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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  938 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Emily was a selfish, willful, hateful child who died before her thirteenth birthday. But that was a long time ago.

Jane is nine years old and an orphan when she and her young Aunt Louisa come to spend the summer at Jane’s grandmother’s house, a large, mysterious mansion in Massachusetts. Then one day . . . Jane stares into a reflecting ball in the garden—and the face that l
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 28th 1993 by Beech Tree Paperback Book (first published 1969)
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Karen Paisley This book TERRIFIED me at 11 I too read this book. I'm 49 and it still bothers me so much I hate reflecting garden balls.

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  938 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Eerie super natural stories.
Does anyone remember this eerie and fascinating little book from days gone by?

This is a chilling little read from my childhood years that I have reread since then and find just as creepy as back then. OK..Maybe not just as creepy..but still creepy nonetheless!

I remember after reading this just feeling the eeriness and the ominous feelings. And does anyone look at reflecting Balls in the same way again?

This is one of those timeless tales that can be enjoyed by anyone in any age group and despite
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scary
I was surprised to see in a bookstore that this VERY scary and original children's book is back in print, in a sweet new edition that includes another novel by the author.

Recommended for those who like well-told, genuinely spooky stories. Not recommended for those who get nightmares easily.
Roanna Cornett
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-s-books
I read this book for the first time when I was in the 5th grade. I'm 43 now, and this book is still one of my favorites. I read it multiple times as a kid and it always gave me the creeps. I lost my copy of it years ago and went on Amazon and found a used one to keep on hand. Emily is one scary little girl ghost!! Had I read it for the first time as an adult, maybe it would not have made such an impression, but reading it as a kid has made it one of my all time favorites and I would recommend it ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars--I really liked it, though largely due to nostalgia.

I adored this book as a child (just look at that cover--no wonder I love gothic horror so much as an adult! This was my training!). On reread I still quite liked it, though it wasn't particularly scary (young me thought it was!) and was slightly dated (frankly, it's a touch sexist). Still, Clapp creates vivid scenes, lifelike characters, and plots with ease. I'm glad I reread it.
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best and creepiest ghost stories I've ever read, really spooky and original. I loved the characters, even Emily, and the way that the author brought them to life.
Before I can tell you my opinion on the plot of this old children's book, let me tell you about the smell of the book. Yes, the smell.

My library ordered a copy of an old 1973 Yearling paperback from another library and it came with the most delightful musty old book smell. I inhaled several times each time I picked up the book. It took me right back to childhood, back to the musty old used bookstores we used to frequent and the smell of the paperbacks in our basement. It smelled like a book SHOU
Kate Quinn
Dec 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This masterful little ghost story is classed as a children's book, but will scare adults as well. The story is simple: a turn-of-the-century girl named Jane is taken by her young aunt Louisa to spend a summer with her grandmother. Louisa is distracted by romantic problems when a handsome young doctor begins courting her, and at first hardly notices when Jane gets curious about a little girl named Emily who died in the same house years before. But Jane's obsession deepens, and Louisa is forced to ...more
Diana Higgins
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book five stars for old times' sake. As I reread it these 30 years after having read it over and over and over, I recognized a few key scenes which had lodged in my consciousness and become part of me.

The way Emily made herself sick - I love both the way it shows her as strong-willed and manipulative, and the way it's old-fashioned and of its time. (I really don't think that one would become deathly ill that way, but people thought so in the early 1900's.)

One thing I did see as an a
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ghosts, younger, ya
Clapp does a masterful job at creating a truly frightening story (or so I remember it being when I was a child) from pure atmosphere -- no gore, demons, or other horror elements. It is a great read for kids who like scary stories, especially because it somehow manages not to leave any sort of residual fear that might keep them awake at night.

I'm sad that everything else Clapp wrote seems like American-history stuff that I'm not interested in.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childhood-books
Reviewed by my daughter and I.

Well, Mallory and I have read another book – this time a story I remember reading (and loving) when I was about Mal’s age. I stumbled across Jane-Emily when I was ‘shopping’ at Book Closeouts and couldn’t resist. It’s a story about a little girl, Jane, who goes to visit her paternal grandmother after her parents are killed in a buggy accident. She’s accompanied by her 18 year old aunt, Louisa. Her grandmother is kind but stern. She’s had some tragedies in her life –
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it

In the summer of 1912 18-year-old Louisa Amory and her 9-year-old niece, Jane, travel to Massachusetts to the mansion of their mutual relative. Regretfully leaving behind her sappy beau, Martin, and resigned to a boring two months in Lynn, Louisa is surprised to find herself suddenly both courted (this novel is billed partly as a Romance) but gradually terrified (the novel is also advertised as a Ghost story). All right, so readers get two genres for the
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a surprisingly chilling novel, written from the perspective of a young woman, taking care of her orphaned niece. This book does a good job of keeping you guessing. You are never quite sure whether the young girl is being haunted, or if she is merely mentally unbalanced. There's a romantic subplot that I could either take or leave, as it is deeply predictable, and sometimes painfully old fashioned. I know that this is a period piece, and we should expect some old fashioned elements, but ...more
Melinda Hazen
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dayna Smith
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad to see this book back in print after thirty years. I read this book when I was in 7th grade, more than thirty years ago. It is a classic ghost story. Fun and really creepy. Emily is a spoiled wicked little girl who died on her thirteenth birthday. Jane is a nine-year-old orphan who comes with her young Aunt Louisa to live with her grandmother (Emily's mother). Louisa begins to realize that Emily never left, and she wants Jane. A must read if you like ghost stories. A really good and ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
45 years later, it still makes me shiver! Jane a Emily is definitely a 5 star read!
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This gothic, haunting book was a childhood favorite. Whenever I see a garden globe on a pedestal, it reminded me of Jane-Emily. For almost 45 years!!! Soooo I located an old copy with the same cover, tucked it in a special place in my bookshelves, and saved it for a rainy day. Enter Hurricane/Tropical Florence with relentless waterworks and gray days, perfect only perhaps for reading a dark, spooky, old-fashioned ghost story. The book did not disappoint. I enjoyed Jane-Emily as much as I did as ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Goodreads for existing and for helping me find fantastic books like this one, which I otherwise would not likely have come across. I can see how it is considered a young adult slash children's book, but Clapp knows how to scare and this book has all the creepy moodiness that belongs in a good ghost story.

