Prince Lev dreams of becoming a hero of Russia like his great ancestors. But he'll discover that dark secrets haunt this house. Prince Lev is the only one who ca
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Ania Gaska It has drawings throughout! The paper is crumbling and you see the different versions of the same drawing finish as the story is going on.

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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  227 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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A beautiful children's book that an adult can certainly enjoy. The short chapters were jarring at first but then it seem to fit once the storyline played out. I am intrigued by Russia and this satisfied that desire to learn more about this fascination country and people. There were an underlying message that I really appreciated, read it and find out.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Not my favorite from Yelchin, but I still liked the premise of this story. It incorporated cool artwork, a unique background story (set as a memoir discovered by the author and translated from the Russian), and a good dose of Russian history.
Joseph Leskey
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody, supposes I
Recommended to Joseph by: Abigail H. Leskey
This was very enjoyable and quite funny. At first, I was slightly suspicious of the tome, as I am wont to be. However, my suspicions were soon gone from the galaxy and I became rather entertained.

The story itself was very excellent, the pictures could be described by some adjective, the funny parts were absolutely hilarious, and the characters were all very amusing.

Overall, I suppose I am forced to allow the things five stars from my overly generous hand.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Twelve-year-old Prince Lev Lvov moves in with his aunt at Falcon House. It is a house that he will inherit as he is heir to the Lvov estate. Lev wants to be just like his grandfather, a general in the Russian army, stern and strong. Things are strange though at Falcon House where he finds wonders like an elevator in the home but also rooms that have not been touched in years. As he enters the home, Lev sees another young boy there, playing on the banister. Lev is sent to sleep in his grandfather ...more
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j, spooky-horror
Prince Lev Lvov leaves his beloved mother to travel to his family palace to take his rightful place as heir. Things are not what they seem at the huge and daunting residence. Sufficiently creepy and thrilling as Prince Lev confronts a ghost wronged by his grandfather.
Laura Phelps
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2016
I love Eugene Yelchin's writing style so much! This one is quirky and a bit creepy, with a wonderful protagonist and unique illustrations.
Sophie Riggsby / allthingsequilateral
*Review posted on Page Turners Blog on 10/31/2016*

In a strange house with a stranger history, 12-year-old Lev begins to unravel family secrets that have been carefully hidden. Lev's sudden ability to draw makes the illustrations in the book somehow more real. They are a part of the story and not just pictures showing the story. The family Lev finds at his grandfather's old estate is filled with mysterious characters like a gray, little boy named Vanyousha.

As the story unfolds, we find ourselves
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twelve-year-old Prince Lev Lvov leaves his beloved mother to travel to czarist Saint Petersburg in 1891 to claim his title as master of Falcon House. Instead of being greeted as a long-lost relative and leader, he is treated oddly and nothing is what it appears to be. Lev aspires to be like his grandfather, who was a powerful general in the Russian army, but he soon discovers that Grandfather had a dark side. He wonders why his aunt is so harsh with the staff that is terrified of her. Lev begins ...more
Camille Thompson
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
This is the “memoir” of Prince Lev Lvov, who travels to Falcon House, his family's estate in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to assume his place as the leader of the family. It’s the late-nineteenth-century, and the creepy Falcon house is home only to long-time resident Princess Olga, and her odd assortment of terrified servants. In addition to them, Lev meets a mysterious young boy, who appears only at odd times. Even stranger, when Lev sleeps in his dead grandfather’s study, he begins to create cree ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I loved the note from the author at the beginning talking about where the papers came from. I really did expect maybe a good ghost story or a creepy story of some kind. It really was more of just the feeling of a child telling a rather long dream. The whole center of the book was just boring. It took me weeks to get through such a short book and it shouldn't have. The very end maybe the last or couple last chapters were good and they were interesting. And then I especially liked the notes at the ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Prince Lev Lvov has moved to Falcon House to take his rightful place in late Czarist Russia. Yet why has his Aunt Olga made him sleep in his grandfather's study, and why are all the servants so deathly afraid of entering? As he draws pictures to console himself, and gets to know a mysterious boy, he must figure out the mystery while trying to live up to his family heritage. Inked pictures (with Russian cursive labels) play a major part in the story, so even though audiobook versions exist, read ...more
Ania Gaska
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapterbooks
This story combines historical fiction with the supernatural when a boy inherits the ghosts of his Russian noble family’s past. He faces the room that was empty since the death of his grandfather and learns about his life with the help of the people he’s left behind. The story addresses the lives of Russian noble families from when they were supported by serfs to servants and cossacks through the main character learning about his family history. The eerie drawings throughout show the boy as he c ...more
Morgan Nikola-Wren
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

A fiendishly fun ride. Honestly, it could have even been a bit shorter. The story was tight and well done. It just seemed that sometimes, the author was adding things for the sake of length. I also would have liked to see the protagonist get a little more time with the second and third big reveals in the book. It felt like it resolved way too quickly.

