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The Secrets of Hawthorne House

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable. His misery started when his mother died in a senseless car accident. Matt’s grieving father, unable to remain in the family’s seaside cottage, moved Matt and his twin sister as far as possible from the ocean they loved.
But their relocation to the small town of Hawthorne, Indiana only made Matt’s life mo
ebook, 415 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Donald Firesmith
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Matt is new in town, and everyone seems to be obsessed with the spooky house next door. Matt just isn’t seeing it. It’s old, creepy and has seen better days, but he doesn’t believe the lady who lives there is a witch.
The secret of Hawthorne house is a hot topic around this town. It’s the stuff of legends and spooky stories. This is the story of friendship and mystery. Every house has a story, every town has a history, and every new kid needs to experience what the town has to offer. This town i
Erika Sarutobi
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.

It was fun reading this book and I miss reading some middle grade that I gobbled it up and finished it in two sittings! I really needed that break from YA.

The story is about Matt who moved to Hawthorne after his mother died in an accident and meets Gerallt a few days later who moved next door. They quickly become friends and eventually Gerallt tells Matt their family secret.

The book was simple and no major predicaments happen since it is a middle grade book with all the problems being
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-sirens
4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

eBook provided by BookSirens and the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Secrets Of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith is a coming of age paranormal fantasy that follows fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell after his father moves him and his sister to a small town in rural Indiana following the death of his mother who was killed in a drunk driving accident. Matt soon hears rumors that he's moved next door to the town's resident witch (Old Lady Hawthorne) who may or may not be r
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooksiown
When Matt's mother dies in a car crash, his father moves him and his sister away from the Ocean to a place called Hawthorne. Little does he know that next door to him are some very magical neighbors. Can he survive his new high school, survive the bullies, and become friends with the neighbors who the town thinks live in a haunted house and are witches? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good fantasy magical middle grade story about friendship, standing up to bullies and more. I
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was one fun book with spooky elements and mystery captured in eerie Hawthorne House filled with secrets and a buried treasure.

After the death of his mother, 15-year-old Matt and his twin sister were relocated by their father to the twin of Hawthorne. Difficult times came with the loss of a loved one, bullied in school and living next door to a supposed witch and murder added to their woes. When the niece and her children moved in with the witch, Matt made a new friend and life became an adv
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A spooky, thrilling read about a gothic manor and the strange family living within its walls. "The Secrets of Hawthorne House" by Donald Firesmith was a light-hearted novel about overcoming grief, working together as a family, and the importance of making good friends.

I truly enjoyed this novel! The friendship between Matt and Gerallt was entertaining, humorous, and full of non-stop action. They are a great example of what it means to have a true friend who always has your back, won't let any ha
Monique S. (The Ginger Librarian)
“The Secrets of Hawthorne House” is told from a 3rd person point of view, focused primarily on Matt Mitchell—the main character. Matt and his twin sister are 15-years-old when their mother dies unexpectedly. Their father then moves them to a new town several states away and they start their first year of high school, where Matt has a difficult time fitting in and becomes the target of bullies. The story takes a fascinating turn when mystery and magic are brought into Matt’s life through his eeri ...more
Kathy Davie
A standalone paranormal fantasy novel for Young Adult readers and revolving around a pair of unlikely friends who have both recently moved to Hawthorne, Indiana. I wouldn't mind seeing this as a series...

My Take
For the first couple of paragraphs I dove in with delight, and then slowed. Firesmith was way too descriptive. Incredibly wordy! And then I slid all the way in, enjoying The Secrets of Hawthorne House with its focus on faith. And I did like Gerallt's explanation of magic!

I loved that the
Pages For Thoughts
I loved this book and never took my eyes off the pages! How Gerallt used his magic to defend himself from the bullies was hilarious and I found myself frequently laughing out loud! The plotline was extremely creative and I loved how it kept constantly changing and evolving into new issues. Every chapter was a new adventure. The theme of acceptance is very clear and the bullying extremely realistic. I'm not typically a fan of male protagonists, but Matt has such a kind heart that he is impossible ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book!