Well written, efficient, and super enjoyable. 4.5 stars.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I came across this book here on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting. I had a bit of a problem getting a decent copy since it's been out of print for a while.

The story starts out simply enough - it is 1912 and 18-year-old Louisa Amory is enjoying a "serious" relationship with Martin Driscoll, who writes dreadful poetry and has a silly, melodramatic attitude. The year before, Louisa's older sister Charlotte and her husband John were killed in a freak carriage accident, leaving their only
Eleanor Paul
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Since I've become interested in children's ghost stories, I've been seeing mentions of Jane-Emily around. I finally caved and ordered myself a copy on Amazon. I'm glad I did!

It's funny - I've seen this classified as a children's book most places, but when I read it I discovered it was more of a YA book - albeit an older one. Our MC is 18 (17?) and there is a romance in here. That being said, this is still appropriate for younger readers - as long as they don't scare easily!

Jame-Emily isn't a ver
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I found this in the back of the library where I work, where all the sad, musty, cast-out books go, and my eyes being significantly larger than my bookshelves, it went into another large pile of books that I would read someday when I had time.

It was a cute little Gothic novel, rather overly dramatic and romantic and unlikely and yet charming, all the same.

The last thing Louisa wanted to do is leave her poet sweetheart and tend her orphaned niece Jane in a stuffy old house for the summer, or so
I kept thinking of that teenager in Texas with the case of "Affluenza" while reading this book.
It was a nice little ghost story with a strong moral of not spoiling your child. Think Veruca Salt meets "Wait Till Helen Comes".
Or, to betray my horrible childhood reading tastes the Sweet Valley Twins book "The Carnival Ghost" which was a super chiller book. I rather loved those as a kid because I had not read Jane-Emily back then.

The book is told from the perspective of the sensible Louisa. She's ra
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Copyright 1969, this is a Yearling book. I got this way back when I was still in elementary school in the early 70's. It's a book appropriate for tweens. It's creepy & scary, but not in a gory or disturbing way. I still enjoy reading it!

Set in 1912, told in the first person by Jane's aunt, Louisa. Jane is spending the summer with her deceased father's mother. Louisa is forced to come with to help out. Lots of creepy things happen & they learn about Emily, Jane's father's dead sister. A
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh my gosh, I remember reading this book as a child (around 7 or 8 years old) and trying for years to remember the name or author. I can't believe GR just popped it up as a recommendation for me! This book was the inspiration for many a dark and disturbing tale I wrote for years after, much to the alarm of my teachers, parents, school counselors, and a psychologist or two. I am going to have to pick up a copy and reread it ASAP!

Bless Patricia Clapp! Should have figured this haunting story that
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I saw a reference to this book in a recent review of the latest Gail Godwin novel, which also features a ghostly presence, apparently. I had never heard of Clapp or the book, so I picked it up from the library and read it in one day. (Ok, it is a children's book.) I liked it a lot and wonder how I missed it as a child. I felt the same about Tom's Midnight Garden, which I also didn't read as a kid. It's fun to discover these gems as an adult, especially when they can hold this adult's interest. G ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For this story think "Audrey Rose" for children, but with a more malevolent spirit.
Jan 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Got this book from the Bookmobile that came to our elementary school. LOVED IT! My first gothic novel! And it was set in Lynn, Lynn, City of Sin.
Amy S
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, creepy yet clean ghost story. Will scare adults as well. Getting ready to read this to my fifth grader.
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I had forgotten about this book. now it is all coming back to me. Emily soaks herself and sits in front of the window on a frigid day so that she will contract pneumonia. What a great book.
The rockabilly werewolf from Mars .
One day at the library, I happened to come across this book on the shelves. Seeing that it was a horror novel that I had not read, I decided to try it. When I got home, I found that it was written for teen-agers, but I decided to read it anyway. I don't regret that decision. This is a fine ghost story in the classical tradition, and would likely make a good introduction to the horror genre for younger readers. One of those cases where a mistake on the part of the library staff turned out to be a ...more
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Patricia Clapp was born in Boston and attended the Columbia University School of Journalism. Her first novel, Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth, was a runner-up for the 1969 National Book Award for Children's Literature. Her other books include, I'm Deborah Sampson, King of the Dollhouse, Dr. Elizabeth, and Jane-Emily. She also authored many plays for children.
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“There are times when the midsummer sun strikes cold, and when the leaping flames of a hearthfire give no heat. Times when the chill within us comes not from fears we know, but from fears unknown-and forever unknowable.” 6 likes
“There is no necessity to live by the clock.” 1 likes
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