Nan’s Notes: The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story

the old willis place

  • by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Pub. Date: July 2007
  • Age Range: 9 to 12

Nan’s Notes: (I’m not sure if this contains spoilers or not.)

I was really disappointed in this book. I think it was supposed to be a scary book, but I didn’t find it scary at all (and I get scared easily!) . I found the characters flat and the story predictable.  I couldn’t figure out out if the reader was supposed to be surprised about the ghosts in this story or not. I’m curious how children in the age range listed would react to the book.

From the back of the book:

Diana and her little brother, Georgie, have been living in the woods behind the old Willis place, a decaying mansions, for what seems like forever. A strict set of rules won’t allow them to leave the property or even show themselves to anyone. But when a new caretaker and his young daughter, Lissa, come to live there, Diana is tempted to break the mysterious rules for the first time in hopes of  making a new friend. She and Georgie learn quickly, though, that breaking the rules can have deadly consequences…



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