Excellent, amazing, fantastic! What begins as a sad, almost horror story turns into a refreshing story of friendship, love, and family. Beautifully written with enough little twists to keep the mysteries going, the characters are fully realized and genuinely interesting. I can't wait for more of the Hawthornes.
Madeleine Holly-Rosing
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This delightful middle-grade novel is about two 15 year old boys each with different backgrounds, but a shared grief. Matt recently lost his mother, Garellt lost his father, and both ended up moving next door to each other in Hawthorne, Indiana. The twist is Garellt moved into the infamous Hawthorne House with his Great Aunt and everyone is town is convinced the place is haunted or that a witch lives there. Of course, it doesn't help when Gerallt's family (mother, older sister, and younger broth ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wildly imaginative! Wonderful characters. Interesting plot. Vivid descriptions. Simply a GREAT read!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I did enjoy this book, I did. However I am not really sure where it is going and it seems to be a bit of a mish mash of ideas and genres. It does deal with everything well and reads almost like you are a fly on the wall of the families concerned (the mysterious Hawthorne family and the far more regular Mitchell family). This does mean that there is a lot of the minutiae of life to wade through - actually this was no bad thing as it helps you submerge yourself in the fictional world that
Pallavi Sareen
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Secret of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith
The Secret of Hawthorne House turned out to be just the book I needed. I have been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy and Dark existential books so I needed something light, spooky and yet a story that is soulful for a change. TSoHH did good on that account.
The book did creep me out at time because who mentions scary murder story to a stranger on a school bus? But then again, I let many instances skip because middle school kids and their curiosities
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
"If you have a question about how something works, you have to run the experiment and see what the universe answers"
The book is set at a location called Hawthorne, a small town in northeastern Indiana. The Mitchell family has to shift to this place after they lose a beloved member of their family and runs out of money in making every endeavour to keep her. Matt Mitchell, a 15-year-old finds it tough to recognise that her mother is no more and is troubled by her remembrances until he confronts th
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Druid Nextdoor

Just finished The Secrets of Hawthorne House by Donald Firesmith. I understand there is a sequel on the way. Very happy about that! All I can say is that I want to be adopted by these lovely folks.

After Matt's mother is killed in an auto accident, his father moves him and his sister to a small mid-western town. Matt does not feel like he fits in with kids his age and immediately becomes a target for three mean bullies in his class.

His new home is nextdoor to a huge dilapidated
Jessica Bronder
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Matt Mitchell has had a rough year. His mother died in a car accident and his father has moved him and his sister to a small town of Hawthorne in Indiana. Because Matt is the new kid there are a group of guys that have decided that they are going to bully him and make his life even more difficult. Then Matt learns that he lives next to the Old Lady Hawthorne, the towns witch. But when the woman’s niece and children move into the house Matt learns about their story. He makes a new friend and star ...more
Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Cranky Stars

Firstly I am a big Harry Potter fan so this book was an excellent book for me. That is where the similarities stop!!!

After Sam's wife died in an accident he uprooted himself and his children Matt and Tina to back to his home town. Their new home was next door to Hawthorne house, which was very run down. The rumours were that it was haunted and the old lady was a witch. Sam did not believe this and encouraged his young son to go there and offer his services to clean the yard for her
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

This book reminded me of the books I used to read when I was young. Those detective, adventure kind of type of books. These adventures has an extra element, not so common element into the natural way of the Goddess.

