Deborah's Reviews > Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn
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's review
Jun 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: bullying, historical-fiction, mystery-crime
Read in July, 2012

Little did I know it, but I was a fan of this author when I was ten years old. I had read a description of one of her books, The Sara Summer, in the back of a Taffy Sinclair book, and spent months looking for it before it turned up in a used bookstore in Madison. :) But she is also the writer of many books that I know are beloved, like Wait Till Helen Comes but that I have never read. I had read some good press for this title, but I was still blown away by how excellent it really was.

It does not just describe a terrible crime (the murder of two teenage girls in 1956), it truly describes the aftermath for those left behind, right down to the most minor character. The book shifts point of view many times, but always comes back to Nora, who is one of the best lead characters I've read in a long time, and her grief and loss of faith in God and religion. It also creates a fascinating portrait of the Baltimore area in the 50's, and what it truly was like to be a teenager then, not just a text book caricature of one.

Bottom line -- one of the best I read all year, and I really hope it's a future Printz winner or honor. I highly recommend this one (as well as The Sara Summer -- the author made fun of it recently in an interview, but I still loved it). :)

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