July Creepy Chronicles

For the kids looking for more dark and twisted tales, Erika is here to bring you a middle grade scare!

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
All available formats here
Graphic Novel adaptation illustrated by Scott Peterson
Physical format available here
eComic available on Hoopla

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can't get any worse.

But they do — when Helen comes.

This book is quintessential to coming of age in the 80s: a big move, a ghost child, and eldest daughter experiencing parentification! You will yell in anguish “Molly, you deserve better!” throughout this, and that’s not even from dealing with a possible demon that lives at her house.

Within the first chapter, you are smacked with the dysfunctional family of a little stepsister who has somehow mastered emotional manipulation at a concerningly young age. Plus, a step-dad who thinks therapy is beneath them despite his daughter literally watching her mother die in a fire (but hey, it was the 80s!).

The original and graphic adaptation are equally strong in providing the sense of dread and overarching tension the family holds throughout the story. You can visually see the underlying malice in Heather’s face and Molly’s pure frustration.

Kirkus Review says “Readers familiar with the original tale will be pleased with this faithful adaptation, and new fans will be eager to read more from Hahn.” School Library Journal finds that  “Laxton and Peterson create a chilling and faithful adaptation of Hahn’s original novel, with creepy imagery, an eerie blue and purple palette, and solid pacing between dialogue and omniscient narration.”

Don’t just wait till Helen comes, read this classic ghost tale today!

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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