Matt moves with his sister and dad to a town far away from the coast, after his mother's death. Worse off, actually a question of how to look at it against the whole story. His father is an atheist a
Fee (Ebook Addicts)
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2019
I really enjoyed this book, geared at teens I can see my oldest son enjoying this book. Also it was a perfect read for upcoming Halloween. Matt has just moved to Hawthorne after the death of his mother forced the family (his twin sister and father) to have to move. Matt and his twin Tina start at a the local high school and whilst Tina settles in ok Matt becomes a target for bullies. The have moved next door to infamous Hawthorne House yet Matt he doesn't believe the stories so starts working on ...more
Kate Smith
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a different genre to what I would normally read but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It did take me a while to get into but when I got started I did want to continue reading. The part that did put me off was the way the Hawthorne's spoke as it made it difficult to read and as the spells were in Latin, they were also hard to read. I did like the part at the end of the book which shows how to pronounce the words that were being spoken. I would of loved to have this at the beginning of the book. ...more
Tonya Vautier
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Donald Firesmith built a heartwarming story around the friendship of two 15 year old boys whose shared pain of loosing a parent, being the new kids in town and becoming the targets of bullies secures the development of a very strong friendship. Not since ‘Harry and Ron’ have a read a book that celebrates the friendship of two boys so successfully.
I would highly recommended this book and will definitely keep Donald Firesmith in my authors to read and follow list. There are a l
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I received a free copy of this book from the author via voracious readers only in exchange for an honest review* I instantly fell in love with this book, the friendship between Matt and Gerallt is so pure and wholesome it went straight to my heart. They are both a bit cheeky and prone to rule breaking but they’ve got good hearts and the best intentions which makes them both such likeable characters. The story was really well paced and weaved together that it never felt rushed and it kept me hoo ...more
Gary Seigel
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this tale. At first I thought it was going to be about Nathaniel Hawthorne, and I was a bit disappointed when the story had nothing to do with the venerable writer. But, I kept reading. This magical narrative so reminded me of the books I enjoyed speeding through in Junior High and High School. Adventure. Druids. Supernatural spells. Secrets buried in the house. Witches. Goddesses. Even a rich history of the family going back thousands of years. And as a coming of age tale, I lo ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it

This book was really good and I really liked it, it was a bit typical in it's plot lines, a kids mother dies in an accident, father then moves the kids to another town, fresh start etc, kids don't fit in and get bullied and then of course the next door neighbour of the new house might be a witch, so everything is pretty difficult in this new and changed life for Matt and his sister.

I love the fact that despite all of this, after being encouraged to find a job, he then makes a friend with the la
Ann Keeran
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book for readers of all ages. Middle school and high school students will enjoy the humiliation of the school bullies. Adults will connect with the families trying to cope after death strikes. Two families from opposite sides of the country join to fight what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. But one group is hiding a secret that threatens to end the friendship. Donald Firesmith created a story that has humor, sadness, love and realistic characters. All this combines for a spectacular ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book! The author has a way with words that made the story come alive. This book is very well written, moving along at a good pace. I found myself looking forward to what was going to happen next. The characters are well developed. I actually liked the main characters and looked forward to the nasty characters getting their comeuppance. I like the storytelling ability that the author has, the stories within the story were enjoyable to read, for example, when the hist ...more
Kerry Martin
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abigail Drake
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A perfectly magical read for young teens and tweens. Matt, a nerdy outsider, moves back to his father's hometown after his mother is tragically killed by a drunk driver. The house next door is creepy, and Matt is convinced its owner, Old Lady Hawthorne, is some kind of witch. He gets bullied at school, and things are bad, but they get better when Gerallt, the great nephew of Old Lady Hawthorne moves in and they become unlikely friends. Beautifully written, and ideal for a cozy night by the fire, ...more
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
A young boy and his family moves to Indiana after the loss of his mother. Matt a 15 year old twin convinces the old recluse woman in the haunted house next door to allow him to work on her property. When the old woman’s relatives arrive, Matt finds in him a best friend with answers to the secrets of Hawthorne House. A wonderful story that tackles real life issues but adds the mystery of magic. I was a bit disappointed at the last 1/3 of the book. Not the storyline but the lack of proofreading. Q ...more
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Donald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction (alien invasion), fantasy (magical wands), and modern urban paranormal novels.

Prior to recently retiring to devote himself full-time to his novels, Donald Firesmith earned an international reputation as a distinguished engineer, authoring seven system/software engineering books based on his 40+ years

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