LOVED the historical notes at the end.
Jill Berry
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating approach, but I've decided not to have it in my elementary school library. It has intense surprises. Not fond of the art work. Breaking Stalin's Nose and Arcady's Goal are more appropriate for elementary students and still teach a lot of Russian history. Great book for middle school and up.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. The super short chapters took some getting used to but once I stopped reading the chapter titles, I was able to cruise right along. Good story, even for adults, but a little creepy so I’d say it’s for older-middle grades. My son begged me to read it after he devoured it. The original art work adds to the story.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
excellent ghost story, with pictures evocative for an adult reader although also I suspect appealing and intriguing to a child one. A surprisingly (or well, unsurprisingly -- it's tsarist Russia!) brutal tale with a fictional frame and semi-fictional afterward that don't allow the reader to take too much comfort in the resolution of Prince Lev's tale.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy
I really loved this book! it's even better when you realize it's a true story and prince Lvov was an actual person! This book is slightly spooky but not too scare-you-till-you-get-goosebumps it's easy to read and reminds me of "how to train your dragon" (the book series not the movie, two totally different things) I enjoyed this book very much!
Melissa Mcavoy
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6th, 5th, 7th, fantasy
4 1/2 stars. Odd and marvelous. Young Lev Levov is sent for to join his Aunt in St Petersburg preparatory to taking over as head of the family. But when he arrives it is clears something is very wrong at the family home, Falcon House.
Kathleen Guinnane
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
I liked this story about a young boy in the czar' Russia. An unusual ghost story. Deals with loss and family ties.
Kim Piddington
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice plot twists-engaging mix of mystery and ghosts. Loved the language-not a huge fan of the art.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not as spooky as I would have liked. but good read anyway
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating blend of history, heartbreak, the spectral, artistic and mystery, this is one to keep kids up at night.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Stunted writing with no energy at all.

I find it a huge mistake to use point of view of the young boy – everything is presented incompletely and without depth. Stopped after 60 pages.
Casey Jo
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Read based on how much I loved Breaking Stalin's Nose. This was ... not the same. I liked the concept of the interspersed art, but not the art itself.
Anita McDivitt Barrios
This is the first MG ghost story where I read and was truly creeped out. It gives me goosebumps writing the review! It was genuinely scary, perhaps because the setting was so dark and the tone so incredibly genuine.

It helps to know a bit of Russian history, which is not traditionally covered in middle school grades, unfortunately. I fear many middle grade readers may miss some of the terrifying context of how the Russian nobility treated the peasantry -- truly horrifically -- in the 19th century
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully haunting junior novel about a royal Russian family before WWI. Funny, thought provoking, and creepy! And it was based in truth and on real drawings found by the author. Eugene Yelchin is one of my favorite Historical Fiction writers for youth and this one did not disappoint.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
First of all, just the word "Haunting" in the title would be enough to make me pass this book by, but I was wondering if I still had those little ghost stickers to put on this (cutting the "Horror" part of the sticker off because we don't really have horror horror in the children's room - it's the children's room, fercryinoutloud!). Couldn't find them, but looked at the introduction anyway, which pretends that the manuscript and drawings were that of Prince Lev Lvov of late 19th century Russia t ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I've heard good things about Yelcin's work in the past, so I was excited to read my first one. I thought it was just okay. I found the time period hard to place, and I wasn't a huge fan of the drawings. I think it did have a decent creepy factor, and I could see how part of the plot wouldn't be predictable to kids, but it didn't make me feel like I needed to go out and read his other books.
As the last remaining heir of an aristocratic family, twelve-year-old Prince Lev Lvov arrives in Saint Petersburg to stay with his aunt. His mother has told him very little about the woman, and he is more than a little anxious about how things will go. Still, he recognizes that this situation presents great possibilities for his future if everything proceeds as planned. But upon his very arrival, Olga Lvovna, his aunt, and all her servants immediately note the resemblance between her nephew and ...more
Courtney Whisenant
The Haunting of Falcon House
Written by Eugene Yelchin
Narrated by Michael Bakkensen and George Guidall
Published 2016 by Recorded Books
5 hours and 2 minutes

I received a free audio copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I was in my early twenties, I discovered the writing of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky which sparked in me an enthusiasm for Russian literature. The Haunting of Falcon House appealed to me because it’s a middle-grade ghost story set in late Czarist Russi
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